How to Increase Moisture in Skin
Skin provides natural protection for the body from aggressive outside impact. Moist skin has natural oils that protect the skin from pathogens and can be a marker of internal health. If you have dry flaky skin you need to replenish it as soon as possible, since skin’s dryness can cause decreased functioning of your immune system.
The main symptoms of dry skin are:
- Itching that can provoke the nervous “itch-scratch” cycle, especially in little kids;
- Red plaque – particularly when it comes to dry skin on face;
- Roughness – especially on elbows and knees.
What causes dry skin?
To restore smooth and silky skin, at first you need to know the reason you have dehydrated skin. A lack of moisture and a disturbed balance of natural oils in the skin are usually the main causes. These reasons are commonly provoked by the following factors and lifestyle habits:
Long baths and steamy showers
It may seem a very good idea to lay in a hot bath after a hard day. However, it’s not the best choice for your skin. That is why it’s better to cleanse in a shower or bath quickly with a lukewarm temperature. 5 minutes is more than enough. Also, avoid over-drying and use lotions, creams, or oils after taking a bath.
Harsh winter weather
The low temperature is one of the main reasons for dry skin, especially in very Northern or Southern countries. During the winter, the humidity level is also very low, and dry air can make the skin parched. To avoid this problem, you can install a humidifier in your house. Set the indoor humidity level at 45%-55% and the temperature inside should not be lower than 68oF. Wear gloves and scarf when outside to prevent dry skin on hands and neck.
Many women think that scrubbing can cleanse their skin, but in fact it is not that good. Extensive daily rubbing can lead to severe skin dryness. Use only mild scrubs, preferably without chemicals.
Carefully choose hand and body soaps. Give preference to a fragrance-free, mild soap that was specifically made for dry skin. Natural soaps with essential oils and glycerin are better for your skin than commercial soaps which often are full of chemical detergents which strip away natural skin oils.
Natural processes of aging
Hormones and natural oil levels in skin change during the years. As a result, skin becomes parched and dry. To avert these processes, you should use a rub of facial and body cream daily. Look for a dry skin cream with retinol and alpha-hydroxyl acids.
Your favorite sweater may be one of the main reasons for your dry skin. Some fabrics, especially synthetic ones, or natural fabrics washed by a fabric softener or detergent, can cause skin irritation. To minimize the risks you should buy washing products labeled as “dye-free” and “fragrance-free”. Pick up clothes made of natural and soft fabrics – silk and cotton, including bed sheets.
If you skin remains red and dry for a long time, it is time to visit a dermatologist, since these may be the symptoms of psoriasis or dermatitis. It is highly possible that your dry skin condition can be fixed by taking a medication or using a topical cream.
Speaking of medications… Some meds can cause dry skin, especially when taken for a long time. These drugs can be diuretics for high blood pressure, cholesterol-lowering pills and acne creams (for example, Retin-A). Avoid using these meds if it is not absolutely necessary.
Among other causes of dry itchy skin are:
- Regular swimming in pool with chemicals;
- Extensive dry heat’s influence – natural or indoor heating;
- Hormonal changes;
Dry Skin Care: Beauty Product Treatment
The best dry skin treatment is to follow certain daily rituals. At first, you need to moisturize your skin with a special lubricant based on an emollient – this substance inhibits water’s evaporation from your skin. Most beauty products can significantly improve the condition of dry skin. So, moisturizing creams and lotions should not be ignored. They can help to stop itching, prevent loss of water and restore dehydrated skin.
How to choose the best moisturizer for dry skin?
It’s not necessary to pay a fortune when buying a good skin moisturizer. First of all, it is recommended to read the label before buying. A good moisturizer for dry skin should have these components:
- Ceramides – these substances help to hold water in skin and soothe extremely dry areas of skin;
- Glycerin and dimethicone help to draw and give water straight to the skin;
- Hyaluronic acid also absorbs water and keeps skin moisturized for as long as possible;
- Natural or essential oils.
Medical treatment of dry skin
Dermatologists recommend application of dry skin lotions like:
- Lubriderm, Cetaphil, Curel lotions for daily skin care;
- Highly moisturizing products for severe dry skin are Vaseline and Aquaphor
- Topical dry skin cream based on steroids like mild hydrocortisone 1% and Pramosone 2.5%, medium triamcinolone 0.1% and strong fluocinonide 0.05% creams.
Mild steroid creams must be applied only on facial, underarm and groin areas to avoid irritation.
Oral dry skin remedies are required for people who suffer from severe itching and redness. In this case you may want to take oral antihistamines to soothe itching:
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl);
- hydroxyzine (Vistaril);
- cetirizine (Zyrtec);
- hydroxyzine (Atarax).
The best supplements and vitamins for dry skin:
Vitamin deficiency is a serious problem triggering multiple health problems. When it comes to dry skin treatment, you should make sure to take such vitamins:
- Gamma-linolenic acids – take food products with primrose, borage and black currant oils;
- Fish oils with omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil, walnuts and canola oil;
- Vitamin B6 – potatoes, sunflower seeds and oil, bananas, oatmeal, chicken breast, pork oil, roast beef and vitamin-fortified cereals.
- Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and riboflavin – eat carrots, oranges and leafy green veggies.
Natural and home remedies for dry skin
Using home food products that you may have available can save your skin from dryness. It is possible to save few bucks from visits to a dermatologist by making your own remedies for all-natural dry skin treatment. Here are some very efficient recipes:
Olive oil and brown sugar scrub
Olive oil for dry skin is one of the best remedies created by nature since it contains a lot of fatty acids and antioxidants. Make a homemade moisturizer based on the mix of 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of honey. Rub this scrub on dry skin for 2-3 minutes before taking shower. After shower rub a mild moisturizer for dry skin.
Yogurt and papaya
Fresh yogurt is good for application on your hands, face and legs. Apply and massage for 10 minutes before taking a bath, on a daily basis. If you mix a half cup of yogurt with 3 tablespoons of blended papaya, also add few drops of lemon juice and honey. Apply on for 10 minutes and then wash with cold water. Do once a week.
Coconut, jojoba, macadamia, almond, and Argan oils
These oils are all great for moisturizing your skin. You can even mix in some other scented essential oils and create your own special mix. These oils don’t often cause allergic reactions, and can be a great natural way of providing much needed moisture to your body.