There's not a single person on this planet who doesn't have bouts of dry skin from time to time. But if you're the type of person where it seems like, no matter what you do (or don't do), your skin can never retain moisture, this is an article that you'll want to check out.
As far as the main reasons why dry skin tends to be such an issue, it's usually due to there being a lack of moisture in the air, your skin's pH balance being off or the weather's temperature being extremely hot or cold. Some people also battle with dry skin due to a genetic condition where they are unable to create enough filaggrin; it's a protein that helps to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
Keeping all of this in mind, along with reading some tips on how to keep moisture in your skin, may just be what gets you on the road to never having to spell d-r-y on your arm ever again. Are you ready for soft and supple skin, no matter what?
1. Use a Water-Based Moisturizer
If your skin is dry, something that it definitely needs is hydration. While I'm personally someone who prefers to "seal my skin" (which is basically applying a carrier oil like sweet almond or coconut oil to my skin, right after getting out of the shower and before toweling off), if you prefer to go with a moisturizer, make sure that it's one that is water-based (which means that water will be the first or second ingredient on the label). It will help to provide your skin with the moisture that it needs while also shielding it from dry-out-factors like pollution and UV rays.
2. Avoid Really Hot Showers
Whew. There really is nothing better than standing in a hot shower for, shoot, as long as you can possibly stand it. Problem is, hot water is one of the main things that can really dry your skin out because it breaks down your skin's natural oils; then, the cleanser that you apply actually washes the oil off. That's why it's actually better to wash yourself in water that is warm. Oh, and make sure to limit your showers to 10-15 minutes. It's also better for your skin and, as a bonus, your water bill will decrease a good 15 percent or so each month too.
3. Nix the Soap
Speaking of stripping away natural oils, something else that will definitely do that is soap—this includes deodorant soap or perfume soap. If you just read that and was like, "OK, but a sistah absolutely needs to use something", I hear you.
Just make sure that you go with a product that is soap-free. What exactly is that? The Reader's Digest version answer is it's the kind of cleanser that contains a mixture of sodium hydroxide, natural fats and oils that all work together to keep your skin soft and smooth. Some soap-free commercial brands that immediately come to mind include Cetaphil, Aveeno and CeraVe.
4. Wash Your Clothes with Fragrance-Free Products
While my skin has never really been super dry, something that I did notice was, whenever I used a detergent that was fragrance-free, my skin seemed to itch less and the moisture in my skin seemed to last longer. That would actually make sense on the heels of what I just shared about soap, right? Listen, you've got clothes on for half the day and then you get into your bed for at least another 6-8 hours (if you're lucky). For your skin's sake, it's important that you make sure to wash your stuff in a product that has as little chemicals in it as possible. If you wanna check out a list of hypoallergenic laundry detergents that will work for your skin and not against it, The Spruce features a list of 13 that will totally have your back.
5. DIY a Rosewater Spritz
A really simple way to make your skin look like it's glowing, no matter what time of year it is, is to apply some rosewater to it. Rosewater helps your skin to maintain its pH balance level (a healthy level is 5.5, by the way. When it gets to be around 7, the top layer of your skin starts to experience damage). Rosewater contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to soothe and heal dry skin, as well as treat eczema and psoriasis. Rosewater also has astringent compounds that help it to serve as a wonderful skin toner. Plus, rosewater deeply hydrates your skin so that fine lines remain at bay and your skin feels soft to the touch, all day long. If you'd like to make your own spritz, so that you can carry it in your purse everywhere you go, click here for how to make homemade rosewater and here for how to add it to a DIY spritz.
6. Ease Up on the Alcohol
Alcohol is great; especially in a year like 2020 (lawd). At the same time, if keeping your skin hydrated is a goal of yours, you've gotta push the wine glass (or beer bottle or cocktail) back a little more.
The reason why is because alcoholic drinks are actually pretty dehydrating. The backstory on why is alcohol contains an anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin which actually absorbs water from our organs. So, if you must, try and only have like a glass or two of alcohol a day and follow it up with two glasses of water.
7. Eat Some Omega-3 Foods
Last year, I wrote an article for the platform entitled, "These Foods Will Give Your Skin & Hair The Moisture They Crave". It featured a list of 10 different foods (and drinks) that can help to bring moisture to your skin (and your locks). Well, if you're someone whose skin seems to be extra dry, no matter what you do, it's definitely a good idea to amp up your omega-3 fatty acid intake. Aside from the fact that omega-3 can help to reduce depression and anxiety-related symptoms, improve your vision, decrease your chances of getting heart disease, fight inflammation and also make autoimmune diseases easier to handle, it's also really good at improving your skin cells' ability to contain water, so that your skin stays well-hydrated. Some foods that are high in omega-3 include salmon, walnuts, flaxseed oil, kidney beans and seaweed.
8. Drink More Water
I'm pretty sure you've heard somewhere before that your body is made up of around 60 percent water. What you might not know, though, is your blood consists of a whopping 90 percent of good ole' H2O. This is why it's so important to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Doing so will help to detox your system, give your body (more) oxygen, lubricate your joints, help you to produce more saliva (which reduces tooth decay), regulate your body temperature, help your body to better digest food (which contains nutrients) and, it hydrates you skin—and that's just the tip of the iceberg! The reality is, no matter how much you do the rest of what I've already shared, it's not gonna matter much if all you drink is juice or soda. Pure water will do your body good, on so many levels and for so many reasons. Healthy and glowing skin is just one reason to drink it on a regular basis.
9. Buy a Humidifier
To tell you the truth, whether you've got uber-dry skin or not, it's well worth your time and resources to invest in a humidifier. It helps to provide extra moisture to your vocal cords. It helps to soothe your sinuses. It can help to stop the flu virus that may be lurking around in your home in its tracks (because the virus doesn't thrive as much in high humidity). It can reduce snoring (because it helps to keep your nose from getting congested). And, it definitely is great at moisturizing your skin and lips. So, if you want a way to help your skin out as you sleep, turning a humidifier on (at around 60 percent), is a really effective way to do it.
10. “Cream Up” Before Bedtime
If it seems like your hands and feet are the two areas that dry out the most, you can pamper them by covering them up with a potent moisturizer and then covering them up with some socks or "in-house gloves" (ones that are made out of a light fabric that you only wear indoors) at night. While some people do this by applying petroleum jelly, I'm a much bigger fan of shea butter. Not only does it contain powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and healing properties but shea butter has emollient compounds as well. What that means is it soaks into your skin to provide a barrier to keep moisture for hours on end. If you've got a scar, skin discoloration or super dry skin, shea butter can be just what you need. It's one of my favorite ways to pamper my skin and keep it smooth as silk, no doubt about it.
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