Dry Skin Have You Flaky?
Do you have dry, itchy winter skin? You’re not alone. During the winter months, many of my clients are asking for advice on the 'right' cream to use to cure their dry skin. Dry skin and how to care for it is so much more than just using moisturizers. Dry skin isn’t just a winter problem, in fact is is year round. In the summer months there's more moisture in the air, yet people still have dry skin issues.
In the winter, the air is typically dry and cold. It's the dry air that can lead to dry skin problems. The temperature is colder outside and everywhere we you go the heat is on, even in your vehicles. This is why dry skin is associated with Winter Months. Dry skin looks dull, can crack and flake so it’s important to follow three basic steps: Cleanse, Moisturize & Protect. Dry skin looks dull. It can crack and flake so it’s important to follow three basic steps: Cleanse, Moisturize & Protect.
1. GENTLY CLEANSE at least twice a day and whenever you are leaving the pool or ocean. You want to remove chlorine, salt, and toxins from pollution. Exfoliate, gentle scrubbing twice a week to remove dead skin cells.
2. MOISTURIZE- Choose light weight moisturizers for your face and body that are fragrance and oil free. Apply morning and night to restore healthier, hydrated skin. Look for key ingredients in your moisturizer or serums such as Hyaluronic acid (a natural moisturizing agent that is capable of holding 1000 times its weight). It is recommended to use anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, and E which should be applied in the morning to the face and neck for best results prior to moisturizing. If you find yourself still very dry, try a hydrating mask 2 to 3 times a week before you go to bed.
3. PROTECT – Sunscreen is key! Protect your skin from harmful UVA/UVB with sunscreen that has high levels of titanium dioxide and zinc. Be sure to use water resistant sunscreen and repeat throughout the day.
More In-Expensive At Home Tips If You Are Suffering From Dry Skin:
Harsh soaps are not your friend. Many people love the feeling of being “squeaky-clean” after using harsh soaps in the shower. Harsh soaps strip your skin of essential lipids (fats) that keep the skin moisturized. Instead, try a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and limit its use to cleaning the underarms and groin, or skin that is visibly soiled.
Warm showers, not hot. I look forward to a steaming-hot shower at the end of a cold winter day as much as the next person. But hot water and long showers can irritate and dry out the skin. So can saunas, hot tubs, and Jacuzzis. Especially when your skin is dry, try turning the temperature knob down slightly so that the water is warm rather than hot, and limit showering to once a day for no more than 10 minutes.
When you moisturize matters. The best time to moisturize is when your skin is still damp, such as right after a shower. Pat your skin dry gently, then slather up with a good moisturizer from head to toe. Not only is it more effective, it may also feel less greasy on your skin as the moisturizer traps existing moisture on your skin.
The thicker the better. Ointments or creams are much more effective at moisturizing than lotions. Ointments are typically petroleum or lanolin based, and creams tend to be thicker than lotions. Additional moisturizing ingredients to look for include shea butter, olive oil, and jojoba oil. If your skin is flaky, look for exfoliating ingredients such as lactic acid or urea, but be careful using these ingredients if you have sensitive skin.
Go gentle all around. Use skincare products that are gentle and unscented, including deodorants and hypoallergenic laundry detergent. Gentle or hypoallergenic products minimize the chance of skin irritation; avoiding irritation can help maintain the healthy skin barrier needed to retain water from the inside.
Consider a humidifier. During the dry winter months, using a humidifier to keep the humidity above 30% can make a big difference for your skin.
Nature versus nurture. Some people have a genetic mutation in the fillagrin gene. This gene is very important in the formation of the outer layer of the skin, which forms a barrier that helps the skin retain moisture. This mutation predisposes the affected individuals to eczema and persistently dry skin. It is especially important for people with this mutation to follow all the tips above to prevent and manage dry skin.
If your skin does not improve after making these changes, you may need to see a dermatologist. Sometimes, severe dry skin can be relieved by a prescription ointment or cream. Dry skin can also indicate a more serious skin condition; a dermatologist can evaluate your skin and decide on the regimen that can help you the most.
Serenity Aesthetics OC offers complimentary skin care analysis. Bring your home care regimen and we will educate you on the correct products based upon your specific skin type.
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