Over the past few weeks, we’ve been focusing on the people with oily skin neglecting you guys. Don’t worry…
Battling bouts of dry, flaky skin can be frustrating, especially when you don’t know what’s behind it. Dry skin results from skin’s inability to hold on to moisturizing ingredients—in other words, it can’t (for any number of reasons) replenish itself.
Skin can be naturally dry, meaning it’s low on substances that keep it feeling smooth and soft, or can become dry for other reasons: using soap, irritants in your products, allergies, dry air, or other environmental factors.
Due to this, people with dry skin tend to apply a lot of moisturizer in the hopes of it becoming better but the gag is, moisturizers just add a bit of hydration to the skin and their primary purpose is to seal in the moisture. So, while finding the right products to use on your skin is a big part of the formula, boosting your skin’s hydration—and cutting out habits that dehydrate your skin—are the true backbone to a skin-care regimen that can really help your dry, tight, itchy skin.
While some dry skin problems require a dermatologist’s care, this quick checklist will help you avoid the common mistakes that keep dry skin coming back.
1. Taking long hot showers
We get that sometimes you need this to unwind and relax but this seemingly harmless act of self-pampering does more harm than good to your skin. Excessive exposure to water, especially hot water, can strip the skin of natural oils and disrupt the skin barrier. Keep showers short—down to ten minutes or less—and temperatures no higher than 84° F, or the temperature of most heated pools.
2. Using harsh soaps
You might think your average bar of soap is good enough to cleanse your skin, but you may be mistaken, especially if it contains harsh detergents and chemicals. Alkaline products used in soap can disrupt the outer skin layer and prevent the skin from protecting itself properly causing dryness and irritation. A gentle, unscented soap is a much better match for the slightly acidic pH of your skin and will fully cleanse without compromising the integrity of the skin.
3. Exfoliating too often
Yes, there is such a thing as exfoliating too often. We get it. You want to remove the dead cells from your skin and allow it to glow but there is a reason why your exfoliating face scrub says to use no more than one to two times a week.
When you don’t allow enough time in between exfoliations, the exfoliant removes healthy skin instead of dead skin, leading to inflammation, redness, dryness, and peeling.
4. You’re applying your moisturizer at the wrong time
Put on your moisturizer when your skin is still damp is the best way to make sure it absorbs fully. After a shower, pat your skin dry with a towel and then apply the moisturizer which will lock in that moisture. If you wait until your skin is totally dry (say, more than five minutes after you wash), you’ll have missed the lock-it-in window.
5. You’re not drinking enough water.
It might sound too simple but its true. Lol but where exactly did you think your skin was getting the water it needs to stay hydrated? Proper hydration with water is important to keep fluid moving efficiently through the capillaries. It’s easier to get dehydrated when we are not making it a priority, or when it’s cold and dry outside (like during harmattan) and water is evaporating faster. In addition to chugging water on the regular, a diet rich in healthy fats can help to improve the moisture-holding capacity of the skin.
We really hope these points go a long way to help your skin. Do get back to us with feedback.