What Exactly is Dry Skin? It’s actually a very common skin problem. Plenty of factors can exacerbate this problem, including drying soaps, age, sun exposure and low humidity. Dry skin is sometimes only a temporary problem which is caused by dry weather. Showering too often, especially in water which is too hot, can cause dry skin.
Dry skin can look dehydrated, shrunken or flaky. It is common for the skin to appear rough. Redness, itching, flakiness or deep cracks are common in a dry skin sufferer. Some of the more severe dry skin cases might require the help of a dermatologist but a lot of dry skin troubles can be treated at home, using adequate skin care and modifying the diet.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Almost everybody experiences dry skin at some point in their life and finding out more about this common complaint can help you to take measures to prevent it. These are some common risk factors:
Age – Oil production often decreases as you become older and your skin changes over the course of your life. Skin products suitable when you were in your teens might be unsuitable if you are now in your thirties for example.
Bathing – If your showers or baths are too hot or too long, your skin can be stripped of its protective oils. These protective oils are necessary for keeping your skin moisturized. If you wash your hands too often, they might become red, chapped and sore.
Dehydration – If your skin is dry, it means it lacks water. If you fail to drink enough water, your skin will look and feel dry. Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is essential for optimum health, not just in your skin but your whole body.
Gender – Both genders can suffer from dry skin problems but the menopause makes dry skin worse in women.
Health – Various health issues can affect the ability of the body to care for the skin, which might result in dry skin. Illnesses such as diabetes can mean you are more likely to experience dry skin.
Exposure to Sunlight – The sun can make existing dry skin problems worse or dry out your skin to create problems.
Sometimes, having dry skin can result in other problems which need the help of a medical professional, such as a dermatologist. Eczema is one example of a dry skin condition. An eczema sufferer will have cracked skin, redness and inflammation.
Cellulites is another dry skin condition, where the skin layers are inflamed due to a bacterial infection. It is best to take care of dry skin as soon as you know you have it, rather than allow more serious complications to develop.
How to Prevent Dry Skin:
One way of preventing dry skin is to spend less time in the bath or shower. Bathe or shower once a day and make sure you are in and out within fifteen minutes. This means your body’s natural oils are not stripped. Use gentle cleansers on your skin, preferably ones which contain added moisturizers.
You can buy soaps with added moisturizers, such as Dove, Olay and Neutrogena. If you prefer not to use soap, you can get dry skin cleansers, such as Aveeno or Cetaphil. Antibacterial soaps and deodorants are known for causing dry skin. When you wash, be gentle with your skin and blot yourself with a towel rather than rubbing.
How Do Moisturizers Work?
A moisturizer is like a barrier between your skin and the elements. The moisturizer holds water in your skin tissue, making it feel and look better. Washing removes the skin’s natural oils and moisturizers replace them. Moisturizers need to be applied after cleansing the skin and throughout the day as you need it. If you apply moisturizers to damp skin, this can reduce dry skin problems too.
Sunscreen and moisturizer combinations are not normally as good together as using a separate cream for each purpose. Use a good moisturizer and also use a good sunscreen.
Selecting the best moisturizer for your dry skin is simpler if you understand how various moisturizers work. You can find cheap moisturizers or very expensive ones. Knowing exactly what is best for your skin is vital.
Aloe is an ingredient commonly found in good moisturizers. It is an emollient which has been extracted from aloe vera plant leaves. This helps to remove dead skin and lock in water, keeping the skin moisturized.
Alpha hydroxy acids help with exfoliation. Antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E, help to protect cell membranes and fatty tissues. They repair damage caused by sun rays and air pollutants. Dimethicone is a silicon which lubricates and protects the skin.
Emollients are a mixture of water and oil, meaning they are heavier than other moisturizers. Emollients help to lubricate the skin and replace lipids. Glycerin attracts water to the skin and is a natural by-product of soap production. Humectants attract water and work best in humid places.
Vitamin A (retinoic acid) improves sun damage and helps to keep the pores clean. Rosehip seed oil can decrease imperfections including wrinkles and can repair dry skin.
You might have to try a few different products on your skin until you find one you like the look, feel and smell of, and one that suits your particular skin type. Some people do not like greasy creams or runny lotions. Remember that some products are supposed to be used once a day and others require more frequent application.
You should feel the benefit as soon as you apply your moisturizer. If your skin is very dry it might take a bit longer, perhaps up to a couple of weeks, to notice the results.
It is vital to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, for your overall health. Wash your face once a day and steer clear of harsh cleansers. Do not bathe or shower in very hot water and keep the bathing time under fifteen minutes.
If you have dry skin or your skin is drying out more as you age, apply a good moisturizer every day. These simple measures can have a great effect on maximizing the health and appearance of your skin.