Do you ever feel like people with oily skin get all of the attention and advice? For those with dry skin, taking care of it is just as tricky –if not more so – as it is for those with oily skin. Here are some tips to keep your dry skin clean, clear, and healthy.
- Pick the right cleanser, preferably soap-free. Soap is hard to get off the skin and soap that remains can cause additional drying-out.
- Wash your face at night and just rinse in the morning. Do not wash at night and in the morning as this will cause your skin to dry out more, no matter if you have the best products on the market. Washing in the morning will make your skin will be raw and exposed, and when you moisturize after (or tone, or apply make-up), you will create more irritation.
- Yes, you can exfoliate. Those with dry skin can and should exfoliate, but gentle products are the key. Avoid grainy products as they can cause micro-scratching that will cause inflammation. Natural options, such as salt and sugar rubs may be the right fit for you. You should use a natural, soothing emollient to avoid scratching. Petroleum jelly, coconut oil, and honey are all good options.
- Get steamy, but do not soak. Too much water will dry-out your skin further. You also do not want water to be too hot as heat can cause irritation and inflammation. Steam is a more passive way to open up the pores and provide moisture to the skin without drying out the skin. Whether you use a sauna or a pot of boiling water, be careful with the temperature and the exposure time. Just like everything else, use in moderation.
- Dry off, do not rub off. It undoubtedly feels good if you have dry, flaky or itchy skin to take a towel and just rub at the skin. It takes more patience, but pat the skin dry.
- Moisturizers and lotions create an additional barrier between the skin and the elements. Make sure to select a specially-formulated product that is fragrance free and hypoallergenic. A good rule for anything you apply to your skin is if it stings, burns, itches or pulls your skin tight, ditch it.
- You can use a toner, but read the ingredients. Alcohol is a no-go. Toners with witch hazel as a natural ingredient are viable options. How do you know if it’s the right one for you? If it makes your skin feel too tight or stretched, do not use it.
- Protection is the best treatment for avoidance. Make sure you are applying hypoallergenic sunscreen in summer. Be sure to cover-up as much of your skin as possible if you are outside in winter to avoid wind damage.
Bonus tips: Don’t neglect the rest of your body. Apply lotions to your body and do not neglect your arms and legs. You will be thankful for your comfort if you keep your body well-moisturized. Also, take a look at other factors. Make sure your shampoos and laundry detergent are hypoallergenic to avoid unnecessary irritation. Protect your hands and face when using cleaning products. Fumes from harsh products will not only get in your eyes, but can also be absorbed into your skin.
If you’re in the need for additional tips or help with dry skin, please consider meeting with Dr. Guenthner or one of his highly experienced physician assistants or nurse practitioners.