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Dry skin is never fun to deal with and it gets especially frustrating during the cold winter months when heaters are cranked up, windows are all closed and the air is incredibly dry. Before you start slathering on every lotion you can find, you might want to reconsider a few basics regarding how you cleanse, moisturize and treat your skin. Find out the top five tips for dry skin below and start feeling relief today.
Consider Oil Cleansing
Soaps and gel cleansers leave your skin feeling squeaky clean, but that clean feeling comes at a price to your skin. You may also notice that with the super clean feeling your skin is also a bit tight; this is because soap (especially bar soaps) and cleansing gels aren’t very friendly to dry skin and they strip away your natural oils, leaving your skin even more dehydrated. Oil cleansing involves the use of an oil (we recommend coconut, sweet almond or olive oil) to draw out impurities without disturbing your skin’s natural oils. If you aren’t quite ready to go all out and use an oil to cleanse your face, consider swapping your soap or gel cleanser for a cream or milky liquid cleanser to keep as much moisture as possible in your skin.
Get the Right Water Temperature
Cold water feels fantastic and refreshing in the summertime and hot water is comforting during the cold winter months, but going to extremes with your water temperature will aggravate your dry skin. The American Academy of Dermatologists recommends sticking with warm, but not hot water as you wash both your face and body to avoid further drying out your skin.
One of the biggest mistakes people with all types of skin make immediately follows cleansing and it is to rub dry with a towel. Even the softest, most luxurious feeling towels can damage your skin if you are using them with a heavy handed rubbing motion. Experts recommend people with all types of skin, but particularly dry skin, pat their skin dry with a towel rather than rubbing. Patting your skin still gets rid of excess water, but it doesn’t tug or pull at the skin causing damage to your moisture barrier. The other benefit to patting dry is that it sets your skin up perfectly for moisturizers because your skin is able to absorb these products better when the skin is still a bit damp.
Use Creams or Ointments
When it comes to adding moisture to your dry skin, it’s best to do it immediately after your shower or wash your face because these products work by “trapping” moisture in the skin and they are able to do so more effectively when your skin still has a little excess moisture on it. Lotions or lightweight moisturizers may not be the best products to hydrate dry skin, you will probably find creams, ointments or oils to be more effective. “Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions,” says the American Academy of Dermatology. Key ingredients to look for in moisturizers for dry skin include:
- Shea butter
- Olive oil
- Jojoba oil
- Coconut oil
- Lactic acid
- Hyaluronic acid
- Mineral oil
Remember to stay away from fragrances or alcohols because these will reduce the amount of moisture in your skin.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier is a beauty treatment that requires no work from you at all, with the exception of adding water and plugging it in. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, keeping your dry skin soothed. These amazing machines are also a great way to fight colds and illnesses during cold weather and they can even help reduce snoring, which means you’ll be able to get your beauty sleep. Simply turn on your humidifier before bed and wake up with more hydrated skin.
Treating dry skin gently helps maintain moisture levels in your skin. It is still important to exfoliate dry skin, but using a moisturizer with lactic acid will accomplish the removal of dead skin and debris by dissolving it, so that you don’t have to use a harsh or irritating scrub. Keep a humidifier in your bedroom and sleep with it on to increase moisture levels in your skin. Use these top five tips for dry skin to see and feel relief immediately.