6 Skin care tips to help dry skin
by Jacquie Carter, beauty expert
Do you have dry skin? Do the words itchy, scratchy, tight and sensitive pop into your mind? Dry skin doesn’t just occur in the wintertime. It can stick with you 12 months out of the year! There are definitely some simple tips we can all follow to help alleviate the discomfort and the appearance of dry skin.
Sometimes it feels like no matter what I do, when I look in the mirror I just look dried out and older then I really am. On a deeper note, it’s not just about looks, it’s also about how it feels when my skin is dry. I’m not sure if having dry skin is worse than having oily skin or vice versa—on average, people with dry skin tend have less blemishes and breakouts than someone with oily skin. But, we do tend to look a little bit older when our skin is dry. People who have oily skin tend to look a bit younger but, unfortunately, can suffer from more blemishes and breakouts. You know the old expression: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence? Well, I think this expression applies when it comes to our skin type.
Sometimes dry skin can be a bit disheartening. I put together some tips that have definitely worked for me over the years.
Dry skin tip 1: Say no to hot water
I’m the first to admit that there’s nothing better than a hot, steamy shower or bath. However, while the rest of the body feels great, my skin suffers under the heat. Hot water can strip your body of its natural oils that act as a barrier on our skin. This barrier is super important because it helps to trap that much needed moisture which keeps our skin hydrated, soft and smooth. If you can, avoid a hot shower and take a nice warm one instead. And while we all love to linger in the tub, it’s best to get in and out quickly to avoid the drying of our skin. Limit yourself to 5 to 10 minutes maximum. When you get out of the shower, gently pat your skin dry, don’t rub and immediately apply your facial and body moisturizers.
Dry skin tip 2: Be gentle
When we cleanse our skin, sometimes we get a little rough. Sometimes, we literally want to scrub our bodies clean. When it comes to dry skin, we need to take it easy and gently cleanse. Don’t exfoliate or scrub your skin too hard because it can irritate and thicken your skin—not a good thing. It’s important to use gentle cleansers as well. Anything with harsh deodorants and detergents can leave your skin feeling extra dry and irritated. Choose a cleanser that contains natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, which will help soothe and soften the skin. Lastly, remember to rinse clean. You want to remove all traces of soap and cleanser from your body, especially your face. Lingering product can cause drying and itching.
Dry skin tip 3: Protection is key
We’ve discussed at great length the importance of sun care products for the face and body. The damage caused by the UVA and UVB rays not only burn our skin, but also contribute to aging. The signs of aging are not pretty and include fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, skin roughness and dryness. Yes, dryness! It’s important to wear sunscreen products year round, not just in the summer. You must include a protective moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunscreen into your regimen for maximum daily protection against the sun’s rays… and to help alleviate dryness.
Dry skin tip 4: Just for the men
For all of the guys out there who suffer from dry skin, this one is for you. Shaving your face can definitely irritate dry skin. Each time you scrape a razor across your skin, you aren’t only removing unwanted hair, you’re also removing your natural oils. It’s important to shave during or immediately after your shower. This will allow your facial hair to become softer and more pliable, which ultimately will make shaving easier for you. Make sure your razor is sharp so you can avoid irritation. Always use a shaving cream or gel, preferably one with moisturizing properties. Avoid alcohol based aftershaves and toners at all costs, as they will only contribute to further dryness. Choose a good facial toner as a healthier alternative to aftershave.
Dry skin tip 5: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
If your skin is dry and uncomfortable, adding moisture is very important. Again, apply your moisturizers immediately after your bath or shower while your skin is still damp. Be sure to use a daytime product that contains SPF and a richer, replenishing night cream at bedtime. A hydrating eye cream is perfect for the delicate skin around the eyes. An all-over body lotion or gel will help with dryness and itchiness everywhere else on the body. The legs, arms, back, hands, and EVERYWHERE else can get dry without proper moisturization. If you suffer from dry hands, be sure to apply a nice hand and body lotion every time you wash your hands. When water evaporates from your skin, it can draw even more moisture out of your skin. A good moisturizing cream or lotion is really your best defense against dry skin.
Dry skin tip 6: Stay hydrated
Now that we’ve discussed being moisturized on the outside, remember it’s also important to moisturize on the inside. Drinking water throughout the day not only keeps your body, including your skin hydrated. I prefer to drink green tea all day long. Some days I try to beat my own record by seeing how many cups of tea I can drink in a day! It’s hydrating so drink up!
Having dry skin can be a real drag. For some of us, we deal with it every day. For others, it’s seasonal and only becomes bothersome during the colder months. Whatever the case, we can practice these simple tips in hopes of making a difference in our skin. I know there are many other tips to help combat dry skin and I would love to hear what works for you. Please leave your best advice in the comments section below.
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