Delicate and susceptible to flaking and fine lines, dry skin simply does not retain moisture well. It can produce uncomfortable symptoms, such as itchiness or tautness after washing. In rare cases, it leads to eczema, psoriasis, cracks, fissures, and infection. Dry skin is often a feature of genetics, but as we age, it is more common, as the skin produces less oil.
Enjoy a gentle beauty regime. Use a sensitive cleanser that does not contain alcohol or fragrance as these may contribute to dryness, and avoid products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, salicylic acid or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). When you wash your skin, rinse it with a generous quantity of tepid-warm water. Do not use hot water because it removes natural oils from your face that help to keep it hydrated, and gently pat your face dry with a towel. Gently exfoliate once a week to remove dead skin cells. Avoid salt and sugar scrubs and instead look for products that give a soft scrub, such as rice powder - ideal as it will not stress the skin. Moisturise with a rich moisturiser immediately after bathing. Choose plant oil-based products instead of mineral oils. Try using a humidifier and keep indoor temperatures down, if possible, without using air conditioning. Think about wearing natural fibres and use hypoallergenic laundry detergents. Avoid long hot baths, long exposure to extreme weather, and sun beds.
For a quick fix, use virgin coconut oil to treat all dry skin conditions and improve skin health. This affordable oil can calm inflammation and prevent water loss, and studies show it can treat atopic dermatitis, an allergic reaction that causes dry, inflamed skin.
Exercise 4 times a week, mixing endurance and weight training to keep the blood flowing to your skin and removing toxins (use natural deodorants to ensure that your pores and sweat glands aren't clogged so toxins can freely leave your system and not need to come out of your skin in the form of acne).
Check any allergies to foods or chemicals as these may worsen your dry skin. Your skin reflects your gut health! Eat foods high in probiotics, and those with plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish, as well as foods with other beneficial fats and nutrients like avocados, olive oil, seeds and nuts, and foods high in beta-carotene like sweet potatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, and, of course, carrots, which will make a big difference to your overall 'glowiness' [study]. Dark chocolate, green tea and even red wine (in moderation) can also benefit your skin! Always drink plenty of water - hydration comes primarily from the inside out. At least 2L of water per day, and try eating hydrating foods like melon, cucumber, and fruits.
Choose products with these ingredients for your skin type:
Herbal Healers - chamomile, rose, comfrey, marshmallow root, and marigold
Essential Oils - chamomile, jasmine, neroli, palmarosa, rose, and sandalwood