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Published: 12 August 2019

Dry Skin - Challenges and Cures

Dry skin can be as difficult a condition to treat as acne and can cause the same amount of exasperation when trying to control it.  It’s not just about how your skin looks, but also how it feels.   It is true that people with dryer skin do have fewer blemishes and don’t suffer with frequent breakouts, but annoyingly drier skins tend to age faster and look older.

Dry skin can be frustrating to manage so to banish flaky, scaly skin try these tips.

Turn down the temperature

At the end of a busy day is a treat to indulge in a hot bath or shower, your body will feel great but the heat can seriously dry out your skin.   Hot water can strip your body of its natural oils, which trap moisture and act as a barrier on your skin keeping it hydrated, soft and smooth.   And while we all love a good soak in the tub, limit yourself to 5 to 10 minutes tops.  After bathing, gently pat your skin dry, don’t rub, and immediately apply moisturiser to face and body.

Be gentle

It might seem like a good idea to exfoliate dry skin every day, to remove the dead skin, which can look chalky and flaky but this is a common misconception and can actually aggravate the condition.  You need to take it easy and gently cleanse with a soap free, pH balanced, cream cleanser.  Choose one that contains natural ingredients like Aloe Vera, which will help soothe and soften the skin.  Remove the cleanser with a cotton wool pad, avoiding rinsing with water.

Prevention is better than cure

We are all aware of the negative effects of sun exposure, it is the single, worst offender in premature aging, and UVA and UVB rays are seriously damaging to the skin.  Exposure to UVA & UVB rays result in fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, skin roughness and dryness.   It is therefore prudent to wear sunscreen with broad spectrum protection, not just in summer but all year-round.  

Maximum moisturising 

Moisturising may seem obvious but it’s surprising how many clients I see that aren’t efficiently and sufficiently moisturising their skin.  Once a days just isn’t enough.  In the morning apply a lightweight cream or lotion that can be easily absorbed and which contains SPF20 or above.  Before bed I’d recommend a serum and night cream, for deep hydration and nourishment.   A good moisturising cream or lotion is really your best defense against dry skin.  Ingredients to look out for are Hyaluronic acid, Shea butter and Vitamin E.

Eat well

Eat foods rich in healthy fats and Omega-3.  Oily fish like mackerel, salmon and herring are all rich in these.   Avocado, sweet potato, peppers and tomatoes, are packed with skin nourishing vitamins C & E which are antioxidants and anti-aging nutrients.  Sweet potatoes and carrots contain carotenoids which act as a natural sun-block to the skin.  Walnuts are a great source of nutrients that the skin needs to function properly and stay health.  Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is essential to keep your body and skin hydrated too.

Published: 12 August 2019