Friday, April 26, 2013

Essential Home Remedies: Skin

We live in an age that spoils us with ease of access to medications, remedies, and much more. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not opposed to modern medicine—I’m just a big fan of using natural remedies whenever possible. Humanity got by for thousands of years before medicine as we know it today came along. And sure, some of the old “remedies” did more harm than good, but not all. The base for many of our modern medicines are based on herbal remedies—often just more optimized for the desired effect.

Bet you didn't know that mineral water like San Pellegrino can provide instant relief for minor skin irritations.
Rash? Try mineral water.

There are lots of ailments our bodies can present us with, from surface problems to internal ones. In this article, I’ll be covering some home remedies for skin problems like rashes, acne, and burns. So before you run to the store for that man-made medicine, try some of these out:

Rashes: European mineral water like San Pellegrino is a great way to get instant relief from itchy rashes, burns, and bumps. The minerals work like anti-inflammatories, so spraying a small amount onto affected areas of the skin can help provide instant relief.

Acne: There are lots of all-natural scrubs and masks that can be used to treat acne, but this is one of the simplest. Use coarse salt and neem oil to scrub (gently!) your face and afterwards use plain yogurt to make a facemask that stays on for 15-30 minutes. Salt is a natural antiseptic and neem oil is an antifungal. And the lactic acid from plain yogurt helps exfoliate skin and clear up skin blemishes.

Bug Bites: Most homes have a regular supply of aspirin, but it’s not usually used for bug bites. Aspirin contains salycilic acid, though, which is the main active ingredient in many acne medications Crushed aspirin mixed with water forms a paste that when applied to irritated skin can help relieve redness and inflammation.

Psoriasis? Eczema? Use olive oil to seal skin.
Psoriasis? Eczema? Use olive oil to seal skin.
Image: Shutterstock
Eczema/Psoriasis: Olive oil is a wonderful remedy for outbreaks of psoriasis and eczema. One teaspoon per square inch of skin can help seal skin and prevent it from cracking and drying out. Plus, you won’t have to worry about any added chemicals that might irritate skin further.

Burns: Most of us have burned ourselves at some point in time. Sunburns, curling iron burns, and oven burns all do the same thing to our skin—and it doesn’t feel good. But I bet you didn’t know that burns can be treated with tea! Black and green teas contain phytonutrients, which help reduce inflammation in blood vessels. To treat a burn with tea, just soak a dishrag with cold tea and apply it to the burned skin.

Next time you find yourself in need of a natural skin remedy, try one of these out. Next week I’ll cover home remedies for internal problems, like nausea and hangovers—so be sure to check back for more!

Remember that these are just suggestions to consider. Before treating yourself, be sure to consult with your doctor or other licensed health professional.