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Five natural skin-soothing beauty remedies

Are you tired of trying different remedies for eczema, or avoiding beauty creams in case they make the problem worse? Take a look in your kitchen cupboards and you could find a simple way to ease dry, itchy skin on your face and body. Discover 5 of the best natural remedies to soothe your skin.1

1. Hemp seeds

Hemp seeds have a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats to help keep skin 'watertight', plump, and smooth. Hemp also has an anti-inflammatory effect that's great for calming complexions, balancing dryness and helping to fight inflammation.

How to use it:

Available as a supplement, or in face creams and products like hemp seed nut butter and moisturisers. You can also try applying the oil straight on your skin*. Hemp seed is tasty too – try this simple and delicious vinaigrette: mix together 60ml hemp seed oil, 30ml balsamic vinegar, 1tsp of fresh oregano and a 1tsp of crushed garlic.

2. Oats

Used for generations to calm skin conditions, the starchiness of oats creates a barrier that allows the skin to hold on to moisture, while the rougher, fibrous husk of the oat acts as a gentle exfoliant.

How to use it:

Mix some oatmeal with a spoonful of natural yogurt into a paste and apply to your face. The yogurt gently dissolves dead and dull skin cells, without irritation. Or take an oat bath – add a handful of oats to a square of muslin cloth and tie in place under running bath water. Use the oat poultice on itchy, irritated areas of the body, or for all-over skin cleansing.

3. Honey

Excellent for dry skin conditions, honey has humectant powers, so it attracts and holds on to moisture in the skin. An anti-irritant, it's ideal for sensitive skin, plus research has shown it may help regenerate new skin growth.

How to use it:

Go for manuka honey, which has been shown to have particularly powerful benefits. Take 1tsp of manuka honey, two to three times daily, or apply manuka honey as a topical ointment on affected areas twice a day.

Handpicked article: Five Manuka honey masks to suit any skin type

4. Aloe vera

Aloe vera contains salicylic acid, a plant hormone that exerts a soothing, anti-inflammatory action. It also promotes skin growth and repair, and helps reduce pain and inflammation.

How to use it:

Aloe vera is available in many beauty products including creams, gels and lotions, and also in supplements and juices. You can even add aloe vera to your salad – just snip a piece off the plant and cut off the green skin, keeping the jelly core in one piece. Then cut the jelly into strips, soak in purified water for 10 minutes, place in a strainer and drain the aloe, rinsing well.

Handpicked article: 5 surprising reasons you need aloe vera

5. Nutmeg

Research shows nutmeg may help with reducing inflammation as well as pain – and it’s packed with antioxidants too.

How to use it:

Mix 1tsp of ground nutmeg powder, ½tsp (or a capsule) of vitamin E oil (a strong antioxidant and skin healer) and 1tbsp of manuka honey into a thick paste. Spread the mixture on your face and leave for around 20 minutes.

You can also add 1tsp of grated nutmeg to 10 ml olive oil to form a thick paste. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave for 10-12 minutes.

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This article has been adapted from longer features appearing in Healthy, the Holland & Barrett magazine. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies. Always do a patch test 24 hours before applying any new remedies to your skin.

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