Using harsh products or not taking good care of your skin can lead to damaged skin, which usually manifests as wrinkles, fine lines, flaky patches, age spots, and more. Thankfully, there are many natural ways to help heal damaged skin. Here are nine ways you can speed up the healing process and prevent further damage to your face and body.
This is one of my favorite ingredients for treating damaged skin. It’s a form of vitamin B3 that seems to have great anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. Plus, there’s early evidence that niacinamide is effective at increasing ceramide levels in your skin, which can help restore barrier function and reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL), or wetness. While no topical product I’ve tried contains enough niacinamide to be truly effective, it’s a good ingredient to look for if you have severely damaged skin and are looking for something that might help.
2) Aloe Vera
If you have damaged skin on your face, it’s important to take special care of it. Start by eating a healthy diet and drinking lots of water. As for topical remedies, aloe vera gel works wonders for rehydrating your skin. You can find it in most drugstores, but make sure to buy a 100% pure version—you should be able to read that it is on the label. Apply aloe vera gel immediately after washing your face, as soon as you get out of bed every morning and every night before bed.
A well-known natural healer, ginger is a potent antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation. This root has been used for thousands of years in traditional Asian medicine and has a long history of medicinal use. A study published in Phytotherapy Research found that ginger extract had an anti-inflammatory effect similar to NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Another study published in Asia Pacific Journal of Pharmacology found it aided pain relief when applied topically. Make sure you choose fresh ginger, not powdered; store it in your refrigerator and try adding it to your meals throughout the day!
4) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful way to heal damaged skin. Its powerful antibacterial properties will soothe your skin and help it recover from blemishes, rashes, or other skin issues. The best part? It’s affordable and natural, so you can use it on any type of skin without worrying about harsh chemicals or side effects. For best results, dilute one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water and apply it with a cotton ball in circular motions until dry. You can also soak a washcloth in apple cider vinegar and leave it on your face for 10 minutes while you relax in the tub. Repeat daily until your acne has cleared up or blemishes are less noticeable.
5) Baking Soda
Rub a paste of baking soda and water on your skin. The baking soda will help neutralize any acidity in your skin, which in turn can reduce inflammation. The carbon dioxide that is released when you combine baking soda with water will also help remove bacteria from your pores. However, make sure not to mix too much baking soda at once — it’s safe for use on all areas of your body, but you don’t want to risk any discomfort by applying too much. Repeat as necessary until symptoms subside.
6) Raw Honey
Raw honey is a portion of awesome skin-healing food. It has antiseptic properties and can soothe damaged or irritated skin due to bug bites, burns, cuts, and scrapes. Raw honey also helps skin heal faster after getting a tattoo. And with its natural anti-bacterial properties it’s great for acne! The added bonus is that raw honey makes your skin look good too (due to its antioxidant property). To use raw honey as a facial mask mix one part raw honey with one part water and apply evenly on the face (avoiding your eyes) Leave on for 20 minutes then rinse off with warm water. You can do it two times a week if you have dry skin or once every two weeks if you have oily/combo type of skin.
7) Rose Water
Rosewater is known for its skin-healing properties, thanks to its high vitamin C content. If you don’t have rose water on hand, you can use regular plain water instead. Just make sure you pat (don’t rub) your face dry after washing. If you have really sensitive skin, buy a commercial product specifically labeled as non-drying or calming. Applying a calming moisturizer may also help ease inflammation. As with most things skincare-related—the gentler, the better!
8) Turmeric Powder
Turmeric is a spice that many have taken for its anti-inflammatory properties. Recent research suggests it has other health benefits, too. Adding a teaspoon of turmeric to your daily diet may help improve your blood sugar levels, according to one study. Turmeric can also help you lose weight and fight cancer because it contains curcumin, which activates fat-burning genes, according to another study by researchers at Louisiana State University. To reduce bloating and promote weight loss, drink warm water with a teaspoon of turmeric powder in it every morning before breakfast.
9) Yogurt and Milk
Yogurt and milk naturally have lactic acid. This helps with cell renewal, especially for skin cells. Add either of these to your bath or face cleanser, leave it on your skin for 10 minutes, then rinse off with water. You’ll experience a boost in cell renewal which will lead to smoother and healthier skin. There are also lots of moisturizers and other products that can be made from yogurt or milk, so there are tons of ways you can use it! It is particularly good at reducing wrinkles as well. Yogurt can reduce signs of aging such as fine lines around the eyes, mouth, and forehead when applied daily. Calcium also contributes greatly toward bone health by helping your body absorb other minerals more efficiently.