Help Me Choose:
Help Me Choose Natural Skin Care for Dry & Itchy Skin
What is it?
Dry skin is a result of a decrease in sebum production, the natural skin oil necessary to keep the skin moist and lubricated. Since dry skin has a decreased oil barrier, water easily evaporates through the skin.
Dry skin often feels tight and dehydrated and has some flaky areas.
Dry Skin is More Common In:
- Cold winter months and dry climates
- Individuals with a history of eczema
- The elderly
For specific information on products for dry facial skin, please see "Help Me Choose: Facial Skin Care"
Dry Skin Lacks Both Oil & Moisture
Some common dry skin symptoms:
- Itchy and easily irritated skin
- Skin looks rough with fine flakes and dry patches
- Skin may appear red, or gray and ashy
- Skin is more prone to fine lines, wrinkles, and cracks
- Sensation of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing, or swimming.
Winter Itchy Skin
Winter itch is caused by excessively dry skin in the winter. Cool temperatures, dry heat, and lower humidity drain moisture causing dry, flaky, and itchy skin.
For those with normally dry or sensitive skin, it will often worsen during the winter months.
Keeping skin well hydrated and replacing natural oils with our body moisturizers can help. The best time to moisturize is after showering or bathing, while the skin is still damp, to help lock in moisture.
Learn More Blog: "8 Tips to Help Eliminate Dry Winter Skin"
Aging Can Increase Skin Dryness
Dry skin often becomes more of an issue as people get older. As we get age, our skin produces less oil and gets drier. For women, it may also be due to the hormone changes associated with menopause.
Helping with Dry Skin
The best treatment for dry skin is daily lubrication with a pure and natural emollient to help decrease the evaporation of moisture from the skin. The main goal for dry skin treatment is to use a good moisturizer to put a barrier between your skin and dry air in order to help prevent moisture loss and stop the itching.
Dermatologists recommend non-water-based, natural creams or oils to restore skin hydration. Oil and rich creams have more staying power than water-based moisturizers and help prevent the evaporation of water from the surface of your skin.
The best time to moisturize is after showering or bathing, while the skin is still warm and damp while the pores are open to help increase absorption and lock in moisture.
Moisturizing is especially important to help prevent "winter itch." Keeping skin well hydrated and replacing natural oils with our Body Moisturizers can help. Keep a travel-size organic moisturizer, like a lotion bar, in your purse, briefcase, school bag, or gym bag so it is always handy when you need a quick dose of moisture, especially after hand washing.
The Right Natural Soap
There are many causes of dry skin – like dry air or aging – but ironically, one of the most common causes of dry skin is your soap.
If you recently bought commercial soap from a major chain store, take a look at the ingredients on the label. While these artificial ingredients make your soap lather nicely and smell great, they actually cause skin irritation and dryness, especially in people with sensitive skin or who have skin conditions like eczema.
A mild, moisturizing, natural soap is recommended for dry skin. Dry skin conditions are often exacerbated by harsh detergent soaps that contain fragrance oils and synthetic chemicals that wash off natural skin-protecting oils.
Some customers with dry skin love natural soaps with extra butters, like shea, mango, and cocoa. Others love oils rich in a fatty acid called linoleic acid, such as grapeseed, sunflower, and hemp. Still, others like soaps rich in honey or coconut milk.
Our natural Winter Survival Soap has become a seasonal favorite. The cooling, clearing, revitalizing scent of this moisturizing bar helps soothe dry, itchy skin and energize your spirit on cold winter mornings!
See our "Help Me Choose Soap" page for more information
Buttercream Cleansing Face Wash
Our Buttercream Cleansing Face Wash is such a unique product that I have put it in a category all by itself.
It is a natural organic facial cleansing cream that moisturizes and gently cleans at the same time.
Just imagine nourishing organic plant oils and botanical butters whipped into soft, delightful cream.
The cream is then whipped with our moisturizing organic Aloe Soap to create a gentle cleansing and hydrating face wash! You may even feel some little bits of soap!
- The yellowish color comes from sustainable Organic Virgin Palm Oil, one of the richest plant sources of carotenes and antioxidants
- Organic mango butter, avocado oil, and virgin shea butter are excellent for dry, aging, or irritated skin
Exfoliation for those with dry skin is very important, especially in winter. When our skin feels dry we too often slather on heavy creams to compensate for the dryness. But dry skin flaky skin means that you have a build-up of dead, dry skin cells. Why would you want to moisturize dry, dead skin cells? What you really want to do is exfoliate those dead skin cells away and then moisturize the skin.
Many customers ask, "How Do I Know If I Need To Exfoliate?" A simple test you can do at home to see if you have surface dry skin cells on your skin is to take a piece of clear tape and apply it to the forehead. Rub it gently and remove. Look at the tape, and if there are little pieces of flaky skin, then you need to exfoliate!
