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Dry skin patches can be itchy, painful, frustrating, and hard to eliminate.
But there are several things you can try to relieve the symptoms, including using one very important ingredient in your skin care routine.
And that ingredient is farm fresh beeswax.
Yup, it’s not just for candles!
My favorite beeswax lotion stick helped clear my keratosis pilaris (aka chicken skin), which has been an embarrassing nuisance for years. Also, I’ve never liked using traditional lotions because they feel greasy and take forever to “soak” into my skin (if they ever actually do). Then my skin still felt dry, so I always wondered why I even bothered to put the lotion on in the first place. Thankfully, I don’t have that problem with my beeswax lotion stick!
In this blog post, I’ll talk more about why I recommend this specific lotion stick, but I’m also going to talk about what causes dry skin patches, how to treat them, what makes an effective moisturizer, and why you should include farm fresh beeswax in your skincare.
What causes dry skin patches?
Dry skin patches can have many causes, including allergies, eczema, and psoriasis. Other common causes are low humidity (like during the winter months), washing your hands too much, and harsh ingredients in your personal care products. And as you age, your skin becomes thinner and retains less moisture.
I’m also a firm believer that poor nutrition is a cause of many of our skin problems. My friend, Amy Zhou, has a lot of great information about using food as medicine to help soothe skin problems.
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Treatment of dry skin patches
In addition to using an effective moisturizer, there are several other things you should do to help with your dry skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends several changes to your personal care routine, including:
- Showering in warm water, not hot water, and taking shorter showers.
- Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. (I use this natural, nontoxic bar soap. It’s not fragrance-free, but uses gentle essential oils.)
- Apply moisturizer immediately after showering. (I use my lotion stick while my skin is still wet!)
- Use a moisturizer that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. The AAD states that shea butter also works well. (My MIG Living lotion stick contains both olive oil and shea butter, in addition to beeswax!)
- Blot your skin to dry. Don’t rub it!
What makes an effective moisturizer?
There are three key categories needed to make an effective moisturizer: occlusives, humectants, and emollients. After reading up on these three types, I like to think of them in this way: occlusives protect; humectants hydrate; and emollients nourish.
I want to point out one thing before you continue reading: there’s some discrepancy between which ingredients fall into which category. For example, I’ve seen beeswax described as a humectant, an occlusive, or both. I’ve seen petrolatum listed as an occlusive and an emollient. Same with coconut oil. What I do know is that my beeswax lotion stick works as an effective moisturizer for my dry skin patches. 🙂
1. Occlusives (Protect)
Occlusives prevent water loss from the skin by forming a barrier. Beeswax is most commonly listed as an occlusive, although some people say that it’s a humectant, or both.
According to this article in The Dermatologist Magazine, applying an occlusive moisturizer immediately after bathing may help lock in moisture. And that’s exactly what I do with my MIG Living lotion stick; I apply it to warm, wet skin before drying off.
I choose to avoid the most common occlusive, which is petrolatum, because it is a byproduct of petroleum refining. If the petrolatum is not properly refined, the finished product can be contaminated with toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Rather than take this risk, I choose products without petrolatum.
Other common terms for petrolatum that you might see on product labels include petroleum jelly (yes, like Vaseline), paraffin oil, and mineral oil. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, white petrolatum is refined and safe for use, but the label must clearly indicate that it’s white petroleum.
2. Humectants (Hydrate)
Humectants attract water from the dermis, the second outermost layer of skin, into the epidermis, which is the top layer. If the air’s humidity is more than 70 percent, humectants will draw moisture from the air into the skin.
3. Emollients (Nourish)
Emollients keep your skin soft and smooth by filling in the space between skin flakes. They don’t actually moisturize, but rather nourish your skin. Common emollients are butters and lightweight oils like shea butter, castor oil, squalene, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and argan oil.
Now that we’ve discussed moisturizers, let’s move on to what I consider the star ingredient: beeswax!
What is beeswax?
Young, female worker honeybees produce beeswax to construct the honeycomb where they store pollen and honey and raise their young. To produce one pound of beeswax, the bees consume about eight pounds of honey.
Pure beeswax is actually white, but is colored various shades of yellow through brown by substances in the hive, particularly pollen.
But my favorite way – and I think the most important way – to use beeswax is in my moisturizer.
Why use beeswax in your skin care
I’ve already discussed how beeswax can help dry skin patches by pulling in moisture and creating a protective barrier.
But another reason to use beeswax in your skin care is that it is antimicrobial. A mixture of honey, beeswax, and olive oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and diaper dermatitis. Another study showed that a mixture of those three substances could inhibit the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, what we commonly refer to as “staph,” and Candida albicans, which causes fungal infections like oral thrush and yeast infections.
Beeswax is also rich in Vitamin A, which helps reduce wrinkles and promote the reproduction of skin cells. (For an extra boost of glowing skin, take a daily collagen supplement containing hydrolyzed collagen type II.)
How to use MIG Living’s lotion stick
To get the full effect of the beeswax in MIG Living’s lotion stick, I recommend using it in conjunction with a dry brush and a gentle, nontoxic soap. Once you’ve exfoliated and cleansed in the shower, turn off the water and massage the lotion onto warm, wet skin to lock in the moisture. Apply a very small amount onto your arms and legs, paying close attention to your elbows, hands, and knees. Pat with a towel to dry.
You can buy MIG Living’s lotion stick here, but I recommend purchasing the Essentials Body Bundle that includes the soap and lotion. You can save 20 percent on your order by signing up for Subscribe N Save.
Is your face dry? Then you need MIG Living’s Facial Lotion Bar! Use it in conjunction with the Charcoal Ritual Cleansing Bar, Rosewater Kombucha Toner, and Blackberry Leaf Serum for the ultimate skincare routine that’s simple yet incredibly effective.
When home remedies don’t work
If you try the home remedies and you still don’t find relief for your dry skin patches, you might need to make an appointment with a doctor because it could be a warning sign of a more serious disease. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “long-standing itch can be a sign of several diseases, including: blood disease; diabetes; kidney disease; liver disease; HIV; (and an) overactive thyroid gland.”