Dry skin can make you look older and feel uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are easy and inexpensive ways to keep your skin supple and smooth year round. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you'll be on your way to softer and healthier skin.
Change the Way You Wash
1. Select mild cleansers. Harsh soaps and hand sanitizers can make your skin feel drier. Deodorant soaps and cleansers with fragrance or alcohol strip away your skin's natural oils. Look for moisturizing bars and soap free cleansers instead.
2. Use a gentle touch. Massage your skin and scalp lightly rather than using vigorous scrubbing motions. Minimize your use of bath sponges, loofahs, and brushes that could also irritate your skin. Use a towel to pat yourself dry instead of rubbing.
3. Limit your time in the shower. Those long, hot showers you love may be stripping away your skin's oily layer. Keep showers and baths to 10 minutes or less. Also, lukewarm water will protect those natural oils better than hotter temperatures.
Make the Most of Your Moisturizer
1. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing. Lather on the moisturizer while your skin is still damp from the shower or from washing your face.
* Oily products were particularly effective in preventing the evaporation of water from your skin. You'll be sealing in the moisture and softness.
2. Select the right moisturizer for your skin. Reach for intensive products if you already have red, scaly patches. Greasy formulas like petroleum jelly and oils will give you maximum hydration. Moisturizers with more water feel lighter and are usually adequate for the normal or oily skin.
3. Update your skincare routine for seasonal needs. You may need more moisturizer in the winter to counter the effects of cold, dry air and indoor heating. Summertime may come with its special needs too if you spend a lot of time swimming.
Develop These Easy, Healthy Habits for Your Skin:
1. Avoid scratching. Moisturizers and cold packs will soothe itchy skin better. You'll also lower your risk of infection.
2. Use fragrance-free laundry products. Look for alternatives to commercial fabric softeners that contain chemicals that are toxic to your skin and the environment.
* Your clothes will come out softer if you remove them from the dryer while they're still slightly damp or add some vinegar in the wash cycle.
3. Avoid fabrics that irritate your skin. You may be sensitive to wools or certain synthetics. Shop for clothing you can wear comfortably.
4. Get a humidifier. Combat dry air with a humidifier. You can get a portable model or one that attaches to your furnace. Just keep it clean to protect yourself from bacteria.
5. Turn down the heat. Central heating, fireplaces, and space heaters all reduce humidity. Try turning down the thermostat and dressing more warmly.
6. Protect your skin from too much sun exposure. Although the sunshine is a major source of Vitamin D and helps strengthen your immune system, natural heat also dries the skin. Usually, 15 minutes of sun each day is enough to soak up a good store of Vitamin D.
* Skin gets drier as you age, but you can slow down those effects by using a full spectrum sunscreen when you're not replenishing your Vitamin D.
7. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These essential acids have many benefits, including keeping your skin healthy. Indulge in fish, nuts, and olive oil.
8. Engage in regular exercise. An active lifestyle is good for your skin as well as your overall well-being. Aerobic activities and drinking plenty of water will improve your circulation and complexion.
9. See a doctor. If home remedies fail to work or you have sores that could get infected, get a physical examination. Your doctor can check for underlying conditions or refer you to a dermatologist for specialized treatments.
Get rid of dry skin by changing the way you wash and adopting a healthy lifestyle. You'll love your new complexion and feel smooth all over.