Like regular basic good skin care, dry skin care must be performed on a daily basis. Proper cleansing, toning, and moisturizing practices should become as natural and routine to your day as exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, working and getting plenty of rest.
Dry skin results from a low level of skin oil, or sebum.
This condition can be inherited but numerous other factors can interfere with the production of sebum. Extreme temperatures, wind, and air-conditioning can exacerbate the condition, causing the skin to feel tight, or to chap or crack. Smoking, cosmetics, chemicals, environmental pollution and high stress compromise dry skin and cause the skin to appear dull and to wrinkle, particularly around the eyes and mouth. All the more reason to practice smart dry skin care.
Skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and seborrhea, as well as certain drugs (e.g., antihistamines, antispasmodics, and diuretics) can also cause dry skin. Treating these disorders and avoiding these drugs will help improve your dry skin condition.
Avoid that which will make you unhealthy on the inside and reduce your chances of developing unhealthy skin.
Can't imagine getting through a day without a cigarette? Then imagine having dry, wrinkled skin that makes you look 20-30 years older than you are. Is that an incentive to stop smoking and regularly practice dry skin care?
We're not saying change is easy. But change, in the long run, may be the best thing that ever happened to you. Proper good skin care, in general, and dry skin care, in particular, are certainly within the reach of anyone concerned about the health and look of their skin. Think of how you want to look and feel in 6 months, a year, two years. You absolutely can improve how you look and feel within a short period of time. Why not make the decision to help yourself attain better skin.
Oh, I almost forgot, one more thing you have to give up, if you want to enjoy healthy skin. This applies not only to people with dry skin, but to anyone who wants to have clear, beautiful skin. Your skin's number one enemy is the sun. Sun worshippers (me included), accept that as a fact. And the number one rule of dry skin care follows: PROTECT YOUR SKIN FROM THE SUN!
As much as many of us love the sun, and love to bake in it, and walk and play in it, and love how it bronzes our skin and makes us feel healthy and limber and sexy and carefree, make no mistake, the sun can kill you, if you let it.
This is no knock on the sun, believe me. The sun gives life and provides us essential vitamin D, but the sun can also inflict irreversible damage to our skin, causing it to age prematurely, to dry and wrinkle and sag, and more alarmingly, to develop precancerous moles and sun spots and carcinomas, and cancerous melanomas.
So as much as we love the sun, we have to interact with it in a smart way. Click on Good Skin Care: 14 Ways to Improve Your Skin for more information about protecting yourself from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure.
Here are a few solid dry skin care tips to heed:
- In winter, when the air's humidity is lower, your skin dries out faster. Keep that in mind when you choose a moisturizer. Use a stronger moisturizer in the winter and a lighter moisturizer in the summer, when the humidity is higher.
- As we age our skin becomes thinner and drier. As a result our skin is more prone to damage in the form of cuts and cracking. Be especially careful when handling tools and utensils, and when coming into contact with harsh or abrasive surfaces or objects.
- Exercise regularly to increase blood circulation, which helps to nourish your skin and cleanse it from within.
- Dry skin care no-brainer: drink plenty of clean water to improve skin hydration. At least 2 quarts every day.
- Clean your skin carefully. Because dry skin is more easily damaged than oily or normal skin, practice good, safe cleansing to prevent dead skin cells mixing with dirt and grime and leading to infection.
- Avoid excessive washing, especially with hot water, which evaporates more rapidly than tepid or lukewarm water. Too much contact with water will remove natural oils and moisture from the skin and encourage further drying. People with dry skin, especially the elderly, should avoid bathing or showering with hot water.
- Keep your baths or showers to less than 15 minutes to avoid the loss of natural oils that help retain your skin's moisture.
- Avoid commercial soaps that dry out the skin. Choose a natural moisturizing soap that has a neutral ph value.
- Great dry skin care technique: after showering lightly apply virgin coconut oil to your face and massage gently to get your blood circulating and to refresh your face.
- Avoid cold cleansing creams, which are made from hydrogenated oils. These oils actually dry out the skin and lead to wrinkles. Try instead patting virgin coconut oil or pure olive oil on your skin to cleanse it. Wash off with tepid or warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth.
- Always moisturize your skin - face, neck, body - after your bath or shower. Moisturize your hands after washing them.
- Take evening primrose oil supplements to strengthen your skin and increase your skin's moisture content. * Get plenty of sleep to allow the skin to repair itself at the cellular level.
- For some great ways to improve the look and feel of your dry skin using simple, inexpensive products you can purchase at you local food market or grocery store.
There is no mystery to proper dry skin care. First, make the decision to practice regular and consistent good skin care. That may mean giving up something (something that is probably bad for you anyway), or taking whatever measures are necessary to promote your overall physical and mental health and the health and appearance of your skin. Once you've committed to making your skin look and feel great, use common sense. Keep in mind the guidance and tips provided above for practicing proper dry skin care, and enjoy healthy better skin for the rest of your life!