Dry skin is one of the most uncomfortable skin conditions you can have, and it’s an incredibly common problem, especially in the winter time. When the air outside is cold and dry during the colder seasons, the water in your skin evaporates faster, and your skin loses its ability to retain moisture in the winter for this reason. This makes you skin feel rough, dry, tight, chapped and itchy. When dry, your skin might look flaky, scaly or red. It doesn’t help that we tend to use central heating in our homes and space heaters at the office during the colder months, as this exposes us to dry and hot air which lacks humidity and dries out our skin. We of course want our skin to always look and feel soft, smooth and radiant – which is why it’s so frustrating to have dry skin. Luckily, there are plenty of effective remedies for dry skin, and below we have 5 of the best dry skin cures for you:
The drying effects of cold weather can cause a build-up of rough, dead skin. This causes that unwanted flaky or rough appearance to the skin that you don’t want. After exfoliating your skin, it will feel smoother and softer, and it will more easily absorb your moisturizers because the layers of dead skin are no longer blocking absorption. (You could buy the best, most expensive moisturizer and yet it won’t work if you’re trying to moisturize dead skin.) Plenty of facial scrubs and body scrubs are great for exfoliating the skin, but a truly fantastic way to exfoliate is getting a microdermabrasion treatment at your local skin clinic or spa. It’s a relaxing, non-invasive treatment that uses micro-crystals to mechanically remove dull, dry and dead skin cells. Using both a ‘sanding’ technique and a ‘suction’ technique, dead skin build-up is effectively removed. The result is incredibly soft, smooth and radiant-looking skin. A microdermabrasion is one of the most effective treatments for the rejuvenation of dry skin. Between microdermabrasion treatments, you should still exfoliate your skin regularly (at least twice per week) using exfoliating creams.
2. Invest in a Good Moisturizing Cream
Once you’ve exfoliated your skin, moisturizers will work. The expensive moisturizers can sometimes be worth the hefty price tag, and they can really help remedy dry skin, but make sure you do your research before buying. Moisturizers with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or with glycerin are especially effective on dry skin. AHA moisturizers do remove dry, dead, scaly skin, and they also trap moisture in, making your skin look radiant even without makeup on. Glycerin works to moisturize the skin by drawing water from the air into the skin’s outer layer. It also forms a protective layer that helps prevent moisture loss. It’s especially important to moisturize immediately after showering (in luke-warm water) while your skin is still damp and therefore hydrated. This way, you’re locking some extra moisture in.
3. Use a Humidifier in Your Home
Get a humidifier for your bedroom and make sure you use it at night while you sleep. A humidifier will replace the moisture in the air that gets compromised by dry indoor heating. The humidifier helps by adding moisture to the air, thus hydrating your skin. Along with using a humidifier, you should also turn the heat down to the lowest level you’re comfortable with, because heat does dry out the skin. Luckily, a humidifier will replenish the air’s moisture, so it’s ok to have the heat on in your apartment as long as it’s not on full blast.
4. Use Coconut Oil as an Overnight Treatment
An effective overnight treatment using coconut oil will work wonders on your extremely dry skin. First, have a shower or a bath in luke-warm water, not hot water. (Hot water strips your skin’s natural oils away, and without those oils, the moisture in your skin escapes.) Pat yourself semi-dry, and while your skin is still damp, apply coconut oil to your entire body (except for the soles of your feet, because it’s slippery!) Put on a pair of old pajamas, and go to sleep. This is a great overnight treatment for dry skin, because coconut oil has emollient properties. Emollients increase skin hydration by reducing moisture evaporation. Emollients also smooth the skin by filling in any gaps between skin cells, thus mending cracked skin. Coconut oil is enriched with healthy fats that moisturize the skin, and it’s easily absorbed by the skin so it will moisturize it well. The saturated fats help to retain the moisture level of the skin and give it a healthy glow. The saturated fatty acids that occur naturally in the coconut will hydrate and soften the skin, and the vitamin E in coconut oil helps to repair dry, rough skin as well.
5. Add Essential Fatty Acids to Your Diet
You are what you eat, and your skin benefits from what you eat. Essential fatty acids help keep skin nourished and combat dryness. Fish and flaxseed oil contain essential fatty acids, and so do walnuts, almonds, salmon, spinach and eggs. A diet that’s good for your skin includes essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s as they are the building blocks of healthy cell membranes. These polyunsaturated fats also help produce the skin’s natural oil barrier, which is critical in keeping skin hydrated, young and smooth.