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From the beginning of time, it seems that women have had the instinctive notion to target their skin issues by applying a mask of opposite power and equal force. Cleopatra addressed her oily skin by slathering it with oil absorbing mud from the Dead Sea. Ancient Romans attempted to alleviate their dry skin with masks consisting mostly of thick and viscous oil based paraffin.
Today, things haven’t changed all that much. Women with dry, dull skin still seek creams and masks for an intense boost of moisture to combat their nagging skin problems. However, these days, the market seems to be penetrated by products aimed those seeking to combat their excessively oily skin. If you’re one of those in the dry skin minority, take heart. There are a plethora of products available to address your hydration issues, you just need to know what to look for- and what to avoid. Here are some tips on finding the best masks for dry, dull skin.
The Good Guys
The best masks for dry skin are made with moisture rich ingredients like hydrolyzed elastin, avocado, and oatmeal, and botanical and essential oils like aloe, argan, candela, and jojoba oil, the last of which.which helps to balance the natural oils in the skin.
Virgin coconut oil is another favorite for dry skin, taken internally, or applied in a mask. Avocado face masks contain a deep cleansing oil which makes them ideal for dry skin treatment and is high in potassium ( sometimes known as the “youth mineral” because of its ability to restore and renew skin). Honey moisturizes skin, kills germs, and offers protection from sun exposure. Yogurt has probiotic properties that can be helpful for aging or damaged skin and is also known for its moisturizing abilities.
The Bad Guys
As you may have guessed, equally important as looking for the right ingredients is avoiding the wrong ones. Here are some ingredients you should avoid is your skin is dry.
Although you may have heard retinol referred to as the “gold standard in skincare,” this does not refer to dry skin care. Retinoids tend to be harsh and irritating, and applying them to dry skin is not recommended.
While great for treating acne, benzoyl peroxide can be disastrous for dry skin, causing itching, redness, peeling, and irritation.
Most skin products do contain some form of alcohol, as an aid in helping other ingredients penetrate the skin. It is usually found in the highest concentration in lotions and gels. While you may not be able to avoid alcohol in your product completely, you can do damage control by looking for thicker creams that list alcohol further down on the ingredient label.
Salicylic acid has exfoliating properties and can be used to soften and treat dry skin when used in the right formula, however, buying it OTC can be a bit of a crap shoot. Ask your dermatologist what percentage is safe for your skin before buying a product containing salicylic acid.
Preservatives and Fragrances
Fragrances and preservatives are the leading cause of skin allergies. If you are sensitive to them, they can cause dryness and flaking. Look for preservative and fragrance-free alternatives in your skin products to avoid scaliness and excessive dryness.