Hey, pssst kid, do you need some tips for dry skin? Summer is here, and I don’t need to tell you that you’ll need some! Whether you’re enjoying yourself on a nice beach under the scorching sun, or huddling away at home chilling in the cool air from the AC, the heat - and the dryness - will get to you. Or to be more specific, to your skin. And nobody wants or needs dry skin, am I right?
Regardless of your skin type, dry skin can be a pain in the, uh, nether regions. Officially called xerosis by dermatologists, dry skin begins as a loss of moisture in the uppermost layer of your skin, called the stratum corneum. This layer of the skin forms the so-called skin barrier, which acts as a shield between the outer world and our (for lack of a better word) insides.
Our skin relies on our body’s natural production of oil, called sebum, and there is a whole array of activities that waste our sebum away. And heat, needless to say, makes everything worse! Dry skin feels rough, itchy, and plain simple uncomfortable! So let us help you - here are the very best X tips for dry skin.
In order to avoid drying up your skin too much, you should rethink your bathing and showering habits. The important thing to remember here is the water’s temperature. For the love of young, fresh looking skin, please avoid showering with hot water. If the water is too hot, it can heat up your skin to such a degree that it will evaporate your skin’s natural moisture. Not only that, but the hot water can dissolve your skin’s natural moisturizing agent - its skin oil.
So, what to do? Well, if you really need to feel some warmth, then use mildly warm water. Additionally, you could look at your shampoos, soaps, and shower gels. Could you perhaps replace them with milder, and gentler variants? Including moisturizing shampoos or shower gels in your bathing routine can make all the difference. Finally, if you want to avoid dry skin, it is also wise to avoid your showering time. Having hot, long showers feels good and all, but if you want to avoid dry skin, you better steer clear of them.
There are a number of changes you can make after taking a shower that can severely affect the humidity of your skin. For example, rubbing your body with a towel after bathing yourself can actually whisk away what little moisture has remained. Using a towel can definitely be one of the factors that contribute to the drying of your skin.
A good method to overcome this, and help your skin retain its moisture is if you used the towel to gently pat any excess water. Rubbing a towel over your body parts will only further increase the temperature of your skin, making those precious water molecules evaporate even faster. Not just that, but if you just pat the water away, you will also avoid irritating your skin.
Another thing, which I’m sure you’re already aware of: use a moisturizer after showering. A high quality, moisturizing body lotion can add moisture to your skin and, needless to say, help your skin remain moisturized instead of dry. Besides, your skin will feel silky smooth and smell extra nice. Mmm!
Okay, time for a short and sweet shopping guide for moisturizers! Nobody wants to slather themselves with tons of body lotion right after showering, only to then have their skin feel off, greasy, or even go dry. Sadly, that’s an occurrence that can often happen, and we all know the feeling of buyer’s remorse. However, you can easily avoid that if you take the time to perform a patch test first. Patch tests are super simple to do and are great at showing you how your skin will react to a certain product or ingredient. And the same applies to moisturizers.
When shopping for moisturizers and body washes, make sure to check their ingredients listed on their label. In order to make the best of it, always go for moisturizers and body lotions that contain hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, mineral oil, or petroleum jelly. Those ingredients are some of the most skin-friendly ingredients on the market now, so keep your eyes peeled for them.
But wait, why? What’s the deal with anti-aging products and dry skin? It’s a bit counter-intuitive, isn’t it? One would think that anti-aging creams, gels, lotions, and serums would be an ally in keeping your skin moisturized as opposed to dry.
And yes - that is largely true, since most anti-aging products contain emollients and other soothing ingredients. However, it is sometimes not the case and it’s not been once when we can overdo something. The dangers from overusing anti-aging products lies in the fact that companies often use formulas that contain BHA, AHAs, retinoids, and other irritating substances. While those substances are excellent at peeling off the top layers of the skin, thereby ironing out wrinkles and bleaching a dark spot or two, they are not your friends when it comes to keeping your skin well moisturized. (Which is why moisturizing after the anti-aging product is so important.)
Due to the exfoliating, and acidic ingredients that most anti-aging products contain, they can have a deleterious effect on the moisture of your skin. By peeling off the top layers, they actually release all the moisture out in the environment, making your skin fresh - but dry. It’s no wonder that anti-aging products and most exfoliators require a pass with a good moisturizer after application. That’s because these products, and the ingredients inside, will actually make your skin dry. So, if you want to avoid dry skin, either use anti-aging products that have exfoliating ingredients sparingly, or double down on the moisturizer after using them.
The best things are natural, after all. And keeping a healthy, balanced diet, can make sure your body receives all the precious ingredients that mother nature intended for it. Needless to say, this affects the quality and health of our skin as well.
And some oils are only any good if used internally, i.e., if we ingest them. Fish oil, or more specifically, the Omega 3 Acids that constitute it, have been shown to soothe dry skin and make it smoother, fresher, and more elastic. So, if you want to protect your skin from getting dry, the occasional fish on your menu will do wonders. Additionally, you always have the option to purchase some Omega 3 Acid supplements over-the-counter.
