I live in an arid climate. While my facial skin is extremely oily, the rest of my skin is dreadfully dry. Winter is the worst season for my skin as the cold weather causes it to scale and crack. It can be quite uncomfortable and embarrassing. As with any skin condition, proper skin care starts with a good diet.
Dry skin loses its resiliency and can crack and tear more easily. Dry skin can also be ashy or flakey. These are some tips to help reduce the irritation of dry skin.
- Hydrate. The best way to hydrate your skin is to drink plenty of water, at least 8 glasses per day.
- Bathing. Take short showers. Use warm water not hot. Limit bathing to once per day. Use soap only on private areas and armpits. Shave with a conditioner or oil based product rather than soap or shaving cream.
- Exfoliate. Use a loofah twice a week to exfoliate dry skin. Removing old dry skin will keep supple new skin on the surface and produce a healthy glow.
- Sun. Minimize sun exposure. The sun's most punishing rays are between 10am and 4pm. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and cover up as much as possible. Wear a hat.
- Humidify. Use a humidifier in your home to combat the natural climate. The heating and air conditioning system can rob the air of moisture thus intensifying dry skin symptoms.
- Moisturize. Use products that contain lanolin, glycerin or alpha hydroxy acids. These ingredients will form a barrier and help keep moisture in the skin.
Caring for dry facial skin is even more important. Dry skin tends to wrinkle faster than oily or combination skin.
- Cleansing. Use a non-foaming cleansing product. Cleansers that foam typically have drying agents that will rob skin of essential oils. The cleanser should have the consistency of lotion or cream. Use warm water, not hot to keep moisture in the skin.
- Toner. A gentle toner should be used to remove any residue of makeup that could clog pores.
- Moisturize. Use a day-time moisturizer with SPF protection of at least 15. At night a creamier moisturizer and eye cream should be applied to rehydrate delicate areas around the eyes.
- Exfoliate. Do not use a harsh scrub. Use an enzyme based product that will slough the dead skin cells away. Dry skin can have a dull appearance and cause foundation to pool in fine lines around the lips and eyes.
- Mask. Use a non-drying hydrating mask. Best results come after exfoliating.
Skin changes as we age. Dry skin looses its suppleness and needs more care. It is important to reduce the negative factors of our environment and maximize the use of moisturizing products to keep our skin feeling young and supple.