Dry skin is miserable. Dry, itchy, chapped, cracking… all of these things irritate its already sensitive nature. It’s typically worse in the winter, when low humidity and extreme cold combine to rob even more moisture away from the skin. Wind, air conditioning, and over exposure to the sun can cause the skin to flake and feel tight. Dry skin tends to look dull, especially on the cheeks and around the eyes.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin can be caused by a number of factors. Genetics plays a role in the development of dry skin. Oil glands that do no supply enough sebum will not be able to lubricate the skin properly. Dry skin can be caused by environmental factors such as exposure to sun, wind, cold, chemicals, or cosmetics, or excessive bathing with harsh soaps. The oil glands do not supply enough lubrication to the skin. As a result, the skin becomes dehydrated. Diet also plays a role in the lubrication of the skin. A poor diet that is lacking in essential nutrients, especially deficiencies of vitamin A and the B vitamins, can cause the skin to become dry.
Skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema may aggravate the skin and cause it to become dry, flaky, and dull. Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes may develop dry skin as a side effect of their condition or of the medication they are talking. Other medications, such as diuretics, antispasmodics, and antihistamines can contribute to dry skin.
Caring For Dry Skin
Dry skin requires special care attention. Here are some special techniques you can use to cleanse, moisturize, and protect dry skin.
Like other skin types, dry skin needs regular and gentle cleansing. However, you must be very careful with the products and methods you use to cleanse dry skin, as it is easily aggravated. Use a gentle organic cleanser such as AquaSpirit® made especially for dry skin. Gently massage the cleanser into the skin and splash off with luke warm water. Do not use water that is either too hot or too cold. And do not rub with your hands or with a washcloth. Lightly pat your skin dry with a soft, clean organic cotton towel.
Cleansing the skin helps to remove dirt, debris, make up and pollutant, but it also strips away the natural oils protecting the skin. A moisturizer increases the water content of the outer layers of the skin and helps to lock in the skin’s own moisture. Again, choose a moisturizer such as Parfait Visage® that is made for dry skin and apply it liberally after cleansing with a gentle massaging motion. For skin on the body, an organic moisturizer can be applied directly after a bath or shower. Apply organic facial moisturizers generously, paying careful attention to the neck, and the areas surrounding the eyes where tiny lines and crows feet are born.
Dry skin is highly susceptible to damage from environmental conditions. Use organic sunscreen everyday with an SPF of at least 15 to protect the skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Wear loose and comfortable clothing to allow skin to breathe and to reduce irritation. A wide brimmed hat can help protect the delicate facial skin from the ultraviolet rays of the sun.
Tips For Dry Skin Care
People with dry skin are prone to have chapped lips as well. Care for lips by covering them with a gentle organic lip moisturizer several times throughout the day, and before you go to bed in the evening. Use a humidifier to add moisture to your home or work environment, especially in the winter. Also, use an organic facial mask especially made for dry skin on a weekly basis to remove dull, dry surface skin cells. Drink plenty of purified water to keep your skin nourished and moisturized on the inside. We recommend the Wellness Water Purification Systems.
Herbs for Dry Skin Care
Aloe vera is soothing, healing, and moisturizing. It also helps to remove dead skin cells. Apply aloe vera gel topically on affected areas. Calendula and comfrey have skin-softening properties. They can be used in a facial sauna or to make herbal or floral waters. Comfrey also reduces redness and soothes irritated skin. Add lavender oil to the bath to soften and moisturize skin. Tea tree oil can improve the condition of the skin. Add a drop to your moisturizer to smooth and nourish the skin.
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM