- Aging & Longevity
10 Healthy Tips for Dry Skin
Do you have Dry Skin?
Have you ever seen your skin look so dry or feel like leather? Or do you have flakes when your rub your skin even lightly? Well, you are just one of the hundreds of men and women burdened by such a problem, dry skin.
As I have dry skin, I often find myself horrified at the look of my legs. Worst is when I stare at them just when I am already in the car going out for dinner. It is a problem especially when you catch yourself staring at them constantly. They can be distracting.
The problem can be disturbing and in some cases may need to get professional help. Otherwise, a quick assessment and remedy of the environmental factors involved as well as an effective skin care routine targeted for dry skin will do.
Reasons Why your Skin Gets Dry
Although studies reveal that having dry skin is all in your system, many also argue that the same can be attributed to outside factors. Among others, the weather. This is especially true during winter.
Those windy days can make your skin go flaky. Likewise, being exposed to too much sun can make your skin really dry.The same is true when you stay the whole day in an air conditioned office where the air is so dry. Nonetheless, understanding the main cause of the problem is the first step to deal with this skin condition.
Your skin prevents bacteria, viruses and other foreign harmful substances from entering your body. It protects your muscles, internal organs, blood vessels and your nerves from trauma. Your skin is your first line of defense and when it’s dry, it’s as awkward as Grumpy without wine….it gets irritated preventing it from doing anything well. So, take note of why your skin do a Sahara:
- Weather. Winter is the worst, when the harsh cold dries out your skin and reduces its ability to hold moisture. Just watch how dry your lips get in the winter. The central heating ads to the attack and indoors or outdoors, you are pummelled. Of course, for relief, there is always summer! In summer, the air in your air-conditioner sucks the moisture from your skin like a straw in an apple juice. So, your air conditioning and heating system which make life more bearable when the weather is harsh can also harm you.There is one day in each of September and May where your skin celebrates perfection!
- Hot baths and showers. Isn't a long, lovely, luxurious shower or bath with hot water so tempting in the winter? I don't know about you but I just love to stay under that hot shower or in the hot bath tub to relieve some of that winter cold. Needless to say, this is a bad idea. This only makes the moisture in your skin evaporate more rapidly and removes much of the protective oil you depend on. Grandma was right…there is always a consequence for having fun.
- Soap and too much of it. Soap is often tough to the skin and when you give the grandma behind-the-ears rough wash cloth/sponge scrapping, you are flensing yourself.. You get the lather and you feel dirt free but the prune like image in the mirror really tells the story . Harsh detergents in many soaps not only dry out the skin but strip its natural oil as well.
Sun Exposure Can harm your Skin
More Reasons Why Your Skin Gets Dry
- Tight clothing or duds made out of rough fabric. Be careful when you layer your clothing in the winter that you always put the smooth and non-abrasive cloth closest to your skin. Some fabrics irritate your skin. I remembered wearing some synthetic wool that caused serious irritation, so since then, I always made sure I have soft fabrics next to my skin. Try a bit of hand loomed silk…wooowoooowoooo!
- Drugs or medication. Some drugs can cause dry skin.
- Aging and changes in hormone levels. Aging brings a change in hormone levels and this can thin the dermis and the epidermis, leaving them less able to do their functions. Production of essential oils is reduced and affects skin elasticity and causes dryness. Grumpy does his bird dance to scratch all the itches!
- Thyroid disorder. Thyroid can affect the oil glands and their production of body oils causing dryness in the skin.
- Malnutrition. Your skin cells are covered with fat which acts as a protective layer, insulates the body from heat and cold, regulates temperature and serves as storage for energy. When your diet does not include fatty acids like Omega-3, then this protective layer in your skin gets eroded. Remember, your body is also made up of 70% water so make sure you are constantly hydrated. I’m trying to convince myself that masses of chocolate solves this. It does NOT. Curse!!!
- Fluctuation in glucose levels. Such fluctuation leads to dehydration and can cause dry skin.
- Skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis or atopic dermatitis. Eczema are those itchy red spots on your skin. Psoriasis is the rapid build-up of dry skin cells causing scales. Atopic dermatitis is really a common eczema often affecting the face, neck, elbows, wrists, knees and ankles. These irritate your skin and leave it unable to protect itself from outside pollution.
- Genetic predisposition. Some skin is so delicate it’s easily irritated. Is this the famous Grumpy Syndrome?
- Pollution. As the body's protective layer, the skin gets hammered by external pollution. Constant pollution attack on the skin, can cause dryness and irritation. Constant washing from dirt can also dry the skin. You can run….. but you can’t hide your hide!
- Sun Exposure. Strong ultraviolet radiation causes wrinkles, pigmentation, spots, roughness and itchiness.
Sun Exposure and Your Skin
10 Tips for Dry Skin
1. Use Moisturizer
Moisturizers are useful for dry skin. However, many of us do not really know how to apply this properly. We think that putting a lot of it and often is the secret to having a healthy skin. Not at all.
The best time to apply moisturizer is when you get out of the shower. Pat yourself dry gently. Never rub your skin. Apply gently the moisturizer while your skin is still damp and let your skin absorb it. Choose the moisturizer that has these ingredients: lanolin or mineral oil, ceramides or hyaluronic acid to retain water absorbed during the shower. First, try moisturizers in small containers or samples and choose the one that is best for your skin.
Have you ever noticed this?
Your skin loses about 30,000-40,000 dead skin cells every minute, sheds a layer each day and renews itself every 28 days
When to Moisturize Your Skin
The best time to moisturize your skin is right after your bath. When you have patted yourself dry, apply the moisturizer. Massage well the moisturizer into your skin. Your skin will absorb it better. You can also treat your skin with olive or coconut oil. Novels tell of stories of how the ancient Romans did this. I know for sure that the older women in Asia often use coconut oil on their skin especially the fresh ones they take straight from the coconut. They chip a piece of the mature coconut flesh and chew it and rub their skin with the resulting creamy oil.
