Everybody gets dry skin once in a while, maybe after a shower or staying in extreme weather, but that is not the same as having dry skin as a result of a medical condition. Xerosis or what we call dry skin is a maddening condition in which your skin gets so dehydrated you can feel cracks forming like a dry river bed.
When it gets too severe, the cracks could turn to tiny cuts, which could get infected. To relieve your skin and avoid severe cases, it is necessary to moisturize dry skin adequately and regularly.
‘Do we really need five tips for moisturizing dry skin?’ Some people think there should be only one tip: cover your skin with stupendous amounts of moisturizer all day long, and you’ll be okay. Unfortunately, not only is it misleading, it can end up making things worse.
Here are five tips for moisturizing dry skin that actually works:
Choose The Right Moisturizer With SPF15
The most important tip for dry skin is probably the most obvious one, but with a twist. If what you are currently using is not formulated for ‘Dry Skin,’ it would explain why you find the need to moisturize again a couple of hours (or even fifteen minutes) into your day.
Just as important as using a moisturizer formulated for dry skin is using one that provides adequate protection from sunlight. Dry skin occurs when the skin’s topmost layer – stratum corneum – which is home to dead cells, becomes dry and hardened. Naturally, the sun dries this layer further, while also exposing us to harsh rays.
Therefore, it is just as important for people with dry skin to use lotion with SPF 15 or better as it is for other skin types.
Regarding the type of moisturizer to choose, occlusives and humectants work well. Occlusive lotions form a layer on top of the stratum corneum that prevents moisture from escaping. However, this can clog pores and cause acne and other breakouts, which even people with dry skin are susceptible to.
Humectants, on the other hand, are water-based and act as a magnet for moisture from the air and lower layers of the skin. So not only is it maintaining moisture, it is helping the skin absorb it better.
Use a Humidifier
One of the worst times to have dry skin is winter. Sure, it is cold, gloomy and gets dark way too early, but thankfully, we have heaters in our homes. And therein lies the problem. When air indoors gets heated, whatever little humidity was in there disappears. The weather already lacks moisture, but when coupled with the dry heat, our skin quickly gets dehydrated.
The sun damages dry skin, and so is winter; it is as though people with xerosis can’t take a break in any weather. But, there is a solution. A humidifier can restore what is missing in the atmosphere, which will give your skin a much-needed reprieve from the elements.
By humidifying our houses and office/colleges if possible, our skin gets to absorb moisture from the atmosphere. But what does this have to do with moisturizing? Well, by keeping your skin hydrated, your moisturizer does not have to work as hard.
Humidifiers come in different sizes, depending on your need. Some are small enough to fit on your desk, while others are built for enormous spaces. No matter your budget, you will be able to find one that suits you just fine.
Use a Hydrating Cleanser
Not all cleansers are the same, which is why cosmetics brands spend billions on ads each year trying to let us know the difference. While we spend a lot of time and money on the right cleansers and conditioners for our hair, we don’t give the same devotion to our skin.
When you bathe, particularly with hot water, your skin loses the oils in the top layer. In the case of people with dry skin, this is not a good thing. Mild cleansers that are creamy in texture boost the moisture level of your skin. Aloe Vera and avocado have moisture-retaining properties, making them good ingredients to have in a cleanser, though there are many other natural and chemical options that work as well.
These cleansers tend to leave a silky-smooth feeling which may not feel clean, but they are. The combination of a warm or cold shower and the right cleanser works best if you limit the time spent bathing. The more time you spend, the more oils leave your body.
Scrub Off Dead Cells
The dead skin cells on the topmost layer are not entirely useful, yet they require constant moisturizing to keep them happy. To save from repetitive hydration and the extra costs, scrub your body meticulously.
By getting rid of this layer entirely, the new cells which are healthy and hydrated become exposed, ready to be moisturized.
When next you take a shower, ensure you gently exfoliate your entire body. Scrubbing too hard might damage your soft, sweet skin. Using a good cleanser as previously noted will prevent the need to violate your body to get a good clean.
Hydrate Constantly From Within
Hydration is what this is all about. All the moisturizers in the world will be limited if you fail to drink enough water, to begin with. That’s right, water your body. Water will always hydrate the body in its pure form. Some alcoholic beverages and water-based drinks speed up dehydration; thus most people are always in a state of mild dehydration the day after a long night of drinking.
The foods we eat also work to cause dehydration as does lack of vitamins and minerals. There is a reason why plants such as aloe vera, shea butter, coconut, and avocado are often used in moisturizers. Not only are they great externally, but they are also highly useful when eaten or pulverized in the occasional smoothie.
By hydrating with water and fruits and vegetables that help retain moisture, you will give your moisturizer a fighting chance, even in the driest of times.
Remember, these five tips for moisturizing dry skin are basic requirements for anyone with xerosis. However, depending on the severity or mildness of your own condition, you may need to adhere to some other methodologies.
Whatever you do, ensure you consult your dermatologist. Having dry skin doesn’t have to result in itchy, irritating flakes falling off your body. Your skin can retain a constant glow, and all you need is a winning formula. You’re welcome.