A dry skin condition can mean rough, cracked hands and a flaky complexion that could eventually lead to excessive wrinkling. Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema often go hand in hand with dry skin.
For any dry skin product, choose essential oils that balance the production of oil on the skin and also are anti-inflammatory so that they'll reduce irritation and its characteristic puffiness. If your dry skin is also mature skin, the historic "anti-aging" essential oils -- lavender, geranium, neroli, rosemary, and rose -- are particularly suitable. These essential oils are also thought to rejuvenate skin by encouraging new cell growth. Other excellent oils to use on dry skin are frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood. Perhaps their skin rejuvenating characteristics are the reason they have been so highly valued over the last two thousand years!
In small amounts, peppermint increases the production of oil in the skin. Chamomile, carrot seed, and helichrysum reduce inflammation that can accompany dry skin conditions. The latter two even help get rid of precancerous skin conditions that usually appear as raised discolorations on areas most exposed to the sun, such as the hands and face.
The best way to treat dry skin is with essential oils added to a cream or lotion. Both of these contain water, not just oil as in salves and ointments. The water is absorbed by the skin to help resolve the dryness. Meanwhile, the oil in these products acts as a protective barrier to keep moisture from evaporating out of the skin.
Try to purchase as pure a cream as possible. Your most likely bet is at a natural food store that sells cosmetics. You may even be able to find a cream that already contains essential oils that are good for your dry complexion. If not, purchase an unscented cream, and stir the oils into it yourself. One more thing you can do for dry skin is to avoid soap, except when your face is honestly dirty. Instead, a gentle oatmeal scrub (see the recipe in the sidebar below) combined with essential oils should be sufficient.
Essential oils to prevent aging: geranium, lavender, neroli, rose, rosemary
Essential oils for dry skin: all the oils that prevent aging, as well as frankincense, myrrh, and sandalwood
Essential oil to moisturize skin: peppermint
Essential oils for reducing inflammation and puffiness: chamomile, lavender