A great product for dry facial skin in need of exfoliation is our gentle Adzuki Bean Scrub.
Things to Avoid
Harsh Detergent Soaps
Dry skin conditions are often exacerbated by commercial soaps that contain harsh detergents that wash off natural skin-protecting oils. Choose mild soaps that have added oils and fats.
Avoid products containing detergents, alcohol, and other synthetic chemicals that can also dry skin and cause irritation.
Synthetic fragrances have a tendency to irritate dry skin or make it worse. Check the ingredients list for the word "fragrance" and avoid soap and other skin-care products that contain it.
While a hot steamy shower or bath often feels so nice and relaxing, hot water especially during winter can lead to excessively dry skin.
The hotter the water and the longer you remain in the shower or tub, the more natural oil is removed from your skin. Taking shorter warm showers is the best thing you can do for happier skin.
Since moisturizers work best on damp skin, remember to apply a moisturizer within minutes of getting out of the bath or shower.
Stay away from lotions. Not only are they mostly water (notice that water is usually the first ingredient) they often contain preservatives and fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin. Although lotions are absorbed more quickly, they do not contain enough emollients to offer long-term protection against dryness.
If you enjoy the application "feeling" of a lotion better than a cream, try applying a rich cream, like our Whipped Cocoa Butter or a Whipped Shea Butter, to warm, wet skin right after a bath or shower. Wait a few moments and gently pat dry. (Do not rub skin dry!)
You can do the same with our Bath & Body Oils. Massage onto warm, wet skin right after a bath or shower. Wait a few moments and gently pat dry.
Since a lotion is just water mixed with oils and/or butters, a rich organic butter or oil on warm wet skin will have a similar feel.
Clothes That Irritate
Natural lighter fibers such as cotton are kind to your skin and allow the skin to breathe. Some fibers like wool, although natural, may irritate even normal skin. Wash clothes with mild detergents without dyes or perfumes, both of which can irritate your skin.
Often times the air inside can be as harsh on your skin as the air outside. Hot, dry, indoor heat and even air conditioning, can draw humidity levels down, parch dry or sensitive skin making the skin dry, flaky, and itchy.
A humidifier can help restore moisture to the air in your home.
This list is a scaled-down version of a blog I wrote that shares the same name. For more detail please read our blog, “12 Reasons to Use Natural Soap"
1. Handmade Natural Soap is Actually Soap
Most of the soap you purchase today is a commercially manufactured chemical cocktail of ingredients. It is not natural and is not even really “soap.”
2. Natural Soap is Made With Natural Ingredients
The very best reason to use natural soap is the ingredients. A product is only as good as the ingredients used to make it.
3. Natural Soap Is NOT Made With...
- synthetic ingredients
- artificial fragrances or perfumes
- artificial colors
- synthetic preservatives
Our soap bars contain only the ingredients that they need—no extra preservatives that liquid body washes or commercial bar "soaps" require to increase their shelf life to years, and no foam boosters to make them lather.
4. Natural Soaps Are Moisturizing
Sadly many people have the misguided perception that all bar soaps will dry your skin. The problem is that most commercial bar “soaps” are detergents and not real soap.
There are three main reasons why natural soaps are moisturizing.
- Natural Soaps are made with Plant Oils and Butters
- Natural Soaps are Superfatted
- Natural Soaps retain their natural Glycerin
5. Scented Natural Soap Provides Real Aromatherapy
Scented natural soaps are made with pure essential oils, not fragrance oils, and offer aromatherapeutic benefits.
6. Natural Soap Helps Maintain Healthy Skin
The body’s largest organ, our skin, is incredibly porous and absorbent. How we treat our skin can have a major impact on our overall health as well as the look and feel of our skin.
7. Natural Soap Provides Rich Lather Without Synthetic Foam Boosters
People absolutely love bubbly lather. The foam, bubbles, and lather we know and love from commercial liquid and bar soaps are produced by surfactants--synthetic foam boosters, lathering agents, and detergents.
8. Natural Soap is Economical
Some consumers are put off by the cost of handmade soap. You probably look at a bar of natural soap and wonder why it costs more. I mean, soap is soap, right? But there are some things to think about!
9. Natural Soap Has a Smaller Environmental Impact
The synthetic chemicals in liquid and many bar soaps wash down our drains into our septic fields or water treatment facilities. Also, if you use a liquid body wash, how many plastic bottles and pumps do you dispose of in a single year?
10. Natural Soaps are Unique
For me, soapmaking is a synergy of science and art that took years to perfect. It is a labor of love. I take the time to create wholesome soap recipes that do not sacrifice beauty or scent while incorporating amazing natural and organic ingredients.
