The outer layer of our skin is usually lubricated by natural oils, but sometimes your skin struggles to secrete enough oil to meet the demand, and you end up with a dry skin. Dryness in the skin is usually triggered by frequent showers, use of skin-drying soaps. and weather conditions. You can make use of a moisturizer to keep your skin feeling soft and supple or you can try out any of the home remedies mentioned below.
Why do you have dry skin?
Our skin has oil-secreting glands called sebaceous glands, the oil secreted by this gland is called as sebum. Sebum locks in the moisture content present in the inner layers of our skin. But due to some reason sebaceous glands fail to produce the needed quantity of oil that our skin needs. When inner layers of the skin go unprotected from sebum, it gets drained out of its moisture content leading to dry skin. On most occasions, our hands and face worst affected by this condition. Reason? skin that wraps our hands secretes lowest levels of sebum when compared to other areas.
Soften up your skin
- Milk bath: Milk contains lactic acid which helps to get rid of dry and dead cells, also it is believed to have the ability to lock down the moisture content in your skin. Take a clean cotton cloth or a washcloth. Soak it in some milk and lay over the cloth on the affected area of your skin. Let it stay for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove the cloth and rinse off the milk gently with water, so that some part of lactic acid stays intact. Do not use soap, body washes or face wash in the process.
- Epsom salt: When you have some time to spare for your skin, fill in your bathtub with warm water, to it add two cups of Epsom salt. Soak yourself in the bath. You can make use of some Epsom salt to rub off the rough areas of your skin. This will eliminate the dead skin cells and make your skin feel soft. To boost the softening effect, you can try to add some dried seaweed to the bathtub. But this is totally optional.
- Aloe vera gel: The most popular gel has natural acids that get rid of dead skin cells. Just lather some aloe vera gel to dry areas on your skin, gently massage the areas in a circular motion for five to ten minutes and wash it off with water.
- Moisturizers: These lotions do not actually work by supplying more moisture to the inner layers of our skin, instead they lock in the moisture content and prevent it from escaping. This ensures your skin remains soft and supple. However, always look for a moisturizer cream that contains alpha-hydroxy acids or urea. These lotions will remove the lose, flaky and dead skin cells on top.
Bring in more moisture
- Avocado: Scoop out the fleshy part of the fruit, make it into a puree and apply it over your face as a mask. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes and rinse it off with water. Avocado contains natural oils that will moisturize your skin and make it feel soft. Additionally, it also contains vitamin-E.
- Try to use some lotions such as petroleum jelly, peanut oil, mineral oil etc to lock in the moisture content in your skin at nights before sleep. They are inexpensive but does the job.
- If you have severely dried your hands and other parts of your body, then try to use a product called Bag Balm. This product is usually used on cow’s udders to keep them feeling soft by dairy farmers.
When to seek Doctor’s help?
When your skin stays very dry even after trying out above mentioned techniques that its really making you feel uncomfortable then you should consult your Doctor. Sometimes dry skin could be a strong symptom of hypothyroidism. You would also need medical attention when the dry areas of the skin start to feel itchy, turns reddish, and gets infected. Dry skin combined with fever could be an indication of severe infections like cellulitis or lymphangitis, these conditions need immediate attention of a Doctor and are even considered as medical emergencies.
Use the right soaps
- Deodorant soaps are known for its skin drying property. They, of course, do smell good because it contains perfumes, however, they are irritants, which can lead to skin irritation.
- Opt for superfatted soaps, they contain extra oil or added fat which leaves an oily film over your skin, moisturizing it. Some popular and well-known brands that manufacture this type of soaps include Dove, Neutrogena, Oilatum, and Basis.
- You can use gentle cleansers such as Cetaphil and Alpha-Keri. They share same similar PH level of your skin, so they are more effective in loosening up the dirts sticking to your skin surface while keeping its moisture content intact.
- Use liquid soaps or body wash, as they are more gentle on your skin. You can also use them as a hand wash.
- Most of us like to spend more time in a shower. But, more the time you spend in it, the more the oil content you will be washing away from your skin. Try to spend a maximum of 15 minutes in a shower.
- Never use hot water, opt for lukewarm water. Hot water will easily drain out most of the oil content in your skin.
- You can take bath every other day during winter season. During the days you skip in between, you can try sponge bathing the sweat-prone areas.
- As much as possible try to take bath or shower in the evenings, so that your body can easily make up for the lost natural oils during the night sleep.
Bring in some moisture into your home
- During winter seasons, humidity in your home can get really low. Sometimes it gets to as low as 10 percent. This can easily dry out your skin. Turn on your humidifier and try to maintain a humidity level of 30 to 40 percent at all times.
- You might be intrigued into turning on your Air Conditioners often during summer. But try to use it only when it is really needed. Air conditioners don’t just chill the air, it also dehumidifies it. Make sure you are properly hydrated during the time your A/C is switched on.
- Heat from burning wood is extremely drying. If you have a fireplace at home that makes use of woods, try to use it in moderation.
Do you know that growing plants in your home can add more moisture to the air? Yes, plants naturally produce water through photosynthesis and the water present in its sand will undergo evaporation adding more humidity to the surrounding air.
Keep yourself properly hydrated and Have healthy meals
- Drink at least 3 liters of water every single day. You can replace some amount of it with herbal tea, and other beverages. But make sure you are not taking in caffeinated beverage or Alcohol. Both of them are diuretic so it will drain out the body fluids and leads to frequent urination.
- Include foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids like Fish, it will keep your skin cells healthy and ensure the proper working of sebaceous glands. Other popular sources include walnuts, flaxseed oil, and avocados. You can try to take in one or two teaspoons of flaxseed oil directly every day.
- Try to include a variety of foods in your everyday diet and ensure it is packed with all the essential nutrients and minerals which your body needs for a healthy skin.
- Avoid oily and fat-rich foods, most of them are loaded with toxins that spoil your skin health. If you cannot avoid it, take it in less quantity.