When it comes to dry or flaky skin, we seem always to want to reach for the latest lotion, apply it and hope that our dry skin will magically disappear! However, for most of us, this may not be enough. By getting down to the source of the problem of having dry skin, we see that this is a multi-faceted issue that can affect the health of not only ourselves but of our families as well. While lotion is a great first step, here are some other steps to consider.
Add a Humidifier
When we have dry or flaky skin, we rarely think about the air in our home or office. This can be a huge factor and make a difference in keeping our skin healthy and hydrated. A humidifier can increase the amount of moisture in the air. This increase not only makes it easier to breathe but also nourishes your skin. Increasing the moisture in your home or office is a great way to eliminate issues with dry skin. You can choose whole-house humidifiers or smaller models you can use in just one room at a time.
Avoid Extra Hot Showers or Baths
While they can feel comforting to us in the cold winter months, extra hot showers or baths dry out your skin. Extended heat can cause your pores to dilate. When your pores dilate, they expel the natural oils that can keep your skin hydrated. By taking quick showers and baths, you are helping your skin to retain its natural oils. By maintaining the oils, you’ll have fewer issues with either dry or flaky skin.
Use Moisturizer Directly After Bathing
Lock in your natural oils and give your skin a moisture boost by applying moisturizer right after showering. We recommend blotting your skin instead of vigorously drying your skin. When choosing a moisturizer, choose an ointment or cream instead of a lotion. Ointments and creams are nourishing, add moisture to the skin, and usually have fewer scents than lotion.
Choose Layers Over a Fireplace
Image via Flickr by anathea
Though it may seem counterintuitive, layers are better choices than a fireplace or heater. External heat sources can dry out your skin and rid it of natural oils. By layering, you are locking in the moisture to your skin and reducing the amount of surface area that is exposed. Layers also allow you to retain your heat better and can be shed if needed.
The exfoliating dry skin should be a part of your weekly, if not daily cleansing regime. When we exfoliate, we are removing dead skin cells. When our skin begins to feel dry and even scratchy in places, gentle exfoliation can help remove those dead cells. There are several types of exfoliants available to use, and it is best to get advise from a skin care professional on the best type for your skin.
In general, it is best to avoid exfoliates that contain rough materials such as sugar, salts, or crystals. These types of exfoliates have sharp edges that can add to already irritated and dry skin. Chemical exfoliants can also be irritating to the skin and should be used with caution. Electronic skin devices are quite popular now and seem to be a gentle and effective way of exfoliating dry and flaky skin. A gentle vibrating wave from the battery powered device helps to gently remove dead skin cells. Try adding gentle exfoliation to your cleansing routine for smooth skin and to reduce dry skin.
Eat Healthy For Your Skin
Diet can be a major contributing factor to dry, and flaky skin and certain foods can contribute to dry skin while other foods can help your skin look radiant. Eating excessive sugar can spike your insulin levels which may contribute to the irritated and dry skin. Some people may have dairy intolerances or even allergies which can also contribute to dry skin. It is advisable to eat a balanced diet high in vegetables, with healthy plant-based fats, such as avocado that help to nourish the skin with essential oils. Eat fruits that are high in vitamin C, such as citrus and peppers, and eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin A which is excellent for nourishing dry skin.
Drink Your Water
The best way to keep yourself hydrated is to drink your water. By maintaining hydration, you can fix the problem before it even starts. The old standard of eight glasses a day still holds up, but new recommendations say that we need approximately 15-16 total 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day. This total amount includes hydration from food, coffee, and all ingested liquids.
Make sure and drink plenty of water and eat a healthy balanced diet for internal hydration and nutrition. Make drinking water fun by purchasing a beautiful BPA-free, stainless steel, or glass water bottle. Exfoliate regularly, apply moisturizer right after a warm bath and install a humidifier to keep your home from drying out and contributing to dry skin. Check with your local HVAC company to inquire about establishing a humidifier in your home today. Your body will enjoy the benefits of moist air, and your skin will be radiant and glowing!