Often seen as a common condition, dry skin can actually indicate more serious health concerns. Thankfully, in most cases, it’s a treatable issue that can be dealt with by simply counteracting the factors that contribute to it. From sweating to hot showers, dry skin can be caused by a wide range of factors easily avoidable by taking the right steps. Here are 5 tips to overcome dry skin.
Cleanse Your Skin at Least Twice a Day
Gentle, alcohol-free, and nonfoaming cleansers can help rehydrate your skin after long exposure to the elements. Other products commonly found in gentle cleansers, including stearic acid and linoleic acid, can even help repair your skin’s natural barrier and prevent future dehydration. If you have sensitive skin, however, using a cleanser once a day and rinsing dry skin with water throughout the day should suffice.
Cleansing your skin after working out or swimming is especially important to get rid of any unwanted chemicals or oils that can strip your skin of essential moisture. It’s also a great time to apply any moisturizers or topical medication you may use.
To overcome dry skin, it’s important to regularly apply moisturizer. At a minimum, you’ll want to moisturize once a day using a fragrance-free and allergen-free cream or lotion. The best moisturizer for you depends on your specific skin and condition, and you may need to experiment with a few different brands and products before finding one you’ll be happy to use regularly.
In general, however, it’s a good idea to stay away from moisturizers and other skincare products containing ingredients that strip the skin of its natural oils, like sodium lauryl sulfate. What’s more, if you’re prone to acne or breakouts, you’ll want to avoid moisturizers containing ingredients like petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, or coconut oil.
Change Your Bathing Habits
If like many you like to unwind at the end of a long day with a hot shower or bath, you may be surprised to learn that you’re doing your skin more harm than good. Prolonged exposure to hot water strips your skin of its natural oils, drying it out as a result. Part of overcoming dry skin is to simply limit bathing to no more than 10 minutes a day, and use lukewarm water instead of hot water.
To take it up a notch, switch to allergen-free moisturizing soap or a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. If you have dry skin, it’s best to avoid pumice stones and harsh loofahs and blot, not rub, yourself dry. Apply moisturizer immediately after drying yourself off.
Regulate Ambient Humidity
Living or working in a dry environment can be devastating if you already suffer from dry skin. To overcome this, consider adding a portable humidifier to where you spend the most time, or even attaching one to your home furnace to add moisture to the air.
Ideally, you’ll want to maintain a relative humidity of around 60% to offset the effects heating systems and dry air can have on your skin. Even a simple desk humidifier can work wonders if you spend a lot of time working at a desk, in addition to the other health benefits offered by humidifiers.