Dry skin can be irritating, itchy, and may make you more likely to suffer other skin health issues. Most people experience dryness now and again. It usually flares up in the winter, when reduced humidity and wind can be taxing on skin.
Luckily, there are many ways to help your skin get – and produce – the moisture it needs. Medication may not be necessary and a few simple habits can go a long way. Let’s look at five easy things you can do to help with dry skin:
Change Your Showering and Bathing Habits
Keeping your skin clean is important, but some methods of bathing can be harmful to sensitive skin. Hot showers and baths may inflame the skin, causing redness, itching, and peeling. Even when it’s not this severe, however, it can disrupt the skin’s natural moisture levels.
Oils, fats, and proteins on the surface of the skin contribute to its moisture levels even when we are not aware of them. When the skin is washed with very hot water, it can respond with an over-production of oils that eventually leads to dry skin. Lukewarm water is much gentler.
Moisturize Your Skin Regularly
Simple moisturizing products, such as petroleum jelly, can be very effective in soothing dry skin. Mineral oil is also potent and doesn’t require large amounts. Beware of products with lots of artificial scents and ingredients, which some people are sensitive to.
There are many rich moisturizers that still contain mostly natural ingredients. Look for selections that feature shae butter, ceramides, stearic acid, or glycerin. Start your moisturizing routine with a non-soap liquid cleanser, pat dry briefly, then apply a thicker moisturizer while skin is still damp.
If you’re concerned about dry hands, moisturizing your hands each time you wash them is valuable. This ensures that evaporating water won’t draw more moisture away from the skin.
Cover Up in Extreme Conditions
Sun damage is the major culprit behind dry and rough skin. A broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen is vital – especially if you wear it all year around. Remember, you can still be exposed to large amounts of harmful solar radiation even in overcast conditions!
Light, loose, long-sleeves shirts will protect your arms in the summer. To safeguard your neck, ears, and eyes, go for a 2-inch wide-brimmed hat. During winter or windy summer conditions, SPF 15 lip balm can fend off painful chapped lips.
Shave and Cleanse Gently
A soap-less cleanser is the perfect option in the shower, especially if it’s fragrance-free. Be leery of antibacterial cleansers, which are often harsh on skin. You should also avoid using too many peels, toners, or other alcohol-based skin treatments, since alcohol tends to be drying.
Shaving can irritate skin that’s already dry by scraping off natural oils. The best time to shave is after showering, since hairs require less effort to remove. Always use an appropriate shaving gel or cream and shave in the direction hair is growing.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier unit in your bedroom, office, or wherever you tend to spend the most time will give your skin an added advantage in the fight to retain healthy moisture levels. Whole house humidifiers are also available: They attach directly to your furnace.
To get the best performance from your humidifier unit, pair it with a hygrometer, a specialized device that measures humidity levels. While everyone will have a slightly different comfort level, humidity of 30% to 55% is right for most people.
When dry skin persists, a dermatologist can help you get to the root of the problem. For personalized advice, contact Boulevard Medical Healthcare.