Skincare Tips for Dry Skin

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Skincare Tips for Dry Skin

Does your dry skin drive you crazy? Read on to explore its underlying causes, how to treat it and the lifestyle changes you can make to alleviate or control dryness.

Why me?
If your skin feels dry, stretched and uncomfortable after washing, you may be suffering from underactive sebaceous glands. While overactive sebaceous glands can lead to acne, when they are underactive it means that they are not lubricating your skin as efficiently as they should be, which can result in dry skin. Even mildly dry skin, exposed to extreme temperatures, wind or long hours of air-conditioning can turn flaky. Genetics could be another reason for dry skin or there may be a medical issue involved like an under-performing thyroid, diabetes and certain medications prescribed for other ailments.

Caring for your skin
Some simple ways to control the problem are:

Wash or bathe with lukewarm or cool water; hot water strips away natural oils. Use a mild face wash instead of soap and pat dry with a soft towel. After bathing, apply baby oil lightly; paying attention to especially dry areas like elbows and knees. Towel-dry your body gently – never rub. Pamper your skin with moisturiser; it increases the water content of your skin. Use ph-neutral toiletries.

Dry facial skin needs extra care:
Some experts recommend substituting tap water with mineral water for excessively dry skin. You could also try a mild, glycerine-based soap or face wash. Using a soft towel, pat your face dry, apply toner and splash or mist a little water on your face. Moisturiser is your skin’s best friend – use it liberally after cleansing and toning. Keep a handy tube in your bag when you’re away from home. At night, use a cleansing cream, toner and gently massage in a nourishing night cream.

Herbal help
Aloe vera is a great weapon against dryness. It also clears dead skin. Tea tree oil penetrates deep into the skin – just add a drop to your regular cream to increase its moisturising capacity. Treat yourself to a weekend facial sauna with herbs like chamomile or peppermint (dried or fresh herbs are both fine).

 

Lifestyle tips
Dehydration is the most common cause of dry skin. The golden rule of eight glasses of water a day still holds good!

Your diet should include a variety of vegetables, some of them raw. Orange and yellow veggies contain beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant. Nuts and seeds contain vitamins and healthy fats that combat dryness. Vitamin B5, from dairy products and wheat germ, contains pantothenic acid which your body needs to synthesise fats and oils that skin needs.

Say goodbye to junk foods – potato chips, sugary/carbonated drinks et al. Fried foods contain high quantities of “bad” fats that eventually lead to clogged capillaries, resulting in dull skin and a prematurely aged appearance. Can’t do without your caffeine fix? Try cutting down to at most 1-2 cups per day.

While fresh air and exercise are essential, avoid exposure to dry, hot weather and chilly winds.

 

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