Dry, scaly skin isn’t just an annoyance during the winter, but it could be a sign that your skin is struggling to moisturize. It’s not as simple as a quick fix though – it takes some time and effort to find out what treatments might work for you.
Humectants Are Your Friend
One of your skin’s main functions is to act as a barrier, preventing all of the germs, toxins and other bad things in the world from invading your body. Your skin does this by creating a layer of moisture to help seal it all in.
Studies have shown that when your skin is dry, the outer layer dries out and becomes harder – which means that it takes less moisture to penetrate deeper into your skin. This makes it harder for your skin to keep out those bad things from the environment.
Luckily, there are certain types of ingredients that you can use in your skin care products to help with this: they’re called humectants. These ingredients attract moisture from the surrounding air and hold it within the top layer of your skin. This helps plump up your skin and makes it easier to retain moisture.
Consider Oil Cleansing
Oiling your skin might sound counterintuitive since oil and water don’t mix, but there are ways to make this work for your skin. Oiling is a popular method of cleansing in some Eastern cultures and between the two methods, oil cleansing tends to be the gentler option.
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want to strip all of the natural oils from your face. You want to balance things out by adding a few additional oils so that you can clean away dirt and residue on the surface of your skin. Oil cleansing pampers your skin by using a gentle oil cleanser to remove the dirt, then applying a few drops of oil on top to moisturize.
Here are a few things to consider when choosing an oil cleanser:
- Use a natural oil like olive, avocado or coconut.
- Avoid cleansers that contain mineral oil or petroleum as they can clog your pores and make matters worse.
- Make sure the ingredients are listed in the order of greatest amount to least amount. This will help you get the most bang for your buck.
Prep Your Skin
Your beauty habits play an important part in how well your skin responds to treatments. If you want your skin to look and feel great, make sure that you cleanse it regularly and consider investing in a moisturizer.
Consider using a warm shower to remove dirt and oil that builds up around your hairline and eyes. Wash your face then pat it dry with a towel to close the pores. As it dries, the excess moisture evaporates and this helps seal in your moisture as well as reducing puffiness around the eyes.
You should also use a mild toner after a thorough cleansing to close down pores and keep your skin fresh. Look for an astringent with witch hazel or chamomile – these ingredients help to protect the essential oils in the skin.
Be Selective About the Products You Use
If you want to treat dry skin, you need to make sure that your products aren’t preventing your skin from absorbing moisture. If you use a cleanser that contains menthol or eucalyptus, it will actually close down your pores and prevent moisture from escaping.
The same goes for products that contain alcohol as this also dries out the outer layer of skin and prevents water from reaching the living tissue beneath.
We are sometimes led to believe that dry skin is the result of dry weather causing our skin to become more dehydrated. This is much more likely to be due to excessive washing and using harsh soaps.
If you want your skin to feel moisturized, try using a natural soap or even a humectant-based facial cleanser like one containing cucumber juice or aloe vera gel.
Using an emulsifier in your body wash is another way to protect your skin and enhance its ability to retain moisture.
You Don’t Need Powder
If you have oily skin or live in a humid climate, you might think that powder will keep your skin looking fresh and matte all day. Unfortunately, this leads to an imbalance in your skin’s natural oils.
Powder will absorb the moisture on your face and trap it against your skin, which can clog up pores and leave a chalky residue if it’s not completely absorbed by the time you’re ready to put on makeup – which translates to dry skin.
If you want to take care of your skin, it’s important that you put in a little effort. Don’t wash your face with harsh soaps and avoid products that clog your pores.
Consider using a natural oil cleanser and moisturize regularly to seal in the moisture. Also make sure you keep your skin pampered between visits to the spa by drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and avoiding harsh weather conditions if possible.