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Help for Dry Skin

Help for Dry Skin

Do you need help for dry skin?  It’s that time of year again – dry skin time.  When the air gets cold and dry, the wind whips at your face and you take shelter in a furnace-warmed house, unless you naturally have oily skin, you are liable to experience dry skin.  Keep your skin supple and moist by understanding dry skin and following some of the steps listed in this article.

Dry Skin

The technical term for abnormally dry skin is xerosis.  It is a very common skin condition and tends to get worse as we age.  It is often a temporary condition caused by irritation, use of harsh products or as is common in Illinois – the winter weather.  Dry skin is usually not a serious problem, and often can be remedied by the correct usage of skin care products and avoidance of irritants. It can be associated with other diseases and should be discussed with your physician if it is long-term and doesn’t respond to a change of products and habits.

Appearance of Dry Skin

Dry skin can appear flaky, rough, and sometimes scaly.  It can often times look irritated, red and inflamed.  Fine lines and wrinkles will look more pronounced.  Dry skin will feel tight, sometimes with itchiness and mild stinging.  Severely dry skin can crack and peel, sometimes with bleeding, with this severity being more typical on the hands and feet.

Help for Dry Skin

  • Sleep with a humidifier.  One of the most common causes of dry skin is cold weather with low humidity, combined with hot dry heat from furnaces.  Even if you have a whole house humidifier, you will notice a big difference in your dry skin if you sleep with a tabletop one in your bedroom.  There are also a lot of essential oil diffusers available now that also humidify the air.  Try one of those and some of your favorite relaxational oils, such as lavender or a sleep blend for a great night’s sleep and hydrated skin.
  • Change up your products – The facial wash, serums and moisturizers that keep your skin supple and smooth during the summer might not be enough for the winter.  Consider changing to a cream or oil based cleanser that won’t strip the skin of natural oils.   If you use a toner, make sure it is not alcohol based.  There are many serums on the market designed to hold moisture in the skin.  Look for one with hyalauronic acid.  Now is a time when you might also have to decrease your use of retinols.   A richer moisturizer can also help.  One that not only adds moisture to the skin, but protects it from the cold and the wind.
  • Drink more water.  During the winter months, the more hydration you can get from all sources is going to help keep your body and skin hydrated.  Shoot for eight glasses each day, if not more.
  • Break a sweat – exercise will purge debris and oils from the pores, keeping your natural oils flowing.
  • Skip the long, hot showers and baths – Even though they really feel great in the winter, they will suck the moisture right out of your skin, making it dry, flaky and often times itchy.  Don’t use hot or cold water to wash your face – keep it lukewarm.  After you get out of the shower, apply lotions or oils to the skin immediately.
  • Cut back on at-home exfoliations.  Too much scrubbing can remove the moisture barrier from your skin.
  • Don’t cut back on monthly skin treatments – this is the time when your dry skin needs to be properly exfoliated so oils can be released and then treated immediately with the correct products to sooth and protect the skin from moisture loss.
  • Eat better – fruits, vegetables and and essential fatty oils will add moisture to the skin.  Some great choices are salmon, avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil, spinach, canteloupe and  pinneaple.

If you need help for dry skin and finding the right treatments or products, schedule an appointment with your Esthetician so your skin can be evaluated.

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