Dry Skin? How To Make Your Own Moisturizer cream!
Is Your Skin As Dry As The Desert? Here's Some Help!
When I found out that we were moving to the desert (the Mojave Desert, here in Las Vegas, Nevada), I would joke that I was going to spend my days laying around at the pool and turn into "leather lady". (Referring to my SKIN getting very dark until it turns into a leathery-look). Now I was kidding when I said it, but if it really did happen, I would really be upset!
So, since we've moved here I've been very careful to always have some kind of sunscreen on whenever I am outdoors, and because of the dryness in the air here, I am always using moisturizer. The humidity level is very low here. We have a "meter" that measures humidity in the air, and it constantly stays around 16 percent. Pretty low, and low enough that sometimes when I pet one of the kitties, we both get a "shock!"
In other parts of the country, you will get this kind of dry air usually in the winter, here it is year round! Dry skin is very common here, everywhere really, and it can occur in all ages, and in people who normally have no other skin problems.
You will know that your skin is getting dry when you see the appearance of very fine lines, or your skin feels "rough" and itches. Sometimes, your skin, especially on your arms here in the desert, can take on the appearance of a fish net like "cracked" look, similar to fine fracture lines that happen in cracked porcelain. This is something I noticed on my husband's arms when he was here for a while, and now I am even noticing it on my own arms!
Dermatologists call dry skin "xerosis" or "asteatosis" and it is sometimes referred to as dermatitis when it gets to the point that it is red and inflamed. I once read that dry skin can be compared to putting saran wrap over a cake. Saran wrap keeps the moisture IN so the cake and frosting doesn't dry out, your skin is very similar to "saran wrap"... it is there to protect you from losing the moisture in your body, and to keep foreign bacteria from causing infections. Your skin is really pretty remarkable!
It's natural to think that applying water to your skin would be a solution to the dry skin problem, but it actually can make the problem worse by removing the natural "oils" in your skin, especially if you use water that is too hot. You should take short showers or baths if you are prone to dry skin, and use moisturizer liberally when you get out of the water.
There are several kinds of moisturizers that you should use when you are constantly exposed to dry air. You should use one on your body, and hands, and one that doesn't have as many "perfumes" and additives for your face.
One moisturizer that I have found that works wonders is a "Glycerin" based moisturizer made by "Camille Beckman." These not only smell wonderful, but they do a GREAT job of moisturizing your skin, and it is available unscented as well! This can be used for your hands and body primarily. I first found this moisturizer when we had taken our boys out to the Grand Canyon years ago, I found it in a gift shop in Winslow, Arizona.. and have been using it ever since. I figured, if this stuff works in the desert, it will work anywhere, and it DOES!
Personally, I use a different moisturizer on my face. What you want to find is one that is "hypoallergenic." You can go and buy expensive moisturizers, but honestly, I'm not convinced that they are THAT much better for your face than a less expensive moisturizer that works well.
Some that I have found that work very well are "Curel" and "Nivea" and when my skin is very dry (like when we moved here), I started using "Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Skin Therapy Cream With Aloe." I even use the "Gold Bond" on my face, with VERY good results.
Now, if you'd prefer a more natural approach, it IS possible to make your very own cocoa butter cream at home! Here's how it's done -
First you will need the following items:
- 1/2 cup cocoa butter
- 2 tbsp. grated beeswax
- 2 tsp. distilled water
- 3 tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
Cocoa Butter Cream ~
- 1. Mix two tbsp. of grated beeswax with two tsp. of distilled water in a pot and melt over LOW heat on the stove.
- 2. Add 1/2 cup of cocoa butter to the melted beeswax and stir. Once it's well blended, gradually add 3 tbsp. of sesame oil, the 2 tbsp. of coconut oil, and 1 tsp. of olive oil. Stir these ingredients until they are well blended.
- 3. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the liquid into a jar, then let the mixture cool. Mixture will thicken upon standing.
This is not only economical, but when you make it yourself, you KNOW what ingredients are in it, and that there are no chemicals that could possibly cause a bad reaction.
There really IS a difference between "cream" moisturizers and "lotion" ones. Cream moisturizers are usually white and disappear when rubbed into your skin, and generally don't leave a "greasy" feel to your skin.
Lotion moisturizers on the other hand, are suspensions of oily chemicals in alcohol and water. These are the least greasy, and very popular. BUT, because they do have some alcohol in them, and they can be somewhat drying when compared to a "cream." Doesn't it almost seem like an oxymoron to use a "lotion" for dry skin that could possibly dry your skin? I thought so, too! The bottom line is that if you are using a moisturizer that has very little or NO greasy feel to it, you are probably not getting as much moisture as you might need.
To be completely effective, moisturizer should be applied about three times a day. Hopefully, using this advice will help you to get through the dry, winter season with less dry skin, and if you are like me, you'll be able to better adapt to the dryness inherent with living in the desert!