If you have extremely dry skin there is a very good chance that you have been battling this problem for quite awhile only to find that nothing seems to work. The problem is that most of the time people who have dry skin go to great lengths to try all sorts of creams and supposed cures to no avail. The trouble with dry skin is that it is normally caused by specific environmental circumstances. For example, heat can cause skin to dry out and an inadequate amount of atmospheric moisture can also cause the problem. If you look at the people who live in the desert in places like Nevada or Arizona, you will see that there seems to be a much more widespread issue with severe dry skin in climates such as those. The good news is that even people who live in dry climates can do something about their skin being dry.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Many people are under the erroneous assumption that dry skin is the result of a lack of oil in the skin. The truth of the matter is that most of the time dry skin is caused by a lack of hydration in the skin. This means the skin does not have enough water. If the outer layer of the skin, which is called the epidermis, does not have enough moisture then the result will be dry skin. It seems to solution would be easy, right? Just keep the skin wet and you shouldn’t have any more problems. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works. Applying moisture to the skin is a great temporary fix but as soon as that moisture dries up the skin is still going to be dry. Cures for extremely dry skin are much more involved than that.
Re-Hydration Begins on the Inside
The best way to make sure your body contains enough water is to consume the daily recommended amount each day. It is suggested that the average person drink at least eight 8oz. glasses of clear water everyday. However, if you are suffering from dry skin you may want to increase that amount even more. It is vital that your body have an excess of moisture in order to keep the water flowing to the organs, skin included. It may be a bit of a challenge to get used to drinking that much water as sadly the average person does not take in as much water as he/she should. But developing a routine and sticking to it may be a big help in terms of making sure you drink enough water. If you absolutely hate the taste of water, or lack of taste, then you may use a bit of lemon juice to help make it a bit more appealing. If that doesn’t work and you find that you are still struggling to drink enough water then you may want to use a bit of flavored drink mix in your water. This is not ideal as it contains sugars and artificial coloring but if it will help you get the water down the hatch then it is better than not drinking enough.
Add Moisture to the Air
Almost everyone has heard of a humidifier. This is a device which can be plugged in and placed anywhere in the home to let off a gentle mist which works to add moisture to otherwise dry air. If you do not want to or do not have the means to go out and buy a humidifier, a pot of water gently steaming on the stove will have the same effect. Dry skins is best healed in air which contains a good amount of moisture so beyond drinking enough water, this is a very important step. Keep in mind that if you are in a large home it may be necessary to place more than one humidifier or source of moisture in your house. Humidifiers can be purchased at a very reasonable price and it is even possible to find them used in thrift stores or at garage and yard sales. Humidifying the air is a vital part of healing dry skin and this step should not be taken lightly.
Proper Skin Car Products
While there is no miracle product that will work on its own to cure extremely dry skin, there are some that when used in conjunction with the internal curse mentioned here can help to lock in the moisture or at best not dry the skin further. Always read the labels before you purchase body washes, bath products, soaps and creams. Make sure that the product you are using is meant for dry skin. Never, under any circumstances use a high alkaline soap on dry skin. You should be using a cleanser that is about 4.5 to 5.5 on the ph scale. Keep in mind that the higher the product is on the PH scale, the more alkalinity it has in it, meaning the stronger of a soap which will be drying to your skin. After you have showered it is important to use a high quality moisturizer to help lock the moisture in. Look for moisturizers that do not have a high oil content.
Essential Fatty Acids
Remember that healing dry skin starts from within and make sure that you get enough of your Omega 3 fatty acids. These can be found in sunflower seeds, nuts, fish and many other foods. There are also some very good supplements that can be purchased in your local health food or nutrition store. These supplements will help to heal dry skin internally and will make a very big difference when used on a regular basis. Make sure that you use the recommended daily regimen based on your weight and age. Keep in mind that best way to get any sort of essential nutrients and vitamins is through natural sources such as in the foods we eat. Try when possible to obtain your Omega 3 acids in the foods you eat and do your best to use the supplements only when your diet has not been rich enough in this essential fatty acid.
Aside from the above mentioned suggestions you must also keep in mind that there are some habits such as smoking that will actually deplete moisture from your body. You will want to begin making healthier lifestyle changes in order to overcome your issue with dry skin.
Thank you for this article. I like how it covered a lot of internal causes for dry skin as well as external. I have just been prescribed corticosteroids to use on my cracked fingers, but I am also sure I am not getting the proper amount of water, I had forgotten about that in terms of skin health. I will definitely be increasing my water intake.