DRY SKIN - PREVENTION, CAUSES & TIPS
At Philosophia Botanica Skincare, we understand the importance of hydration for healthy, glowing skin. During the winter months, it's especially important to protect your skin from the harsh cold and wind. Our line of skincare products is specially designed to hydrate and nourish, helping to prevent dullness and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. We avoid harsh chemicals like alcohol, astringents and acids that can strip the natural oils from your skin, leaving it dry and damaged.
Other potential factors prompting dry skin on the face can include over-cleansing or exfoliating, which can also deplete skin's oils, as well as skin and health conditions that cause skin dehydration, such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis, and diabetes.
By making small lifestyle changes and choosing the right skin care products, you can stop dry skin and nix flaky patches on your face pretty quickly.
Dry skin tends to happen to us all at different times of the year. Most people will be feeling dryness creeping back with long cold nights causing us to constantly be around heating at home. The best way to know if your skin is dry or dehydrated is to look at your skin after a shower and see if it is tight or flaky.
When shopping for skincare and cleansing products choose cleansers and toners containing no alcohol as this can also cause dryness, and look for toners with calming ingredients if your dry skin tends to be itchy or sensitive. When choosing a moisturizer go for a balm, or a cream with a mid to heavy to texture, or a skin-food nourishing facial oil.
1. Avoid caffeine, smoking and alcohol. They act as diuretics and are guaranteed to suck you dry!
2. Increase your water level. Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of pure water a day to keep your skin and body properly hydrated. Drink more if you’re super active.
3. Protect your skin from the elements. Wind, sun, heat, cold, and dry office and airplane air can quickly cause or exacerbate the condition of dry skin. Apply a moisturizer before exposing your skin to these moisture-sapping conditions.
4. Limit hot water contact. Avoid long, hot showers and baths, especially during cold weather, as they dehydrate the skin. Warm showers and baths for a short duration, though, are beneficial to dry skin. Also, limit bathing or washing you face to once a day, usually right before bed time. When you arise, apply a bit of herbal facial splash or toner, or spritz your face (and body, if it needs treatment as well) with an aromatic hydrosol such as lavender, rose, or German chamomile aromatic hydrosols.
5. Increase EFAs in your diet. Chow down on cold-water fish, walnuts, and flax seeds, all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help replace moisture in dry hair and skin. Also consider adding evening primrose oil to your diet. Flax seed oil is also beneficial — 1 tablespoon is the standard recommended dosage.
7. Use humidifiers. They work wonders in restoring healthful humidity to your dry home or office environment.
8. Use only gentle cleansers. Avoid cleansers such as deodorant soaps and harsh abrasives as they dry out your skin!
Gently Exfoliate. This should always be the first step toward healing dry skin. Dead skin cells can, over time, build up and become unresponsive to oils and creams. In order for your moisturizer to do its job, you must first get rid of this dead barrier.
Moisturize. Pat your skin dry for less than 20 seconds and apply a moisturizer immediately after washing as oils and creams work by trapping existing moisture in your skin.
Finally, here's a few root causes you may have not considered. Remember, if in doubt speak to your doctor or dermatologist!
The drier the air, the drier the skin. To maximize the amount of water in the air, place a humidifier in the room where you spend the most time, which, in many cases, is the bedroom. A cool air humidifier increases the moisture level in the air, helping skin’s barrier stay hydrated. In addition, be sure the heat is kept on low or at a moderate temperature to avoid extra dryness in the air.
With a direct connection between the gut and skin health, increasing your daily intake of fats may help with dry skin. Eating a diet rich in walnuts, olive oil, and avocados. Don’t overdo it with alcohol, caffeine, and coffee as they are diuretics that will cause dehydration. And, drink tons of water!
If your skin is exposed to the sun too much then the harmful UV rays can cause skin damage, leaving it dry and scaly. This is because the UV rays penetrate below the top layer of the skin and affect the collagen which is responsible for the upkeep of the skin. This leads to wrinkles, sagging and also dryness. Always apply a good sunscreen before stepping out in the sun and wear a hat or carry an umbrella with you to protect your skin from the harmful rays.
SKIN + SWIMMING
Swimming is good for your health but not so much for your skin and hair. The chlorine present in the water isn’t the main culprit if it is added according to the set norm but over-chlorinated pools can cause harm. Long hours in the pool remove the oily layer of your skin which locks in moisture. It is important to apply a good moisturizing lotion or cream before and after you swim.
Women nearing 40 will often find their skin getting drier than usual. This is because the skin starts losing its elasticity, in other words, it starts to mature. You can also find the appearance of other aging signs – fine lines, wrinkles etc. Even women with oily skin will feel their skin getting dry. In order to control this, opt for hydrating creams/lotions. Start using anti-ageing serums and pick products that are water-based as it will ensure that your skin remains hydrated.
If you suffer from an illness and are on strong medications, you could feel your skin getting itchy and dry. This is due to the strong dose of your medicine. In order to cure this kind of dryness, you need to improve your diet. Eat raw fruits and salads, drinks lots of water and avoid junk food. You also need to moisture your skin well in order to stop the itchiness.
Skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema occur more often in people who have dry skin. If your skin is too itchy and sore and you see patchy red spots, you could be suffering from a milder form of psoriasis. Eczema is a term broadly used for various skin conditions with symptoms like flaky, dry, blistered skin. Go to a dermatologist if you have dry skin and rashes too often to understand your skin condition.
You could also be suffering from hypothyroidism which can cause your skin to become dry. In this condition, the thyroid glands produce less thyroid hormones which lessen the activity of the oil and sweat glands which leads to dry skin. Moisturizing the skin with creams or oils is essential to avoid this.
When the weather gets too cold or too hot with low or no humidity, it causes the skin to become dry. The condition is aggravated when there are radiators and heaters indoors. The moisture is completely lost and the constant hot and cold blow irritates the skin even further. The solution is to moisturise the skin as often as possible. Keeping a bowl filled with water near the radiator to make the room more humid is also a good idea.
SKIN TIP: BUFF YOUR SKIN
No matter how many serums and creams are applied, dry skin will stay dry without some light exfoliation. Pick up a gentle scrub, with a mild glycolic or lactic acid to get off the dead skin. The expert suggests swapping a gentle formula for your regular cleanser two to three times a week. For those with raw or severely dry skin, skip the exfoliator and incorporate a wet washcloth instead for a gentler option. And tailor retinol or tretinoid use to every other day because they are strong exfoliants and may cause extra dryness during the winter. Facial oils, serums, balms and moisturizers will penetrate better and really get to work.
APPLY AN ANTIOXIDANT FACIAL OIL
As long as it’s alcohol-free, an antioxidant oil or serum, is perfect for year-round usage. No matter the climate, skin gets attacked by free radicals, causing sun spots, the breakdown of collagen, and premature fine lines. To prevent the damage, apply a vitamin C formula as a first layer in the morning, before layering on heavier products. And don’t forget the sunscreen—a daily dose of SPF 30 will keep skin covered.
Photo: Courtesy Google Images.