Dry skin guide: What works, what doesn't

Published On: Aug 14 2012 10:53:06 AM EDT
Updated On: Aug 29 2012 12:40:23 PM EDT

By Tracey, Pure Matters

What Works

Take short showers. And don’t use hot water.
Limit yourself to one shower a day and keep it under 5 or 10 minutes. And fight the urge to pump up the heat. Hot water will strip away your natural moisturizing oils and dehydrate skin.

Skip the soap (and the washcloth!)
Use moisturizing cleansers in the shower instead of soap, which can be harsh on skin. And avoid scrub brushes, wash clothes, and sponges -- they can also damage your skin.

Moisturize constantly
The most important times to moisturize are after a shower, after you wash your hands and before you head outside. (It’s best to apply when skin is slightly damp.) Are your cuticles dry and hard? Try massaging in some olive oil.

Lather on lip balm
Your lips have substantially less oil glands than most parts of your body. This leads to more frequent cracking and sun damage. Make sure to wear lip balm with SPF every day -- rain or shine.

Eat fish
Some types of fish, like salmon and trout are high in an omega-3 fatty acid called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which can help relieve itching and dryness. Don’t like fish? Walnuts are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Invest in a humidifier
Fight dry winter air with a humidifier (or three.) Instead of sleeping in a room full of dry heat, add some moisture to the air with a humidifier. Added bonus: it’ll also help prevent your wood furniture from drying out!

Don’t scratch!
Yes, dry skin is itchy. But try to avoid scratching -- it just exacerbates the problem. Instead, apply moisturizer for instant albeit temporary relief.

What Doesn’t Work

Washing your face twice a day
Don’t use a face wash in the morning. Just rinse with a little water and follow with good moisturizer.

Drinking lots and lots of water
It’s oil, not water that keeps skin moist. So while drinking eight glasses of water every day is a healthy choice, it’s not going to help prevent your skin from drying out unfortunately.

Source: http://blog.purematters.com/healthy-body/dry-skin-guide-what-works-what-doesnt

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