What is good for dry skin?
If you suffer from dry skin, the chances are you’ve probably asked yourself all of these questions: why is this happening to me? What could be causing this? How do I get rid of it? Whether it’s a seasonal problem or a more regular occurrence, dry patches of skin appearing on your hands and face can be embarrassing and difficult to cope with.
That’s why I’m here today. A lot of you probably want to know what you can do during an outbreak to help tame your symptoms so I’ve devised a list of my favourite tips to help you get the edge over your dry skin!
1 – Protect your skin
You may have noticed that dry skin tends to manifest around the areas of your body that are often exposed – your face, your hands and sometimes your arms. These places are often a bit more vulnerable than other areas of your body as they are consistently exposed to the elements and irritants.
I really can’t stress enough how important suncream is during the hotter summer months – nothing will dry your skin out quicker than UV radiation so don’t be shy when it comes to applying the suncream.
Your hands in particular are a real risk area too! You expose them to soaps, sanitizers, washing up liquids and hot water on a regular basis.
Start by showing your hands a little TLC and reducing their exposure to these factors. Don’t shun marigolds when you’re doing the dishes and definitely opt for cotton gloves if you feel that your usual pair could be compounding the problem.
When it comes to your face, there’s definitely one vital step you can take to keep it hydrated and comforted…
2 - Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise
It should go without saying that if you have dry skin, you really should be moisturising. However, it’s important to know when to moisturise for maximum effect.
I would start by looking at when your skin is most vulnerable i.e. when you go outside, first thing in the morning, after swimming, or taking a shower, and go from there.
Applying moisturiser to damp skin can help to lock in the moisture before it evaporates so moisturising after you’ve cleansed your face or stepped out of the shower might be a good idea. I would also keep some on you when you venture out, especially during the colder winter months where you are more exposed to dry air.
Finally, you really need to consider the type of moisturiser you are using. Many conventional high-street moisturisers are loaded with toxins and chemicals that may irritate your skin, especially if it is already sensitive. As I shall soon go on to discuss, natural is always best which is why I would recommend our soothing Bioforce Cream, which is specifically formulated to soothe and nourish dry skin.
3 - Go au naturel with your skincare
If you suffer from dry skin, it might be worthwhile making a couple of changes to your skincare regime. As I have mentioned, opting for natural or organic products may make a real difference when it comes to dry, troubled skin.
The reason is that many high-street brands are loaded with artificial fragrances, synthetic fillers or toxins which can agitate your skin. Your make-up and even your perfume should come under this umbrella too!
Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there these days. One of my favourite places to go to source natural beauty products is Jan de Vries, which offer a fantastic range of organic and vegan-friendly makeup and skincare products.
4 – Think about your household products too!
Continuing in the vein of all things natural, you may want to consider your household products too. Laundry detergents and washing up liquids are prime suspects when it comes to skin irritation, with many noticing a breakout after switching their detergent or fabric softener.
This is because some of the chemicals used in these cleaners can strip away fatty oils from your epidermis, making your skin more prone to dryness and irritation. In these instances, try to go for a product that doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances or dyes.
One of my favourite natural brands is Sodasan – they’re affordable and have a variety of products to choose from. They choose to utilise eco-friendly ingredients and offer a range of products specifically formulated for sensitive skin such as their Sensitive All-Purpose Cleaner and Sensitive Washing Up Liquid.
5 – Shave sensibly
Shaving can be a delicate process if you suffer from dry skin so it’s important you get it right. Shaving with a blunt razor is a prime source of irritation – not only is the razor you are using less efficient, it may also be harbouring bacteria which will definitely upset your skin!
Make sure you are using a sharp razor and don’t share it with anyone else. Rinse the blade regularly between strokes and don’t use ordinary soap. Use a natural shaving foam or gel and remember to moisturise afterwards! I would even recommend shaving your legs in the shower if you are a woman, as the warm water can help to make the process easier.
6 – Don’t be afraid of lip balm
There’s another area of your skin that’s prone to dryness but often gets ignored – your lips! Chapped lips are extremely common, especially during a hot summer or an ice cold winter so it’s important to remember to look after them too.
If you do suffer from chapped lips, please don’t pick off bits of flaked skin. This may make your lip bleed and can sometimes even cause cold sores to appear! Licking your lips won’t work either so you really need to invest in a good lip balm.
If it’s summer, I’d invest in a balm that has a mild sun protection factor as this can help to protect your lips from sunburn. Beeswax is often a solid base for locking in moisture but if you’re vegan, shea butter can work too!
7 – Lower the temperature
During winter it may be tempting to indulge in a long hot soak but hot water doesn’t have such a good influence on dry skin.
This is because exposure to too much hot water can deprive your skin of fatty oils, making it drier and more vulnerable to irritation. I would try and dial the temperature down a bit and instead make sure you are having lukewarm showers.
You may also need to evaluate the products you use during these pamper sessions too – soaps, body washes, shampoo and conditioners can have an impact on your skin. Again, opting for more natural, organic products can help and you really should be moisturising after every soak.
8 – Humidify
Air conditioning and central heating have multiple things in common but one of them is that both can dry out your skin. This is because they circulate dry air, which can affect your epidermal layer of skin, eliminating the fatty oils that help to keep your skin hydrated.
Generally speaking, the humidity in a room should be around 40-60%, however this can drop to as little as 20%. Not only does low humidity impact your skin, it can also affect your respiratory tract too!
That’s why I often recommend investing in a humidifier, particularly during the winter months when the central heating gets cranked up. Humidifiers help to pump moisture back into the air and are quite affordable, with some companies even offering portable humidifiers that you can take with you whenever you leave the home or go visiting friends!
9 – Drink plenty of fluids
You’d be amazed how often people forget to drink enough water. Dehydration is never good for any part of your body but when it comes to your skin, it certainly won’t help to keep your complexion dewy.
In fact, when your body becomes dehydrated it can have an impact on elimination organs such as your kidneys and liver, meaning that toxins and impurities may end up being expelled from the body through the skin.
You should be drinking between 1.5 – 2 litres of plain water each day, but more and more people are replacing water with fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol. None of these are going to help your skin – the sugar content in fizzy drinks may even upset it further while alcohol is a natural inflammatory agent so it’s best to steer clear of these.
10 – Get plenty of nutrients
Antioxidants are essential for promoting good skin health – they help to prevent oxidative stress and can encourage cell growth and repair. The main ones you should be trying to include in your diet to help support your skin health are vitamins C & E, which you can find in a range of fruit and veg, including avocados, cranberries and blueberries.
You could also consider your intake of healthy fats and essential fatty acids too as these can help to keep your skin hydrated. Opting to take a fish oil supplement might be a good move if you suffer from dry skin but you can also get these nutrients from food products such as oily fish, coconut oil, chia seeds and soy.