This moisturizer gets really good reviews. It hydrates and feeds your skin using no harmful preservatives or chemicals. It is not greasy at all and it does not dry your skin as others do. Produced in a small family operation, the products are made to higher standards using organic and recyclable materials even in the packaging.
I have used many moisturizers and I am now convinced that unless they are organic with no harmful chemicals, I stay out of it. They don't do anything for you. It is just a waste of money.
Dry Skin Moisturizers - Choose well
If you live in Myanmar, you can try tanaka, the powder the women in Myanmar put on their faces. And it is acceptable to have this powder the whole day even when you go outside. There is wisdom in something tried and tested for ages. I was told by a Bangladeshi gentleman that in the past, Burmese women were famous for their beauty. Since Bangladesh is a close neighbor, many Bangladeshis married Burmese women. So, maybe tanaka is their secret to having beautiful skin.
But because you are not in Myanmar, you can try some of the creams available in your own area. Just remember, always try it out in a tiny spot of your skin before full use. You want to know if it will trigger allergenic reactions.
2. Eat Right for your Skin
Having supple and healthy skin is all about eating the right kind of food. Have as much of fruits and vegetables in your diet and see how your skin glows effortlessly.
We all know the role that Vitamin E plays in developing great skin. Thus, have green and leafy vegetables in your table often as a part of your skin care. Sunflower seeds are rich in Vitamin E and are great snacks.
3. Water Power your Dry Skin
Your Skin loves water
Never underestimate what water can do to your body. Drinking plenty of water everyday washes out the toxins in your body. It cleanses your system and keeps you feeling fresh, energized and hydrated all day.
Your skin is not spared from this kind of benefit that water gives. On a separate note, washing your face with tap water which has higher chlorine content might affect your skin. When you can, use distilled water. Or spring water. Still, if this is not available, water from any source will help.
Handwoven Natural Wear
4. Wear natural fibers
Avoid itchy fabrics that irritate your skin. Natural fibres often give more comfort. As we say, they breathe. Also, make sure you use detergents that are not harsh to wash your clothes and rinse these well.
Exercise for Glowing skin
5. Exercise for your skin
Go for yoga
You might wonder what exercise has got to do with your dry skin. You might not be aware of it but engaging in routine exercises, helps you develop glowing skin as it improves blood circulation and detoxifies you from within.
Mixing your own natural skin care product - Learn how
Make sure you try it first on a tiny spot of your skin to make sure you have no allergies to the ingredients in your product.
Your skin protects your inner organs from infections.
7. Protect your skin from the sun
Damage to your skin is often caused when you expose yourselves to too much sun. Often, you just like to laze around. If not, you are in your garden and can't just be bothered to put sunblock or use a hat. Or in the pool and who cares.
But this damage can sometimes be irreversible. I had been trying to take out the black spots in my arms for two years now with very little success. I often forget to do what is necessary to protect my skin. If you want to have glowing skin, you need to build good suncare habits.
Protection from the sun
How to protect your skin from the sun
- Use a wide brimmed hat when you go out in the sun or where the UV rays can be very strong.
- Use an effective sunscreen to block the UVA and UVB rays, SPF 30 or higher over the entire face and body.
- Use a protective balm for your lips as they are prone to dehydration because of the thin skin and the lack of oil glands in that area.
- Grow your aloe vera plant and use it for your skin. Cut the leaf and peel it and place the glutinous substance to cool your skin. When my skin is extra dry and itchy, I put aloevera as well.
8. Improve air quality in your home or office
This is especially true during winter when the air is so dry. Plug in a humidifier in the rooms you often use. You can also add plants to help clean the air.
If you are in warm climates and use air conditioners, open your windows when the room is not in use. I open our bedroom windows during the day as I don't use them. At night, when we go to bed, I open the living room windows. This way, new air comes in as the air can really be dry in rooms that are air conditioned.
Recently, we started using air purifiers and found that we can breathe easily. So invest in one for better air quality.
Plants to Clean the Air
9. Clean skin before going to bed
Before going to bed, make sure your skin is clean from all the pollution and make up that has accumulated during the day. Make sure you do this gently. Rubbing hard can irritate the skin. If you do this at night, you don't have to use soap again in the morning. This is especially true with your face where the skin is softer. Just wash with water to freshen the skin.
If you like using a cleanser, make sure you choose what is appropriate for your skin. When it irritates your skin, stop using it. If you have dry skin, use one that moisturises. Stick to natural products as often chemicals harm your skin more than rejuvenate it.
10. Use Coconut Oil for your Skin
Test it if your skin likes it. I prefer light moisturizer but I know that coconut oil works well. It is better to use immediately after you shower.
Use this for your skin
Dead Sea products have been very effective in helping your skin gets supple. Its properties rejuvenate the skin.
I first tried this when I went to the Dead Sea and got some to take home. My face felt clean as if all the dead cells that stuck to it have been removed. Because it is natural, it is much better for your skin.
Your skin contains keratin, a protein also found in nails and hair.
Special Care for Dry Skin
Your skin is very delicate and it takes special care. Remember, it is thinnest underneath your eyes. Try not to use any ordinary soap, moisturizer or cleansers to maintain your skin's healthy glow. Use organic skin care products that are made of only the best natural ingredients. You can have your choice from bath and skincare products to cosmetics. You can even make your own. Just the right mix for your own particular skin.
Say goodbye to dry skin with the right skin care. A bit of time each day and you're on your way to showing off your beautiful skin.
© 2010 Mary Norton