Rid Yourself of Dry Skin
Dry skin (known as xerosis) is an extremely common problem, nearly everyone has either had or will soon experience an episode of dry skin. Sometimes the problem is chronic, due to illness or medication. Or its cause is seasonal, the winter-time is especially rough on the skin because cold weather and indoor heat dehumidifies the air. Sometimes dry skin is due to our own bad habits, but no matter the reason, dry skin affects us all at one time or another.
The skin needs a certain amount of moisture to remain smooth, soft and supple. Sometimes the simple act of taking a long hot bath or shower is the culprit. The extreme temperature of the water, combined with soaps with harsh detergents and other chemicals followed by a rough towel drying can remove the skin’s lipids – essential oils that the skin naturally produces. All this dries out the skin making it feel itchy and uncomfortable. If your skin is dry try making a few changes to your bathing routine, it may be the thing that alleviate this problem.
The bath and or shower water should not be extremely hot, it should be warm or lukewarm. If you find it difficult to bathe in cooler water, try to gradually reduce the temperature each time you bathe and so you can become adjusted to a lower temperature. Try to cut down on the time spent in warm or hot water, try to whittle the time spent in the water to ten minutes.
Harsh soaps can also dry skin. Look for soaps that will not cause excessive drying of the skin. The easiest way to spot a soap that could be harsh is by their strong smell and color. When a soap has a lot of perfume and the color of the soap is bright it will, more often than not, also leave your skin feeling tight and dry. These kinds of soaps should be avoided, but if you feel you must use a harsh soap, limit the use of the soap to the areas that actually need it. Do not use these harsh soaps on your face and neck.
Immediately after you shower, try an oil-based moisturizing cream or a good body oil. Oil-based products, instead of a water based lotions or creams are more effective in keeping the moisture in the skin. However, if you are prone to breakouts you may need to experiment with different creams and lotions to find the right one. When you towel dry, avoid using the towel aggressively, instead press the towel into the skin to absorb the excess water, while leaving moisture on the skin.
If you suffer from severe dry skin, a humidifier can help since it can help replace the moisture that is normally found in the air. Drinking a lot of water and cutting down on caffeine and alcohol can also help keep your skin hydrated.
The sun, wind and cold can make a dry skin problem worse. If you are exposed to the outdoors often, you should take steps to protect your the skin from the elements. During severe weather you should protect the skin with the use of hats, gloves and scarves, in addition to wearing sunscreen and moisturizer. I find the best moisturizer is regular old-fashioned petroleum jelly, keep a tube handy during the winter months.
If you have made changes and find your skin is still feeling itchy and dry, you may have to look further. Perhaps your laundry detergent is causing your dry skin, or the fabric softener or the dryer sheets. Some people are very sensitive to laundry detergents. If you decide to experiment with brands, look for the unscented kind first and give each brand several weeks to see if your skin reacts differently.
For most people, however, alleviating dry skin is simple. Just a few changes make the problem go away and lessen the chances of ever suffering from it again.