11. A Natural Soap Company Has Social Consciousness
While I am sure there are some large commercial soap companies with a social conscience, natural soapmakers tend to have the utmost respect for the earth and all its creatures.
Environmental stewardship is not a buzzword for us. It is not a talking point, not a political stance nor is it about optics!
12. You Are Supporting A Small Business
When you buy a handmade bar of natural soap, you are supporting a small business that truly cares about and believes in the products they make. Your purchase really does make a difference.
Before I conclude I would like to add one final reason to the question of "Why You Should Switch To Natural Soap Bars."
The simplest answer is, Why Not?
From its composition to its benefits for the skin and health, to its impact on the environment, natural soap is very different from commercial liquid “soap,” bar “soap,” or syndet bars.
Our face has different zones in which the skin can vary in thickness, texture, pore size and the number of oil-producing glands.
Each zone may have very different needs and require individual attention.
So, what happens if you have multiple facial skin issues, like dryness, oily spots, and blemishes?
The answer is Multi-Masking . . .
What is Multi-Masking
Multi-masking is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of applying one face mask over your entire face, you apply different masks to different areas of the face in order to treat multiple skincare concerns at the same time.
For more information please read our blog Multi-Masking and Targeted Application For Combination Facial Skin
Remember, the skin is the body's largest organ
and it needs to breathe as part of its
important role in maintaining overall health!
Well, first of all, it's an all-natural product. Commercial lotions are NOT. Our Whipped Shea Butters only contain the ingredients that they need. Creams and lotions created in a lab often clog pores, aggravate acne, trigger allergic reactions, and make skin feels heavy and greasy.
The organic oils and butters we use do NOT contain petroleum based chemicals (Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin), chemical emulsifiers (DEA, MEA, TEA), chemical preservatives (Parabens, Urea), Propylene Glycol, artificial colors, or synthetic fragrances.
Lotions have a very high water content. Once water is added to make a lotion, it is almost impossible to create an all natural product and still keep the bacteria and mold out.
No Alcohol or Petroleum Ingredients
Have you ever noticed that when you use your body lotion your skin never stays moist and you find yourself going back to the lotion bottle over and over?
Look at the ingredients. Often times water is the main ingredient. Commercial lotions often contain isopropyl alcohol and/or mineral oil. Both of these actually are very drying to your skin. The alcohol gives a temporary sense of coolness due to evaporation.
Mineral oil is found in lotions, soaps, baby oil, cosmetics, and motor oil. Mineral oil is a clear, liquid oil with no scent and will not spoil. It is very inexpensive because it is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. It is great for oiling your wooden cutting boards--but not your skin. Mineral oil does not penetrate to soften. It is difficult to absorb, coats your skin and clogs the pores. If you would like to have healthy skin, stay away from mineral oils, animal fat, petroleum, and synthetic oil based skincare.
No Propylene Glycol
Commercial creams and lotion often contain propylene glycol, which acts as a “humectant, preservative or stabilizer. Commercial skin-care products are stored and shipped and must have a very long shelf-life. Propylene glycol helps the fragrance, consistency and product appearance to remain attractive throughout its long life.
While the FDA has categorized propylene glycol as "Generally Recognized as Safe," and some say that
Your Natural Cream Has So Many Uses
We know that natural body butters make great moisturizing body creams. But here are some other ways we have used these balms and butters:
- Get rid of those cracked heels
- Gently massage into very dry areas on your face
- Soothe and smooth skin after shaving
- Add a dollop to your hot bath water instead of using synthetic bath oils
- Massage some into your cuticles to soften them
- Massage into your lips for a great all natural lip balm
Whether you call them "face oils" or "facial serums," nourishing, unrefined organic oils can moisturize, soothe and help restore natural balance to facial skin.
While many people, especially those with oily or acne-prone skin tend to shy away from oil-based moisturizing, it can be a very important step in daily skin care. An organic facial oil helps to increase the moisture content in the skin and prevent further moisture loss.
If you have oily skin, nourishing organic oils can help mimic the natural skin sebum which in turn sends signals to oil-producing cells that say, "Hey my skin is moisturized so stop producing oil."
Using products created to "dry out" oily skin will actually trigger the oil glands to increase oil production, which only exacerbates the oily skin problem. A wholesome moisturizer helps balance skin oil production.
If you have dry skin an organic facial oil made from unrefined botanical oils creates a protective but breathable barrier that slows moisture evaporation and thus helps lock in moisture.
If you have irritated skin a facial oil can help calm inflammation and soothe red irritated skin.
It is especially important for those (like me!) with maturing skin to keep your face adequately moisturized to help with fine lines and wrinkles.
The main thing is to make sure that you are using the right kind of moisturizer.
The most nourishing face oils are those made with unrefined, certified organic plant-based oils.
Unrefined oils are either cold-pressed or expeller-pressed.
