How dry your skin is largely depends on the amount of natural oils, called skin sebum, in your skin already. Although dry skin can be brought on by a variety of factors (such as getting older, genetics, environmental factors like sun exposure, air-conditioning, etc.), there are a few general tips that are always helpful in treating dry skin.
1. Moisturise well
This is the golden rule if you want to manage your dry skin. It is best to moisturise immediately after a shower/bath when your skin is slightly damp to trap any moisture that remains. Using an oil based moisturiser such as Youth Elixir organic face oil instead of a cream is often more effective at treating dry skin. This is because oil moisturisers not only help prevent water from evaporating and replenish your skin’s natural oils but they also provide vitamins and nutrients to the deep layers of the skin thus promoting the growth of healthier skin cells, which in turn reduces dryness and patches.
2. Eat avocados
Healthy skin often starts from within as we know and (surprise, surprise!) your diet can have a huge effect on your skin. Eating nutrient-rich wholefoods and eliminating junk is important but also eating more oily foods such as walnuts, olive oil, and avocado (my fave!) will help replenish much needed essential fatty acids in the body and the skin helping to reduce dryness. These healthy oil-containing ingredients are best eaten raw so that their nutrients and antioxidants are preserved.
3. Avoid harsh cleansers
Avoiding harsh soaps and foaming facial cleansers is crucial if you hope to give your skin the best chance at healing (although this can be impossible for your hands given the pandemic). These harsh soaps and cleansers (including facial wipes I'm afraid) are problematic because they strip the naturally occurring oils from your skin. By removing these natural oils that would normally help to keep moisture levels in your skin maintained, these harsh soaps and cleansers leave your skin dry, damaged, and more susceptible to environmental stresses such as pollution. To fix this, instead use an oil-based cleanser for your face or simply coconut oil with some cotton wool, which even removes waterproof mascara. And to get relief for your pandemic 'sanitiser-stricken' hands, choose washing them over using sanitiser where possible and apply a body oil which will nourish the deep layers of the skin.
4. Don't use products containing alcohol
Alcohol is a very drying ingredient for your skin but unfortunately a large proportion of skincare products use alcohol in their formulations. This is because of alcohol’s ability to help get rid of excess oil instantly from the skin and stabilise other ingredients in the product, however this leads to detrimental effects in the long run. Before you buy, check the product's ingredients list and make sure it doesn't contain alcohol, especially watch out for SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol. Not all alcohol was created equal however as there is a group of the so called 'fatty alcohols', which are non-irritating and safe to use even for dry skin (such as cetyl, stearyl, and cetearyl alcohol) and you don't need to worry about those.
5. Have cooler showers
This may sound like an odd tip especially in winter but cooling down the temperature of the water you bathe or shower in can improve dry skin significantly. The hot steam created by a shower/bath actually dries out your skin's natural oils quicker than if you were to use warm or cold water. Just think about washing dishes and how cold water doesn't help get any grease out whilst hot water melts everything away. Probably not the most beautiful of examples but really, hot showers are best avoided.
Hope you found these tips helpful and remember - moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
Enjoyed reading this article? Sign up below to hear from me next time or shop my organic skincare products.