It sort of goes without saying, but if we want to prevent our skin from going dry, we should protect our skin from exposure to the elements. This is especially important during seasons that typically bring extreme temperature highs and lows with them, such as winter and summer.
And don’t let the winter cold fool you. One can even argue that winter is worse for the moisture of our skin than even the most scorching summer days. Wondering why? Well, a bit of physics is in order. You see, the extremely low temperatures during winter mean that whatever moisture you have in your skin will become frozen. After all, moisture is just water molecules, and once the temperature drops below zero, those water molecules freeze.
This means that your skin becomes rigid and damaged by the ice crystals. If you’re wondering why your hands become dry, red, sore, and chapped in winter, now you know why. All the microscopic amounts of water trapped in your skin turn into sharp crystals, and wreak havoc to your skin’s uppermost layers.
So, what to do? Well, protecting yourself is step number one - always try to wear a nice pair of gloves in those winter days of biting cold. The same goes for your feet - a warm pair of socks (or two) can go a long way. If none of this works, or works well enough to isolate your skin from the damaging, skin-drying effects of winter, there is additional protection available to you. Whether you’re getting dry skin during winter, or summer, a diligent application of moisturizer will help your skin retain its moisture.
We are all, perhaps too well, familiar with the annoying phenomenon of chapped lips. And since the lips are a part of the skin as well, any tips you are reading here apply to your lips too. For starters, and you don’t need me to be telling you this, a lip balm is mandatory. If your lips feel dry, or vulnerable, applying some quality lip balm will both soothe them and protect them.
Additionally, however, you can help yourself, and your dry lips, with additional tools. The contemporary cosmetics and beauty industry offers a broad selection of lip treatment products. If a lip balm isn’t enough, you can try out some of those lip scrubs that are fashionable nowadays.
Finally, we use the lips for, well, not the cleanest of activities. Whenever we smoke, or vape (and both activities can sometimes lead to acne), our lips are doing the dirty business. Whenever we eat, our lips become slathered with grease, sticky sugars, or burning spices. But wait, did I mention the biting cold during winter, and the scorching summer sun, along with the sand from the beach and the salt from the sea?
And don’t get me started on kissing beardy dudes - our lips actually do a lot of heavy lifting. It comes as no surprise then that we all know what chapped lips are.
But, all of that can be avoided. A careful wash after a meal, avoiding cigarettes, and keeping a lip balm handy will prevent your lips from going dry.
Sure, we mentioned above that using anti-aging products can actually dry your skin because it contains exfoliating acids. But exfoliation, if done right and not excessively, can actually reduce the dryness of your skin and help it retain its moisture.
Dermatologists recommend exfoliating your skin once, to at most, two times a week. That is especially important if you have sensitive skin, because over-exfoliation can cause more problems than it can solve. However, exfoliation is very useful in refreshing our skin and removing all the dead skin cells. And the dead skin cells end up covering our skin with a thin layer that makes our skin dryer than it needs to be.
Besides, our skin goes through its own, natural exfoliation cycle called desquamation. It lasts around 28 days, during which time the old, worn out, and dead skin cells become gradually replaced with new and fresh ones to replace them. So, exfoliation is good for keeping our skin moisturized instead of dry. However, you will have to use it sparingly, and always choose high-quality products.
We already covered the plights of the winter cold and its negative, drying effects on our skin. But wait, what about summer? Is the freezing cold really that much worse than the scorching sun, the scratchy sand, and the salt of the sea? Well, not really. But you can’t really wear gloves and warm socks in summer, right? And thankfully, we have our trustworthy sunscreens to help us during the summer!
When it comes to dry skin, summer is possibly a lot worse than winter. It’s not just the heat, the salt, and the sand that you will need to worry about. It’s the Sun’s rays too, especially its harmful UV radiation. All of that combined can make your skin age prematurely, and develop wrinkles, dark spots, and all sorts of other kinds of discoloration. In order to prevent this, it is wise to use a high-quality sunscreen with a high SPF factor.
However, you should be mindful of a couple of factors when choosing a sunscreen. Depending on your skin type, you will need a specific type of sunscreen. If you have oily skin, it’s best to avoid oil-based sunscreens that will clog your pores, so be on the lookout for the “non-comedogenic” label. If your pores become clogged, you risk ending up with whiteheads or blackheads, and in turn, a fresh inflammation of acne. And who needs that? Not you!
Additionally, if you have sensitive skin, you should go for naturally-based sunscreens, or consult with your dermatologist for the best options for you. They will definitely be able to point out some good solutions for you.
Isn’t that the best advice, right? To add to the last bit of the previous tip: at the end of the day, a thorough conversation with your dermatologist is the best way to go about getting rid of dry skin.
After all, dermatologists are the medical professionals specialized in skincare, and they know all the science behind it. Regardless of your skin type, a good dermatologist will give you the best tips for dry skin, and provide the most thorough advice on how to both deal with it and prevent it.
So, if you want the best tips on dry skin - see your dermatologist. But on your way to the beach, don’t forget your sunscreen and moisturizer. Have a good one!
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.