HOW TO ADDRESS DRY SKIN
Do you have dry skin? Dry skin lacks moisture, natural oils and may have a weakened surface barrier. It often feels tight, itchy and uncomfortable and can flake or even crack. Cold temperatures, long hot showers and not using the right skin care products can exacerbate dryness and make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable.
Sound familiar? Here are 8 tips to help your skin look & feel its best:
- Take short showers over baths (less than 10 minutes) with warm rather than hot water and a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. Patting the skin dry is better than rubbing or harsh toweling.
- Apply moisturisers immediately after bathing while your skin is still moist. The best moisturisers for dry skin combine a humectant with an emollient to prevent loss of water and restore skin hydration. If your skin is scaly, consider an exfoliant such as Glycolic Acid, an Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), or a gentle Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA) to smooth the skin, enhance turnover and rejuvenate the skin’s surface appearance.
- Use a humidifier to add much-needed moisture to the air and help prevent your skin from drying out.
- Avoid common irritants. Deodorant soaps, alcohol-based toners and products that contain fragrance (including laundry detergents) can irritate dry, sensitive skin.
- Choose fabrics that are kind to your skin. Dry skin is especially sensitive to contact irritants which can worsen itching and redness. Natural fibers, such as cotton and silk, allow your skin to breathe.
- Alter your diet. Eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients! Fatty acids (healthy fats) like those found in fish, walnuts, olives, and avocados can help to restore essential lipids which maintain moisture levels in the skin. Drink water throughout the day to help keep your body and your skin healthy and hydrated.
- Wear sunscreen every day. Choose a sunscreen for everyday use as part of your skin care regimen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or above and broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. If you plan to be outdoors for an extended period of time, apply an additional sunscreen.
- Keep lifestyle habits in check. Lack of sleep, stress, too much alcohol and smoking can all have detrimental effects on your skin causing dryness and premature ageing.
BEST MOISTURISERS FOR DRY SKIN
The skin’s outermost layer, the stratum corneum, has a water content of 10% to 30% under normal conditions. Signs and symptoms of dry skin become apparent when its water content falls below 10%. Moisturisation is essential to restoring and maintaining skin health.
Moisturisers should be gentle, fragrance-free, and non-comedogenic, especially if you have dry, sensitive skin. The best moisturisers for dry skin have a combination of moisturising ingredients that prevent water loss and restore skin hydration. Moisturisers for calloused or scaly skin often contain AHAs to deliver enhanced exfoliation to smooth rough skin.