Banish that Dry Skin Whatever Time of the Year
Our skin is our body’s largest organ with the protective outer layer acting as a barrier against the environment. And our skin does such a good job that we take it for granted unless something starts to go wrong.
For many, dry skin is not a sign of a skin condition or disease, but could be just the result of harsh soaps, itchy clothing, too much exposure to central heating or air conditioning, long, hot showers or baths – and of course extremes in the weather.
But the medications you take – and even medical conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, hypothyroidism and malnutrition – can also cause severe dry skin.
Anyone with dry skin will want to treat the condition…
Some simple changes to soothe dry skin
1. Long hot baths and showers can make the skin even dryer so limit your time there to a maximum of five to ten minutes, using warm rather than hot water and just a little gentle, fragrance-free cleanser (enough to remove any dirt but no more) before blotting the skin dry gently with a towel and adding plenty of moisturizer. Our suggestion for the latter is Simply Body Oil to instantly improve the skin’s natural moisture while providing nourishment and promoting healthier skin. Keep the body oil in the shower, or next to the bath, and apply when your skin is still damp for maximum absorption.
2. Carry a natural hand cream with you, and apply it after every time you wash your hands. Our recommendation is Simply Hand Oil which will greatly help relieve dry skin by deeply hydrating and softening the skin 100% naturally – and minus any parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, PEGs or SLSs.
3. Wear lip balm but not just any commercial and possibly toxic lip balm. Choose a natural lip balm that feels good on your lips because some can irritate your lips. Stinging or tingling is not a good reaction. You can make your own natural lip balm by mixing 2 parts sweet almond oil (or coconut oil) to 1 part beeswax pearls plus a few drops of wheat germ oil. Heat the oil in a saucepan before adding the beeswax pearls – but (a) for a thin consistency, add less of the pearls or (b) for a thicker consistency, add more of the pearls. Allow to cool. You can add a few drops of essential oils such as lavender or argan to enhance the properties of your “home-made” lip balm and while still warm enough, pour into lip balm jars or tubes. If you wish to add color, use natural colorants. We share more information on lip balms here.
4. Use only gentle, unscented skin care products specifically avoiding deodorant soaps and those skin care products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), ensuring your skin retains its natural oils.
5. Wear gloves as the hands are often the first place we notice dry skin. You can reduce dry, raw skin by wearing gloves. Be sure to put gloves on before going outdoors in winter; performing tasks that require you to get your hands wet; or when working with chemicals, grease and other substances. And of course keep those hands moisturized.
6. Choose non-irritating clothes and for washing your clothes and bed linen, use hypoallergenic/natural laundry detergent.
7. Avoid sitting too close to the fireplace or other heat source.
8. Add moisture to the air by plugging in a humidifier. Even having a bowl of water in the room will help as a cost effective alternative.
9. Remember your omegas – Essential fatty acids (we’re talking about your omega-3s and omega-6s here) help replenish the skin’s natural protective oils and can even help clear blemishes. You can make sure you’re getting enough in your diet with delicious foods like salmon, mackerel, walnuts, olive oil and flax.
10. Load up on antioxidants because a diet rich in antioxidant foods will help your skin stay supple and prevent dryness. Include tangerines, sweet potatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, cherries, spinach, olives, peppers and grapes in your diet as often as possible.
Before even considering potions, lotions and makeup, what is the most important item in your beauty kit?
It is your beauty sleep – especially for your skin.
As you sleep, your skin renews itself – new skin cells grow and replace older cells leading to healing the skin more quickly; fewer breakouts (including those from acne); and an even skin tone. Wrinkles or sleep lines can be avoided by sleeping on your back instead of your side. Of course, natural skin care products are always the way to go when caring for your skin.