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Very dry skin: what to do and what not to do
Categories: November 24, 2014 | Posted by Mukti
Your house and car are littered with an assortment of hand creams. Your handbag and work desk contain five different lip balms. The second you finish showering, you rush to moisturise your face. Chances are, you have VERY dry skin.
It’s easy to identify: it feels irritating, tight, uncomfortable and even painful if it reaches the point of cracking, peeling or bleeding. It can also make you look older than your years.
The great news is, very dry skin is quite preventable if you know how to treat it properly.
Very dry skin is common in colder months, when the air is dry and chilly. But it can also get worse over summer if you spend more time in air-conditioning and at the beach.
What causes very dry skin?
Our skin becomes dry when the epidermis, the most superficial layer of the skin, lacks moisture. The epidermis is composed of lipid and protein. The lipid part of of the epidermis prevents skin dryness. When the skin’s fatty oils are removed —through exposure to harsh chemicals, sun exposure, dry air, age, medication or a number of medical conditions — the skin loses moisture.
What to do:
- Sun exposure is a major cause of dry skin and in Australia we are in for a long, hot summer. So if you have very dry skin, I would suggest you limit your sun exposure in the hottest part of the day. Never go outside without applying sunscreen and wearing protective clothing and a hat.
- Moisturise consistently and correctly. Apply a nourishing body moisturiser after showering or bathing, while your skin is still damp to trap moisture. Moisturise your hands every time you wash them so that evaporating water doesn't draw even more moisture from your dry skin. Look for a face moisturiser with the added protection of a sunscreen.
- Make sure your regular face moisturiser is very nourishing and designed for dry skin. Our Hydrating Moisturiser contains bioactive native extracts of kakadu plum — which has the highest concentration of vitamin C of any fruit — plus banksia and flame tree.
- If it’s winter and you’re using heating, which removes moisture from the air and really exacerbates dry skin, use a humidifier. Aim for indoor humidity of about 50%.
- Air-conditioning is similarly drying on the skin. If you spend all day in air-con at work, try to limit your exposure when you’re in the car or at home. At work, take your morning tea and lunch breaks outside in a leafy park, where you can relax and allow your skin to breathe underneath the trees.
- Drink plenty of purified water during the day and add some lemon to alkalise and rehydrate.
- Limit caffeine intake – it’s a diuretic, so it makes your body lose water. If you suffer from very dry skin, that’s the last thing you want.
- Swap tea and coffee for super-hydrating coconut water, herbal tea, mineral water or green juices.
- If you have very dry hands, liberally apply our super-thick, super-healing Marigold Hydrating Crème at night and wear cotton gloves while you sleep to allow it to penetrate deeply.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Don’t use skincare products that contain harsh chemicals and preservatives, such as triclosan and parabens. Choose certified organic products containing nutrient-rich ingredients designed to nourish and feed your skin.
- No hot showers or baths – hot water strips your body of its natural oil barrier. You need that barrier to help trap moisture and keep your skin smooth and moist. Aim for a warm shower or bath of no longer than 5 to 10 minutes.
- Don't use soap on your body and NEVER on your face. Use a hydrating cleansing lotion instead. When washing hands, choose a hand wash that doesn't strip your hands of its oils.
- Don’t use an astringent toner on your face and it will only dry it out even more. Opt for a hydrating toner and apply your moisturiser before the toner has dried.
- If you have very dry skin on your face, don't wear powder makeup. Opt for a liquid foundation or just use a light tinted moisturiser.
- Don't wash dishes or use cleaning products unless you are wearing rubber gloves. Cleaning detergents, especially those that aren't natural or homemade, are notoriously harsh on the skin.
Do you have any of your own tips for dealing with very dry skin?
Join the discussion (2)
Dec 03, 2014 05:44am
i am trying to order the calendula cream from my mobile phone. I can't find it even through the search button. please advise.
Hi, I'm Mukti, the founder and creator of Mukti Organics. My aim is to assist you in achieving beautiful, radiant skin without using products containing toxic chemicals. Certified organic skin care is better for you, your family and our planet. Click here to sign up and receive 15% off your first order. Signing up and commenting on our blog posts enters you into our bimonthly draw to receive $150 worth of products of your choice.