Some people have naturally dry skin and have to take special care of it in order to improve its appearance. Of course, the certain environmental factors contribute to dryness of the skin, so even people who have normal skin suffer from dryness every now and then. Dry skin is something that can easily be fixed, one just needs to learn how to prevent dryness and what to do when it increases.
Factors contributing to dry skin
One of the major factors for dry skin is weather. Cold weather often causes drying of the skin, especially on the exposed parts of the body, like hands and face. If the weather is windy, the condition gets worse. But hot and dry weather and overexposure to sun are also factors that lead to dry skin. Indoor heating, exposure to chemicals trough detergents and household cleaners, make-up, pollution, second-hand smoke, they can all cause dry skin. The question is, what to do when the skin gets dry?
How to wash dry skin
Hygiene is important, and just because one has dry skin does not mean he or she should not clean it and wash it. Human skin contains sebaceous glands, which secrete oil called sebum. Sebum creates a protective coat which also locks in the moisture. When the skin is washed excessively, the protective sebum coat is removed. Therefore, washing dry skin should not be very frequent and should be done with mild, pH balanced soaps and washing liquids.
Showers should be short, under five minutes. Water used for showering should not be hot, but lukewarm. Hot water removes the oil more quickly and effectively, just like it removes dirt and grease from dishes. People who shower every day should use soap only on skin fold areas like armpits, neck, groin and feet.
Along with being careful not to wash off protective oil, another essential thing about preventing and repairing dry skin is moisturizing.
The outermost layer of dead skin cells is called stratum corneum. Using a good moisturizer on daily basis keeps the stratum corneum in good shape and prevents its drying and cracking. When this layer is intact and healthy, it protects the skin from pollution, harmful agents and allergens.
It is clear how important it is to moisturize the skin. However, it is not that easy to choose a good moisturizer. Good moisturizers are not necessarily expensive. It is recommended to try different brands but to focus on ones that contain no scents and perfumes and as little preservatives as possible. There are specially designed lotions for extra dry skin, which contain active ingredients that replenish the lost moisture quickly and effectively.
It is not recommended to use the same moisturizing lotion on all parts of the body. Moisturizing face creams should be used on face, where the skin is more sensitive, and strong lotions of extra dry skin should be used on the body, especially on the shins. There are also hand moisturizers and feet moisturizers. Moisturizers should be used every day, preferably before bedtime, and they can be re-applied again in the morning. Basically, they should be applied whenever the skin feels dry, rough and tight.
It is very important to always wear sunscreen lotion during summer days. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is known for drying and damaging the skin.