Dry skin has many causes, including age, climate, diet and genetic factors as well as some medications and topical products. Signs of dry skin include rough, flaking or cracking skin, itching skin, and chapped lips. And while it’s natural that skin becomes drier with age, and there is little that can be done about genetic factors, fortunately there are some measures anyone can take to promote hydration in their skin and obtain a healthier, more glowing complexion. Here are some of the dos and don’ts to bear in mind when caring for dry skin.
Do drink plenty of fluids. Water makes up 50 to 70% of our body weight, so it’s essential to keep our levels topped up. Always drink some water when you wake up and have a bottle of water handy throughout the day.
Do moisturise. It sounds obvious, but dry skin can often be helped simply by moisturising more. Moisturisers promote hydration and form a barrier over the skin to protect against loss of moisture. This keeps it staying soft and supple.
Do replenish lost oil. While many people automatically assume that skin needs water, using facial oil for dry skin and other oil-rich moisturisers can do wonders. Lighter oil formulations can be used for very sensitive skins.
Do use light cleansers. Soap can have quite strong effects on dry skin, stripping moisture and drying it out further. So dermatologists generally recommend that people with dry skin use a mild soap alternative for cleansing.
Do get a facial. Pampering yourself at any time is a great idea, promoting relaxation and reducing stress, but in this case it’s more than justified. A full facial treatment tailored to dry skin will add moisture and remove dead outer layers through gentle exfoliation.
Do use a humidifier. If the air in your home is dry in winter, then a humidifier can help to add moisture to the air. Keep the humidifier near the bed for maximum benefits while you sleep. Winter, with its fluctuations between cold air outside and dry heat inside, is especially tough on dry skin.
Don’t overexpose skin to the sun. It’s well-known that sun causes premature skin dryness and aging. Always use a moisturiser with SPF15 or higher when out and about in strong sunlight. Using a moisturiser with added sunscreen is one of the most important steps that can be taken to protect dry skin against aging.
Don’t use harsh cleaning products without wearing gloves. Cleaning products often contain harsh chemicals that can dry out and damage the skin.
Don’t wash your face too often. Over washing can dry out the skin, so just wash your face in the evening with warm water and moisturise immediately afterwards.
Don’t use harsh cosmetics. Many cosmetics aren’t designed for dry skin and can lead to loss of moisture. The best foundations to use are liquid, oil-based solutions, while liquid eyeshadows and lip colours will provide a smoother finish over rough skin.