What to do about dry and dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin and dry skin are not the same. Dryness is caused by a lack of natural oil in the skin, while dehydration means your skin lacks water. It is possible to have both dry and dehydrated skin.

Skin tends to be driest during hot dry summers and cold dry winters and air conditioning!

Dry and dehydrated skin is often a temporary or seasonal problem — one that you experience during cold winters or hot dry summers. Unfortunately for some the problem may remain a lifelong problem and is associated with certain occupations.

Signs and symptoms will depend on your age, health status, living environment, the amount of time you spend outdoors and the specific cause of your problem. Common symptoms include:

  • Sensation of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing, or swimming.
  • Skin that appears rough, shrunken or dehydrated
  • Itching, slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling skin.
  • Fine lines or cracks in the skin that lead to redness and breakouts – especially on the face.

Potential causes of dry skin anywhere on the body include:

  • Weather. Skin tends to be driest in winter when temperatures and humidity levels plummet.
  • Dry Heat. Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and
  •  dry your skin.
  • Hot baths and showers. Taking long hot showers or baths reduces the hydration in your skin. So can frequent swimming, particularly in heavily chlorinated pools.
  • Harsh and drying soaps and detergents. Many soaps, detergents, and shampoos strip moisture from your skin as they are formulated to remove oil. – Go Natural.
  • Other skin conditions. People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis are prone to dry skin. You may find this article 

These steps can help keep your skin moist and healthy:

  • Moisturise. Moisturisers provide a seal over your skin to keep water from escaping. Apply moisturizer several times a day and always after showering and swimming. 
  • A natural facial cleanser and mild exfoliator will lift cells ready to be shed by your skin without damaging the protective layers, and help your moisturiser absorb into your skin.
  • Use warm water and limit bath time. Hot water removes oil from your skin. Limit your bath or shower to five minutes and use warm water. Never put the shower head straight on to your face!
  • For swimmersshower before getting into chlorinated pools so that your skin absorbs regular water and not so much chlorinated water. Moisturise well after the shower.
  • Choose natural mild soaps and hair products that contain quality oils and fats. Avoid alcohol-based deodorants and antibacterial detergents, fragrance, and alcohol.
  • Wear rubber gloves. Wear gloves when washing up dishes, using harsh cleansers or gardening to protect your skin. If your occupation is hard on your hands, ensure you protect them.
  • Rubbing creates friction and that is not good for inflamed skin. Gently pat your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains. Immediately moisturize your skin with an oil or cream to help trap water in the surface cells.
  • Turn down your heating, open a window from time to time, or use a humidifier. Hot, dry, air is destructive on sensitive skin, aggravating itching, and flaking. Keep your humidifier clean to remove a build-up of bacteria and fungi.
  • Cover up in cold weather. Winter can be especially drying to skin, so be sure to wear a scarf, hat, and gloves when you go out. This is especially important for babies and children (for lots of reasons) and the elderly with decreased circulation of blood associated with ageing.
  • Choose natural fibres, such as cotton and silk, allow your skin to breathe. While natural, wool can irritate even normal skin. Wear a cotton clothing underneath wool. 
  • Drink enough water – especially when its colder and when we do not have the same desire to drink.
  • Eat a great diet full of healthy veges, fruits and healthy protein and oils and natural yohurt!

As many of you know we love Dr Hauschka Skin Care and the biodynamic and fair trade practice that is the foundation of all their beautiful products. Check out this great blog from Dr Hauschka Australia

All their products are available at Bodywise along with a great range of therapeutic skin care products.

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