Self-Care: Avoiding Dry Skin

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September is self-care month. It’s a time when you take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Self-care helps you become a better person and reduces stress and anxiety, increases energy, reduces irritability, and ultimately can better your life. While we don’t have time to go into all the aspects of self-care, we would like to start with ways to reduce dry skin. Dry skin can cause itchiness and lead to eczema, redness, cracking, and inflammation. By taking care of yourself, you can ensure your skin stays moist and healthy.

Dry skin happens when the skin does not retain enough moisture. There are many ways this can happen — too frequent bathing, use of harsh soaps, aging, a medical condition, or environmental conditions. The cold, dry winter air has a low humidity level, resulting in red, rough, itchy skin. Though the cold air can increase the chances of dry skin, warm weather can also cause skin to dry out. Hot weather increases water loss from the skin, causing it to feel irritated and dry. Summer heat means more sweat, more oil, and faster cell production. Let’s look at some of the ways you can help control your dry skin.

One of the first steps in reducing dry skin is the use of a good quality skin moisturizer. Moisturizers rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in moisture. Some of the most effective moisturizers are silicone, petroleum jelly, lanolin and mineral oil. These moisturizers are best used while your skin is still damp from a shower. 

A humidifier is a great investment. In the winter, set your humidifier controls to about 60% which should be enough to replenish the top layer of the skin. 

Take shorter showers. Limit them to 5 to 7 minutes in lukewarm water. Excessive hot water and long periods in the water will deplete your skin of its natural oils. Use a soap-free cleanser such as Cetaphil and avoid deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products. Avoid bath sponges, scrub brushes, and washcloths, or make sure you use them sparingly and/or use a lighter touch. 

Use coconut oil to relieve skin dryness. Coconut oil has been recognized as an effective agent for the treatment and prevention of atopic dermatitis. It can help deeply hydrate and repair dry skin. Apply warm coconut oil over your body before going to sleep.

Aloe vera hydrates irritated skin. You can use raw aloe vera on the skin. Cut a fresh aloe vera leaf and leave it cut side down in a bowl for about 15 minutes. Take the leaf out of the bowl and wash it well. Cut off the tip (about 2 inches) and cut down the sides, so the thorns are off. Slice through the middle lengthwise, so you have two halves. Scrape the insides with the knife to collect the aloe. You can also use a spoon. Don’t scrape too deep. Remember, you just want the gel. You can store the gel in a container in the fridge. When you’re ready to use it, apply the gel to your skin, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. 

Apply warm almond oil or sunflower to your skin, and massage it in like you would a regular moisturizer. The gentle heat can stimulate blood circulation and help open up your pores to allow the oil to seep into the skin. Almond oil is loaded with vitamin E, one of the most potent skin-healing nutrients available. 

SilcSkin’s Hand Treatment is made in the U.S.A using 100% medical-grade silicone. Squeeze out a pearl-sized drop and massage it into your skin. You can use this cream anywhere on the body and is especially beneficial for the dry, creepy skin on your hands.