Dry skin is a condition that develops due to environmental or dietary factors, and it is also prevalent for those who have inherited a tendency toward dry skin and related conditions, according to the Mayo Clinic. Besides lotions and supplements, the most effective way to treat dry skin is with bath oil therapy. Bath oils often include natural oils and healing elements that promote skin wellness and help to soothe and nourish the skin.
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Dry skin is not serious in and of itself and is usually successfully treated at home; however, untreated dry skin tends to prompt complications, such as eczema, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sometimes overly dry skin with inflammation is an indication of a serious skin condition or disease, says the clinic, such as a bacterial infection. Typical causes of dry skin include winter or summer weather; prolonged sun exposure; hot showers and baths; detergents and soaps; and central air conditioning or heating, says the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include development of rough, thick or dry skin that leads to inflammation and dermatitis; painful cracks and fissures; and crusting, pus and bacterial infections, according to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Most bath oils contain mineral oil, a petroleum product, but mineral oil is often referred to as baby oil, according to Wise Geek. Many people might not realize that a well-known product for baby care, skin care and other uses is simply mineral oil. As a main bath oil ingredient, mineral oil replenishes and protects dry skin and helps to hold in moisture, but other ingredients found in some commercial bath oils or soaps containing bath oil, such as common chemicals used in cosmetics, aren’t good for dry skin according to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
Commercial Bath Oils
Some consumer bath oil products contain food oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil and seed oils, according to Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, which provide the skin with vitamins and other healing nutrients. However, mineral oil is typically the primary constituent in bath oils since it is much cheaper to use when it comes to manufacturing and mass production. These oils and others are usually mixed together with fragrances and sometimes additional healing ingredients before distribution. For instance, Johnson & Johnson’s Aveeno bath oil is often recommended for dry skin and contains mineral oil, sunflower seed oil and colloidal oatmeal extract for soothing and softening of dry skin, according to netdoctor.com.
Home Bath Oil Remedies
You might be surprised to learn that most commercial bath oils include ingredients you can easily find at your grocer. One ingredient you can find at grocery or drug stores is mineral oil, or baby oil, but other oils and components are also available, usually in your grocer’s food isles. For instance, compare ingredients found in commercial bath oils, according to Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, and include olive oil and vitamin E in your own bath oil treatment. These ingredients work together to soothe, heal and protect dry skin. You can easily mix these and other ingredients together in a bath oil concoction.
Avoid overloading your bath with oil since it sometimes causes serious accidents. Make sure your tub or shower isn’t slippery when entering or exiting. If you notice oil residue, be sure and clean your tub or shower and surrounding areas thoroughly with a grease-cutting cleanser and rinse well. Some people prefer applying oils directly to the skin after bathing instead of pouring oils directly into the bath for safety reasons.