How to treat and prevent dry skin
After a long, lazy day in the sun, you wander back into the house for a bathroom break. Your skin feels flushed and sweaty but healthy. As you splash some cold water on your face and look into the mirror, you frown. There appears to be a patch of dry, flaky skin on your face. While your cheeks and forehead remain dewy with the heat of the day, the skin on your nose feels dry and thirsty. It’s true that you didn’t feel the need to moisturise this morning because it was so warm that you didn’t want your skin to feel claggy or overload it with oil. But why does it seem to be doing the complete opposite of that and why is your skin looking so dehydrated?
Why does skin become dry?
Dry skin is known scientifically as xeroderma or xerosis. It’s a common condition and can affect anyone at any age. Skin moisture tends to correspond to the humidity of the air that it’s exposed to. The higher the humidity, the higher the epidermis’ water content will be.
Some people may only experience dry skin seasonally with the cold of winter bringing low humidity, but other people will be affected all year round, particularly those who suffer from conditions like eczema and psoriasis. There is evidence that the natural aging process causes the skin to produce less oil, which can also result in dry skin.
What are the symptoms of dry skin?
Dry skin is characterised by a range of symptoms including:
- Skin tightness
- Fine lines or small cracks in the skin
- Rough feel to the skin
- Skin peeling or flaking
- Redness on white skin or grey areas on black or brown skin
So, if it’s low humidity that dries out my skin, why do I still get flaky patches in hot weather? Unfortunately, that warm bath of sunlight absorbs moisture from the skin and of course, you sweat more, which leaves your whole body in danger of dehydration. When you’re dehydrated, your skin can become dry and prickly.
However, think twice about jumping into a cold swimming pool to cool off. Chemicals such as chlorine can make already dry skin worse and lead to a chalky effect. You might also want to avoid that sweet breeze of air conditioning too, because as you already know, cold air saps moisture from the skin. You might be wondering whether there is any way of staying cool and comfortable in warmer weather that isn’t detrimental to your skin’s health. Our Hydrating body bar is excellent at keeping your skin soft and full of moisture. Simply lather it up in your morning shower and enjoy healthy, hydrated skin!
Dry, scaly skin can also be caused by using harsh soaps or by bathing for too long or too frequently, as this can remove the natural oils from your skin. Beauty Kin’s body bars are specially formulated to gently moisturise and exfoliate, so you can rest assured that your skin is safe.
How to treat dry skin
Dehydrated skin can strike at any time of year and in any weather, so it’s important that skin care for dry skin includes sufficient cleansing and moisturising. A good cleanser, face wash and moisturiser specifically formulated for dry skin treatment will restore hydration. Our top tips for treating dry skin include:
- Clean your skin twice a day. Use a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night. Sensitive skin should be washed with just warm water during the morning cleanse.
- Moisturise. Getting into a good, regular moisturising routine that works for you is essential to treating dry, flaky skin. Look for products that are non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic and contain ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter or ceramides.
- Bath or shower in warm water and keep bath time short. Get into the habit of bathing once a day for no longer than 5-10 minutes. Keep the water warm rather than hot.
- Install a humidifier in the rooms that you use most. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which is excellent if your home gets very hot and dry, playing havoc with your skin’s moisture levels. A portable one can travel with you around the house!
- Wear fabrics that allow your skin to breathe. Opt for clothes made of natural fibres like cotton, which allows your skin to breathe much easier than polyester and nylon. Dehydrated skin needs to take in as much air as it can.
Most cases of dehydrated skin respond well to home treatment methods but if it persists, there may be an underlying cause for your skin drying out. If your dry skin covers large areas, becomes inflamed or painful or you have open wounds triggered by itching, you should see your doctor.
How to prevent dry skin
Of course, the best tip to keeping dry skin away is to maintain your skin’s moisture levels. Therefore, moisturising throughout the day is key. Focus on areas of skin that are regularly exposed to the air such as your face and hands. While a good moisturiser is definitely the most important, simplest prevention step for dry skin, there are a range of other measures that will help keep your skin hydrated and supple. These include:
- Careful shaving. Shaving removes the top layer of the epidermis and therefore reduces its ability to retain moisture. Ensure that your skin is sufficiently moist throughout the shaving process and moisturise afterwards.
- Use suntan lotion daily. Even on cloudy days, the sun will still hit your skin. Many moisturisers now have SPF and you should aim for one with at least 30. Re-apply it every couple of hours (or more often in the summer or if you’re swimming) and your skin should be safe from drying out.
- Shower and moisturise after swimming. If you’ve just been swimming in a cold, heavily chlorinated pool, your skin will be crying out for some moisture. Don’t skip the post-swim shower and definitely don’t skip the post-swim moisturise!
- Cover up as much as possible during cold, windy weather. It might go without saying but wearing as many clothes as is comfortable in the cold weather is important for many reasons. However, one of those reasons is the fact that cold air is one of the worst culprits for making skin dry.
- Stay hydrated. Perhaps an even easier measure to commit to than moisturising is to drink plenty of water. Keeping yourself hydrated isn’t just for your body’s water levels, it’s also vital for ensuring that your skin stays soft and healthy.
We have the solution!
We are passionate about bringing products that offer real solutions to real skin problems. That’s why we’ve created our fantastic body bars for a range of issues such as dry skin, acne and blemishes. Dry skin is the speciality of our Hydrating body bar. It’s packed with active ingredients such as squalane, a soap-free emollient which gently glides over the skin. Tomato seed oil minimises the pores and reduces redness caused by dry skin while jojoba oil targets areas of dryness and restores moisture. Good exfoliation and safe shaving are also vital to preventing dry skin and our Exfoliate and Shave body bars are here to help with that. In both bars, squalane acts as the hero hydrator. Exfoliate’s ingredients promote soft, shiny skin while Shave ensures a smooth shaving experience for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Dry, flaky skin shouldn’t be a condition to be put up with. No matter what the weather is like, there are preventative measures that you can take to stop your skin from drying out and becoming painful and itchy. Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or playing in the snow, you and your skin can stay hydrated and healthy. It just takes a bit of time and love, which you definitely deserve!