They are minimally processed without chemicals under temperature-controlled conditions.
Minimal processing ensures a nutrient-rich, high-quality natural oil.
USDA Certified Organic means the botanical oils are free of synthetic additives, pesticides, and preservatives.
Stay away from petroleum-based products that contain mineral oils that clog your pores and cause breakouts.
How Does a Facial Cleansing Oil Work?
A cleansing oil works its magic in two simple ways . . .
- oil dissolves oil
- skin with balanced oil production is happy skin
1. The concept of the oil cleansing method is rooted in one of the most basic principles of chemistry, “like dissolves like.”
Since water does not dissolve oil, if you wash with water you need some sort of soap or detergent. Think of soap as the middle-man that helps bring oil and water together so that the dirt and grease on your skin can be easily rinsed away.
Oils are what chemists call lipophilic, meaning that they are naturally attracted to other oils, including the excess skin oil (sebum) that causes breakouts and the oil by-products found in most makeup.
Even if you use water-based makeup, throughout the course of a day the makeup will mix with your natural facial oil.
A facial cleansing oil will dissolve away the dirty oil and makeup from your face and replenish it with clean, nourishing oil that protects and moisturizes throughout the day.
2. Using some good, natural, organic oil on your skin actually slows down its own oil production to maintain balance.
There is a huge misconception that using any oil on your face only creates more oil, more breakouts and leaves an oily residue. For years commercial skin care companies have told us we need to remove the oil from our skin, especially our faces.
The problem is that drying out your facial skin actually stimulates increase oil production--which is the opposite of what you are trying to achieve.
Our facial cleansing oil is formulated with a blend of organic oils and herbal infused oils that will balance sebum production and bind with the existing oil to unclog pores and cleanse impurities.
Using pure, organic oils whether to cleanse or simply moisturize will help balance sebum (natural skin oil) production, protect skin and keep it soft, smooth, and hydrated.
For more information please read our blog, "What Is A Facial Cleaning Oil? How Do I Use It?"
Trying to choose the right natural soaps or skincare products can be a bit overwhelming especially when you have allergies and/or skin sensitivities.
Since we proudly list every ingredient in all of our products, reading the ingredient list will help to eliminate ingredients that may cause you problems.
We always recommend doing a patch test before using any new products especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
We receive so many emails asking for help with allergies, we created categories in our “Help Me Choose” section to provide information for those with allergies or sensitivities to nuts, coconut, shea butter and gluten.
Whether you call them "bath teas," "bathing herbs," or "bathtub teas," soaking in a warm fragrant herbal bath provides a quiet sanctuary in which to retreat, reflect and refresh.
The healing properties trapped in the herbs and released by the water can help boost your mood, calm the mind, soothe sore muscles and joints, opens pores, soften skin, and promote more restful sleep.
As the beneficial properties of the herbs are released into the water, a pleasant aroma fills the air which provides soul therapy, skin therapy, and aromatherapy all in one.
So, draw a warm bath infused with fragrant or therapeutic herbs, light a few natural candles, play soothing music, and relax. It may just be the perfect medicine for whatever ails you.
Discover Your Creative Spirit
Herbal bath teas are perfect all on their own but anytime you prepare an herbal bath you can combine bathing herbs with other great skincare additives most of which can be found in your kitchen cupboards.
For more Bath Tea Recipes read our blog "Bath Tub Tea Recipes: Simple Additions"
A Few Important Notes:
Despite the many advantages, a warm bath may not be recommended for everyone.
- Do not use very hot water
- Do not soak for more than 15-20 minutes each time
- If you have a heart condition or any medical condition, consult with your doctor before beginning a new bathing routine
- If you are pregnant, please discuss baths with your doctor or midwife
- Keep some cool drinking water nearby
- Even a healthy person may begin to feel dizzy, or not well when taking a bath. If this happens, slowly get out, rest and drink some water as you may be dehydrated. If you do not feel better soon, please seek medical advice.
The content and information on this website, provided by The Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended and should not be construed as medical advice to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information regarding folklore or health-related benefits of certain ingredients is for educational purposes only. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.
The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professionals. Do not use the information found on this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. If you have medical concerns regarding yourself or your family you should seek the advice of qualified, licensed health professionals. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Read our Full Medical Disclaimer.
People with severe allergies--please note: If you have severe anaphylactic-type reactions to ANY of the ingredients in ANY of our products, please do not buy our products. We have dedicated soap rooms and product rooms that are kept meticulously clean, but we cannot guarantee against possible cross-contamination of individual ingredients.
Chagrin Valley Soap & Craft is not responsible for any individual reaction to any particular ingredient. Each product description on our website includes a complete list of ingredients. People with sensitivities to any listed ingredient should not use the product. In case you are in doubt always try an allergy patch test and if at any time irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product.