There is nothing more irritating than dry, itchy skin. It is prevalent throughout winter months and then the sunshine helps contribute to it during summertime. There are thousands of different lotions, oils, creams, ointments and balms that are available to help alleviate dry skin. However, there are several factors to consider before lathering up. Below are 9 tips to help you ward off dry skin!
1- Drop the Soap!
Yes, you heard right. Drop the soap. Washing your dry skin with soap and water, strips your skin’s barrier of it’s natural oils. Replace soap with gentle cleansers, cleansing creams and shower gels free of known allergens and skin irritants. Look for products that have few ingredients on their labels and are 100% hypoallergenic. Use products that are fragrance free and maintain neutral pH levels. Achieving a proper skin pH is imperative for healthy skin. Your skin should never feel tight or dry after washing. It should be left feeling smooth and soft.
2- Avoid Allergens and Skin Irritants!
Between soaps, moisturizers, cosmetics and household products that come into contact with your skin, there is an abundance of chemicals you should be aware and avoid.
Some common toxins and allergens to be aware of include:
- Formaldehyde/Formaldehyde Releasing Preservative
- BPA & Phthalates
- Sorbic Acid
Keep a list in your smartphone notes or in your wallet, so that you can read labels in the skin care departments you visit.
3- Moisturize Your Skin!
Moisturize your skin at least two times each day. Use a moisturizer that is free of the toxins and allergens listed above. Use a moisturizer that focuses on skin barrier optimization (SBO). Ceramide creams are the best skin products available on the market today for dry skin. Ceramide 3, in particular, is wonderful for helping to replace essential skin lipids and help your skin’s barrier to repair itself.
4- Use a Humidifier!
Use a portable humidifier in your home to keep moisture levels at 40-50%. The ideal temperature for your home is between 68-75 degrees.
5- Be Sun Cautious!
Having a golden bronze comes at a price. Avoid sun during it’s peak hours to avoid drying out your skin. Always utilize a sunscreen of SPF 30 before going outdoors. Reapply after swimming. Wear sun protective clothing including hats and long sleeves when tolerable.
6- Wear Skin Friendly Fabrics!
Dry skin can become exacerbated when wearing itchy, irritating fabrics including wool and polyester. Wear cotton, silk, rayon and linen fabrics instead. Loose fitted clothing is less irritating than tight clothing. Give your skin room to breathe!
7- Make Healthy Choices!
Nicotine constricts blood vessels, which deprives your skin of oxygen and nutrients it needs to be healthy. Don’t smoke! Drinking alcohol will dehydrate the body and dry out your skin. Use moderately or avoid alcohol altogether.
8- Get a Good Night Sleep!
Your skin cells renew themselves during hours you’re sleeping. Make sure to get an adequate amount of sleep each night.
9- Treat Your Feet!
Summertime weather brings flip flops and sandals out! Don’t forget to get a head start on moisturizing your feet. Otherwise you will be displaying dry, cracked heels and nobody wants to look at that!
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting has developed a sensitive skin care product line which she blogs about regularly at cherylleemd.com