Fight Dry Skin and Free Your Body
My shins. They’re my dry spot. At some point each winter months I actually injure myself scratching because my shins get so itchy. Gross? Absolutely. Fixable? Yes!
Simply put —when skin does not retain sufficient moisture you’re not comfortable in your own skin and you’re not truly free. Cold winter air means low humidity, both outdoors and in. The water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it. So what can we do to combat dry skin? Have no fear.
3 Types of Ingredients That Keep Dry Skin at Bay
HUMECTANTS These ingredients attract moisture to skin.
EMOLLIENTS They smooth by filling in the spaces between skin cells.
OCCLUSIVES They form a seal over the skin when to lock in moisture (best used right after the bath when skin is damp).
10 Ways to Fight the Itch
- Careful at bath and shower time not to dry your skin out even more. Warm is good, hot is not: Limit how hot the water is and how much time spent in it.
- Use a gentle cleanser without harsh surfactants that can strip away your natural oils. And don’t use too much.
- No vigorous drying afterwards. Gently pat dry with a soft towel.
- No time to waste - slather on the moisturizer immediately! The longer you wait the more, dry your skin will become. You want to retain as much moisture from the water you were just in on to your skin for the utmost in hydration.
- The drier your skin, the heavier the formulation should be. Opt for oils or butters for very dry skin.
All the Time
- Your hands suffer the most exposure, so carry a small/travel/sample size cream or lotion with you to apply after washing your hands for the umpteenth time today.
- Gloves can be a godsend if you are washing the dishes, doing yard work, or going outside in frigid temps. Protection is key!
- Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners.
- Keep those scratchy materials way from your sensitive dry skin, they will only add to the dry irritated feeling. Cotton or silk are very soft (avoid rough wool or even some synthetics).
- Have you thought about the air moisture level? If you’re in an extremely dry climate you may want to invest in a humidifier for extra protection. Also, don’t cozy up too close to a dry heat source, such as a fireplace or heater(use a significant other instead, or better yet adopt a dog).