Dry Skin
Our skin maintains a delicate moisture balance. We may lose this balance for a variety of reasons ... if you have skin that dries out easily, you are already quite aware that it requires moisture replenishment to prevent the discomforts of severely dry, chapped or cracked skin.

Dry skin has many causes ... from inside our bodies to outside ... whether its from a lack of skin oil production or a very dry climate, it can become a serious problem if not attended to.
Beyond the fact that we begin to lose moisture in our skin as we get older, many of us, regardless of age, combat dry skin during the winter or summer. During the winter months, our skin is subjected to variety of harsh conditions ... primarily cold and artificially-heated dry air. Commonly used methods of heating homes or offices remove the moisture from the air, drying out our skin. When indoor environments are kept too warm with furnace type heaters, our skin is certain to feel the effects.
Weather Effects In warmer months, effects from the sun can dry skin out, as well as buildings with the thermostats set unnaturally low, as too much air-conditioning, just as too much heating, pulls the moisture out of the air and out of our skin. Since our skin is our body's protective layer against the elements, it's going to be affected by drastic temperature changes and air quality. This is one reason why hydration is so important to the skin. Skin needs this, especially during times of dry environmental conditions, internally and externally. Drinking plenty of water, limiting alcohol intake, and hydrating the skin with an emoillent mist occasionally can help replenish the lost moisture.


Many of us may reach for petroleum jelly to help create a barrier between our skin and the elements, but we are coming to learn that there is no nourishment offered to our skin with this product, only protection. If you have decided to stop using petroleum products on your skin, there are many natural alternatives waiting for you!



Exfoliation Slows
There are always new skin cells emerging, with old ones shedding away ... this natural process of exfoliation slows down as we get older. When skin is renewed, fresh cells replace the old, unclogging pores, and our skin becomes soft and glowing again.

We can help the exfoliation process along by using a facial mask every so often, or exfoliating with cleansing grains, for instance, which should be done very gently, ... mild exfoliation is all we are looking for, especially with sensitive skin. And, we don't want to scrub away our skin!

Some friction with a mild facial scrub can be very beneficial for combination or oily skin, but with more delicate skin, very gentle exfoliation is required. If a soft scrub of some sort is used for exfoliating, it should only be done about once a week with dry skin so the skin can regenerate.

Also, we should mention that there are chemical exfoliates available, such as alpha hydroxy acid, however, this is known to increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun, making it more susceptible to damage from ultraviolet rays and some products advise staying out of the sun completely after use, and people with sensitive skin cannot use these products. So, "going natural" could be the best alternative for gently exfoliating to help the old skin cells wash away and new ones emerge.

Skin-Diet Our diet definitely plays a role in the health of our skin, including loss of moisture, especially as we age. Fortunately, there are some things we can do to help offset these problems so our skin maintains a vital and healthy balance so it can continue to perform as needed.

Beyond applying nourishing oils onto our skin, it is also beneficial to have omega "fatty acid" oils as part of our diet, which helps skin to stay hydrated. This can help with dry skin conditions, as, amongst many other benefits, these oils can help prevent cells from dehydrating, which can keep skin cells stronger, minimizing fine lines and avoiding skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Omega Oils These oils can be found in avocado, flax, sunflower, pumpkin seed, borage, and evening primrose, for instance. Also, dry skin, in some cases, can be linked to thyroid function; this can often be balanced with the intake of iodine, so foods such as ocean seafood (fish, nori seaweed) cheddar cheese, eggs, and iodized salt, to name a few, may help with iodine supplementation. And, also essential are copper and zinc, which work together to form collagen. Some of these important nutrients are also absorbed by the body when used upon the skin, offering further support to our overall health.
Morning Glory Moisturized skin cells function more productively and allow the skin to absorb nutrients while eliminating toxins. Without these oils, our cells would lose their protection system and ability to hold water and nutrients. And, "omega" oils within the body also offer protection against ultraviolet rays.
Dry Skin Causes
Some things that can prematurely age skin are genetics, age, stress, long-term exposure to the sun, cigarette smoking, a diet low in proper nutrients, exposure to cold temperatures, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol or drug usage.

Of course, there are other reasons for dry skin conditions, such as with dry hands. Since we use our hands in our daily work or homelife, including domestic chores, they are subjected to a variety of damaging influences. Putting our hands in water too much can also dry them, as well as using soaps that can dry skin. Although it's important to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, too much exposure to water is drying for skin. So, be sure to wear waterproof gloves when doing household chores, and when gardening or doing outdoor work, wear protective gloves.
Winter Protection
"Don't forget your mittens!" during cold weather ... wear gloves or mittens, and be sure to take along a hand cream. Hand cream is also important to use after stressing the skin in any way, and washing hands with a moisturizing soap that contains emollients can also be beneficial.

You also want to make sure to protect your neck in cold weather, as well as your head ... it's not just for staying warm, but for protecting your skin from the elements! The smart girl is not only warmer when it's cold out ... she's healthier and happier too!
Preventatives

Taking care of our skin is a preventative measure that can help eliminate overly dry conditions that can become more serious and uncomfortable. Moisturizing skin topically can help, but remember to also keep your diet in mind, as daily lifestyle affects your skin ... your skin will thank you for it! Certain oils in your diet can help your skin ... for instance, Vitamin E and Omega-3 oils. Both fish and plant oils can provide support to dry skin. Safflower and wheat germ oil contain Vitamin E, and oils such as Evening Primrose, Flax Seed and Borage are beneficial. Skin vitality can also be enhanced through berries and other fruits.

Color Up Your Diet

Information regarding other skin types ...
Normal (Balanced)
The skin type referred to as "normal" is actually skin that is "balanced" ... not dry or oily.
Read more ...
Oily Skin
Living with skin that produces more oil than it needs takes a bit of patience and understanding.
Read more ...
Acne
Skin conditions are often very uncomfortable, or even painful and beyond simply troublesome.
Read more ...
Combination Skin
Ideally, caring for combination skin requires a bit of knowledge about how to care for balanced, dry, and oily skin.
Read more ...

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Please note that the information shared within this website is not to be considered as any type of cure, diagnosis, prevention or medical treatment of skin conditions. We merely offer general guidelines and tips for maintaining healthy skin, as well as cleansing and beautifying.

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by the U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration.