Itchy, scratchy, tight, and just downright uncomfortable. Dry skin can be caused by many factors including the elements, your diet, chemicals in your fabric softener, detergent-based soaps, and more. Here’s a list of common causes of dry skin, and tips on how to fight back:
1: Baby, it’s cold outside
As the temperature drops, so does the humidity level. And, turning up the heater further strips moisture from the air. Low humidity plus moisture sucking heaters is a recipe for dry crackly skin – yuck!
Combat the cold with a moisture barrier.
Installing a humidifier can restore the moisture level in your home, but won’t battle the cold and dry winter air when you’re outside. Create your own moisture barrier to prevent the dry air from sucking the moisture out of your skin.
- Use a lip moisturizer, and choose one without chemical colorants or fragrances that can aggravate already dry skin.
- Apply a moisturizing body butter to your face and hands, remember to avoid chemical colorants and fragrances here too!
- Seal the deal with a scarf and gloves for a layer of protection from the harsh winter air (and to be kept snug as a bug!).
2 (and 3,4, &5!): Ahhhhh, those steamy hot showers…
Soothing and relaxing for sore muscles, a long hot shower is the worst thing you can do for dry skin! The longer and hotter the shower, the more of your skin’s natural moisturizing oils you strip off. Detergent-based shampoos, body washes, and soaps double up on stripping your skin of its natural moisture barriers, which most folks then further deteriorate by toweling down with a fluffy towel – that’s probably filled with chemical-based fragrances to further aggravate dry skin. WOW, and here we thought a nice warm shower was a treat! Here’s how to “do it right” when “right” means tending to your skins moisture level.
Keep your showers short and sweet.
I’m the worst at this one, as I love a long hot shower, but a short cool shower is really the best way to go about it. Not only are they refreshing, but they minimize the damage to your skin. You should be able to suds up and rinse off in about 5 minutes – plenty of time to clean off the grime and refresh your senses with the cooling water.
Just say no, to moisture sucking soaps.
Choose a soap created from all natural ingredients, and free of chemical colors and fragrances. A quick way to tell if your bar is natural is to read the ingredients. You should be able to pronounce and identify everything listed on the label. If the label includes “fragrance” check what type of fragrance is used – cosmetic labeling regulations require that wording, but the soap maker will tell you what type of fragrances are used if you ask (and many include them in product details). For extra sensitive skin, skip the fragrance altogether, and use a bar with the pure natural scent of the oils and butters in the bar. No soap will restore moisture, but a quality bar will go a long way in letting your body restore its natural moisture barrier on its own.
Skip the scrub-a-dub-dub.
While in the shower, lather up your soap with your hands or a soft washcloth. Abrasive scrubby nets and cloths are going to scrub away any moisture barrier that the soap left behind.
Pat dry and reclaim that moisture.
After the shower, pat yourself dry as opposed to rubbing with the towel. This will leave some water for your skin will absorb. You can further lock in that moisture by following up with an oil based body cream. Just be sure it’s free of alcohol and artificial fragrances which can reduce the moisture barrier.
6: Age, it just happens.
As we get older, our skin thins out and dries out – and here we thought our hormone battle ended after puberty….
Keep hydrated, and boost the moisture barrier for aging skin
Drinking fluids can help by moisturizing from the inside out. Using a body and facial cream helps reinforce your natural moisture barrier. Apply a natural body butter first thing in the morning to kick start your day.
Dry skin isn’t something you have to live with and you should be able to alleviate it within a short period. If your skin is persistently red, dry, itchy, flaky, or scaly, see a dermatologist right away. Those symptoms could be related to a skin condition or caused by allergens – which need more than a proper shower and warm summer day to clear up.
Natural Soaps, Body Butters, and Lip Goods to Combat Dry Skin
Alō Goods are handcrafted with all natural ingredients to nourish mind, body, & spirit. With three signature aroma blends of all natural essential oils, your sure to find the perfect aroma to nourish your day while keeping your skin protected from the dry elements.