If Your Skin Stays Dry, No Matter What, Check This Out

If your skin seems to drink up lotion, this one is for you.

Beauty & Fashion

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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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

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