Soothing recipes for irritated skin.
Another blog party!
Hmmm. Irritated skin. Let's see:
My first and foremost remedy for almost all irritated skin is chickweed (Stellaria media). I've posted about it here ("quick fix: itch") here ("herbs in salves") and here ("chickweed juice"), among other places.
And I LURVE PLANTAIN IN ALL CAPS, because it's so enormously helpful with various bites and stings. That's all species of Plantago, but I use Plantago major, because that's the one we have here. (We also have sea plantain, but only on the coast.)
For sunburnt skin, almost any (any!) astringent herb will do, but one that's on hand in most households is normal black tea (Camellia sinensis): brew a strong cuppa, let it cool until room temperature, and wash the sunburnt bits of your skin with that.
Another good one for itchy skin is the oat meal bath (Avena sativa), in tepid (not too hot) water. Try a cheesecloth bag with rolled or crushed oats and let it hang under the flow when you fill your bath, or use very very soft cloth and use your oatmeal baggy as a washcloth.
You'll find calendula (Calendula officinalis) in almost all of my salves, because it's such a good skin healer. Other salve herbs for skin troubles are rose and lavender; I use the dried herb of all three of these, and make them into oils, and make those into salves.
Then there's all the various facial masks, but that might be another topic.
For eczema I find it's best to find the cause (a food? a detergent? a piece of clothing? something else?) and remove that, and I'll just note here that atopic skin is mostly due to a sensitivity to dairy and dairy products - at least up here.
Dry skin, then, is mostly because you ingest too little fat. Add a bit of oil to your cooking, eat some fatty cold-sea fish (salmon, herring and the like), and use the real thing instead of low-fat alternatives.
Some of my friends, who can't be persuaded that their diet needs changing, instead slather on olive oil from top to toe after the sauna every Saturday. That works, too, of course, but as I detest the smell (and taste) of olive oil, I'd use another cold-pressed oil. Perhaps almond oil, as that has such a nice scent? Or sesame, or safflower, or ... the important thing is to reject rancid oils, and to use organically grown cold-pressed oils.