Today I wanted to share with you some general ways to keep dry skin in check, specific ingredients to look for in skin care products (pre-packaged or homemade) that will help you on the road back to softness, as well as suggestions for products you can readily purchase to treat skin in a jiffy.
Winter can really do a number on skin in many different ways. Dryness is caused from being both indoors and outside - its like ya can't win! Indoors, forced air heat parches and dehydrates skin. Outside, bitter cold causes skin to lose moisture to the air and winter winds chap and irritate. Ugh!
Unless you live in a gloriously, year round warm and humid climate, in which case I would love to come and visit (please?)!!!
So here are a few tips to help get us started...
General Tips To Prevent Dry Skin
- Drink plenty of water and/or coconut water to help keep your skin hydrated. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies to also increase hydration in your body.
- Try to avoid caffeinated drinks, as they dry out your skin. If you must have your coffee in the morning (and, believe me, I understand!), drink an extra glass of water for each cup.
- Try to avoid alcohol, as it also dehydrates your skin.
- When headed outside, cover your skin as much as possible with clothing. Cover any areas of exposed skin with a thick lotion to prevent moisture loss.
- Apply lip balm frequently throughout the day, especially before you go outside.
- Keep baths and showers short and warm (not hot). Hot water dries skin out by stripping your skin of its natural oils.
- Add fatty fish, like salmon, to your diet or take a good quality fish oil. The good omega-3 fatty acids help to keep skin moist.
- Avoid using harsh cleansers, soaps or exfoliants. These will only further strip your skin and lead to dryness.
General Tips to Treat Dry Skin
- Gently exfoliate dry skin with a brush, loofah or exfoliating gloves as part of your body cleansing routine in the shower before using any topical treatments (oils, lotions, etc.). Dry, flaky skin needs to be removed from the surface of skin to allow topical treatments to work more effectively. Be SUPER gentle if your skin is overly sensitive and use these items only a few times a week. Avoid them if you have any rashes, open wounds or general irritation.
- Avoid cleansing your entire body every day, especially with a foaming soap or body wash, as they can strip your skin. Skip a day of sudsing, or wash only those most important bits daily. ;)
- Better yet, use a body wash of 1 part honey to 1 part oil (jojoba is lovely) a few times a week in place of your regular soap.
- Apply lotions, body butters, oils, etc. immediately after showering while your skin is still damp. You want to capture the water and seal it into your skin.
- Avoid using products with artificial ingredients, as they can dry and irritate skin, too.
Helpful Ingredients For Dry Skin
- Humectants like honey and vegetable glycerin help to pull moisture from the air into your skin.
- Oils like olive, coconut, hazelnut, grapeseed, jojoba, sesame and sunflower work to replace lost moisture, while being easily absorbed into skin.
- Oils like rosehip seed and carrot seed help to increase cell regeneration.
- Essential Oils like chamomile, lavender, ylang ylang and sandalwood help to soothe and heal dry itchy skin.
- Aloe Vera soothes, heals and stops itching from irritated, dry skin. Just be sure you use the pure aloe gel, not the stuff full of colors and added fragrances.
- Hyaluronic Acid is an ingredient found naturally in skin, it attracts and retains moisture in your skin, while plumping and softening, which is great for dry skin and wrinkles (bonus!).
- Fruits and Veggies like avocado and banana help to add moisture to skin.
- Fruits and Veggies like papaya, pineapples and grapes help to naturally exfoliate dry skin due to their natural fruit acids and enzymes.
- Herbs like calendula, chamomile and lavender are soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory for dry-irritated skin. A nice oil infused with these is great for dry skin.
- Herbs like rose, licorice, marshmallow and chickweed are cooling and demulcent (they form a soothing, protective layer on dry skin).
- Sea Kelp is amazing for skin when used externally. It's gelatinous texture soothes, hydrates and protects dry skin.
Just a friendly note: Avoid any of these ingredients that you may be allergic or sensitive to.
A Few Of My Fave Products
For exfoliating dry facial skin:
- dermaE Cleansing Enzyme Mask - This gently cleansing and exfoliating clay mask uses papaya fruit enzymes and is great for sensitive, rosacea, combination or acneic skins.
- Collective Wellbeing Honey Buff - This gentle, physical exfoliant is great for normal and dry/mature skins. It removes the flakies and hydrates with organic honey, glycerin, aloe, sunflower oil and sea kelp.
For hydrating dry facial skin:
- dermaE Hyaluronic Acid Products - A complete line of cleanser, hydrating mist, mask, serum, day cream, night cream and lip repair treatment. You will be so dewy after using these, you won't want to stop touching yourself!
- Heritage Store Rosewater & Glycerin Toner - A classic protective and hydrating facial spray.
For protecting everywhere skin:
- Mirror Lake Organics Coconut Body Butter - This body butter is loaded with protective ingredients like organic sunflower oil, organic cocoa butter, organic beeswax and organic coconut butter. I use this daily on my entire body, including lips. If I could buy this by the bathtub full, I would! It's like a tropical vacation without leaving my house. Handmade here in Michigan, too. Wooot!
So, see you tomorrow! Grab your coconut oil and stay tuned!
Do you have any dry skin secrets or favorite products? I'd love to hear them!