Having chronically dry skin is a very annoying condition, which, to make things worse, can lead to a host of other problems, from eczema and psoriasis to cracks and wrinkles. Whatever the reason for the dry skin – it could be hereditary or it could be caused by the cold weather – there are certain do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of. Here are the don’ts.
1. Prolonged hot showers
Hot water is just as effective as cold air in drying the skin, so no matter how tempting a hot shower may look on a cold winter’s day, try to resist the temptation. If you think you can get away with it by heavily moisturising afterwards, at least, try to not turn it into a habit, agreed? Even if you moisturise like mad, your skin will still itch, because it will get irritated by the hot water, so it’s best to avoid hot showers and baths, especially .
2. Beauty products overload
What this means is that you should never use more than a couple of skin products. There is such a thing as an overload in skin treatment, and this overload can cause a variety of unpleasantries, such as acne and irritation. The simple truth is that cosmetic products can interact among themselves with negative consequences, and although the general rule is to limit the treatments to three, for dry skin sufferers two is a better choice.
3. Excessive washing and hard scrubbing
You may be a germaphobe and it may be that your bacteriophobia has something to do with your dry skin. Washing too often with soap is a sure-fire way to get chronically dry skin. And you know what’s ironic? Dry, irritated skin is much more susceptible to bacterial infection, because excessive washing strips it of its protective, natural, bacterial, and friendly, flora.
4. Makeup over the top
Never apply makeup without first moisturising and try to be sparing with the quantities you apply. Since dry skin is very often also hypersensitive skin, opt for especially developed makeup that is sensitive skin-friendly. Also, unfortunately, it would be best if you steer clear of foundation, as it blocks your pores and messes with sebum production.
5. Indulging in alcohol
No, a couple of drinks with the girls on a night out are fine, we mean avoiding cosmetic products that contain alcohol (as well as excessive drinking). Alcohol is one of the greatest “skin driers” in the world, so you definitely do not need it in your cleanser or deodorant. Also, try to avoid products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids – these are found in exfoliants but they dry the skin, so choose another method of exfoliating.
6. Not wearing gloves in cold seasons
Your hands are particularly susceptible to dry skin, so make sure you never leave the house without a layer of moisturising cream and gloves, when it’s cold or windy outside. If you don’t have a dishwasher, use marigolds when you do the washing up, and if you partake in any outdoors activity that involves using your hands – wear gloves. While we’re on the subject of apparel, choose your clothes wisely, too: avoid irritating fabrics, such as wool or just wear them over a layer of something softer and non-irritating.
7. Think twice about shaving
Shaving is the quickest, most pain-free way of getting rid of unwanted bodily hair (except when the razor slips), but if you have chronically dry skin you might want to consider an alternative. The problem is that shaving strips your skin of the natural, protective oily layer and can irritate it as well. If you insist on shaving, make sure you do it in the direction the hairs grow and use natural oils (such as olive oil, sweet almond oil or coconut oil) instead of shaving cream.
8. Ignoring sunblock
You should keep your distance from all direct heat sources but you can’t escape the biggest of them all, the sun. UV radiation has been proven to have a desiccating effect on human skin, so take the time to rub the sunblock in well, before going out to enjoy the warmth. Also, tanning on the beach is far from a good idea, especially for ladies with dry skin. But don’t worry, being naturally pale is in, and you can use fake tan products, if you insist on the bronzed look so much.
9. Don’t forget your antioxidants
These natural substances (mostly vitamins) help your skin stay well moisturised, and the way to get your fill is both easy and pleasant: just eat your fruit and veggies, that’s all it takes. You could also try some fruit masks but avoid sour fruits though, as they contain acids that will irritate your skin and might cause redness. Also, drink water but not excessively. The link between the amount of water you drink and the moisture level in your skin is not as direct and straightforward, as we would like it to be. Just drink your usual amount whenever you are thirsty.
What other things people with dry skin should never do? What are your best tips for dry skin?