You can look your best, have the perfect head of hair, and have a rockin’ body, but dry skin is going to put a major divot in your sex appeal. What’s worse than that, it’s going to damage your self-confidence. You can be yourself, you can look like a star, but nobody has ever felt their best when there’s patches of dry skin all over.
That’s why we’ve pooled together our top ten tips on how to effectively alleviate dry skin. It’s time to get back into the skin you feel comfortable in, and it starts today. These tips are all long-term, meaning you’ll need to change your habits to remove dry skin, and keep it beautifully, perfectly hydrated and smooth from here on out. Let’s get into it.
1. Use an All-Natural Moisturizer
There’s a large difference between standard drug store moisturizers, and an all-natural, (and in some cases fully organic) moisturizer. If you encounter products that are using a 2% active ingredient with mostly all-natural solutions, that’s okay as well. It really depends on how sensitive your skin is, and what skin type you have. If you’re extremely susceptible to irritation, redness and hives, the more natural products in a moisturizer, the better.
Moisturizers help dig deep into your skin, locking in their formula to not only promote proper hydration from your body, but also leave behind trace elements that work to protect your skin. Repairing damaged skin can take some time, but with proper diligence, you should see results in about three or four days after you begin using a quality moisturizer.
Moisturizers help restore the pH balance to your skin that might have been lost somewhere along the way. If you’re doing things like drinking plenty of spring water and trying not to take insanely hot showers, but you’re still not seeing results, it may not be completely controllable through normal practice. When your pH levels are out of whack, your skin either overproduces or underproduces natural oil. You’re either going to end up with oily skin, or in most cases, with very dry, barren feeling skin.
2. Switch to Using a Safety Razor
You’re already shaving every day, but you’re using low-quality products alongside that terrible disposable razor. When you upgrade to a safety razor, you have to upgrade your entire shaving arsenal. That means shave soaps, high-end shaving cream, a shaving bowl, the works. How does that help with your skin?
First and foremost, foaming shaving creams are terrible for your skin. They do little to actually help your hairs stand up when you’re shaving and dry out your skin really bad. A little bit of shave soap goes a long way and helps reduce friction between your blade and your skin. Think about this: when you drag a five-blade razor across your face, do you know what you’re really doing? You’re bringing five pieces of steel across your skin, whereas with a safety razor, you’re only doing it once.
That’s less irritation, less chance for your skin to dry out, and a smoother shave without irritating your skin. When your skin gets irritated frequently, such as when you shave every single morning, it develops rough bumps and patches of dry skin. Less friction, less razor burn, all equalling healthier skin. Your skin needs time to recuperate after shaving, so make that job a little easier.
3. Apply Charcoal Face Masks Weekly
Earlier, we talked about pH levels in your skin, and why they’re so important for maintaining proper hydration. If you’re not getting enough from moisturizing, you might want to try twice-weekly charcoal face mask use. Now this one is a bit conflicted because active charcoal that you find in these masks is designed to draw out oils and slightly dry your skin out. However, when you get an all-natural mask, it also provides excellent hydration and moisturizing effects. You’re taking the old oils out of your skin, and imbuing your cells with the rejuvenating product.
You’ll want to be careful if you have sensitive skin. The goal here is to moisturize your skin without causing redness and damage in the process. That wouldn’t be very effective, or a good use of your time. If you try a charcoal mask and it doesn’t quite work for you, mix up the brand and variety. Look for masks with a lower concentrated percentage of charcoal, and a higher volume of hydration products.
The last thing you should keep in mind is that every mask or face cleanser is going to work differently for different skin. There are five major skin types, but thousands of little in-betweens and hybrids. It’s nearly impossible to pinpoint exactly what skin type you have, so play around for a bit, and don’t be afraid to invest in a slightly higher quality product than what you find on the drugstore shelves. Remember, you’re investing in your health and your self-confidence, and it’s well worth the time.
4. Avoid Products With Perfume
This is more of a don’t than a do, but it’s something that is grossly overlooked and needs to be addressed. Even if you have totally normal skin, there’s millions, and we mean millions of different concentrations and products used in perfumes. When you read a bar of soap or a scented skincare product, and it just says “perfume” or “parfum” in the ingredients list, you might very well be allergic to whatever it is. It could cause a reaction, or it could just dry up your skin horribly.
Many of these formulas are proprietary information, so you might have ten, twenty or thirty ingredients behind that simple “perfume” in the ingredients list. While most manufacturers have to list if there are known allergens, such as almond oil or lavender, you could fall in between a few categories of skincare reactions that aren’t quite normal.
If you’re not totally sure if you have any allergies and you don’t want to pay for testing, there’s an easier way. Simple look for products that are specifically labeled as unscented, and markings that state “We don’t use perfumes,” or something of that nature. Perfumes do nothing but provide a scent, something pleasant that’s primarily meant for whoever you’re near. If your hygiene and deodorant game is on-point, then you’re already good: stick to unscented skin care products, and thank us later.
5. Swap Out Your Laundry Detergent
Are you noticing dry patches on your arms, hands, perhaps you’re feeling it elsewhere and it just doesn’t make sense? It could be your laundry detergent. Even if you don’t have any known skin allergies, your body goes through a cycle every seven years in which it can develop resistances to certain materials and chemicals. If you’ve been using the same detergent for a decade, your body could have built up an intolerance for it. We often think of constant exposure leading to a resistance, but that’s not always the case.
If you’re using an HE washer, then we feel for you: those detergents can get rather pricey. If you’re not, the brand you’re using could have switched formulas, or you might have downgraded to a cheaper detergent during hard financial times. Whatever the reason is, go for a new one, and try to get as many all-natural products in that detergent as you can.
One of our personal favorite brands is Seventh Generation, which even comes in eco-safe packaging on top of it. They stick to all-natural products, and while you’re going to see that fact reflected in the price tag, they provide an excellent alternative to chemical-ridden dollar store equivalents. If you find that this works for you, it’s best to stock up on large bottles or bulk purchases to cut down the cost of all-natural ingredients.
6. Opt for Blankets and Layers Over the Thermostat
If you’re freezing, one of the worst things you can do it turn the heat on. Assuming you live in an area with traditionally snowy seasons where temperatures dip low, flicking on that thermostat or lighting up the fireplace isn’t going to do any favors for your skin. You’re drastically drying out the air, and while it might provide temporary relief, the best thing you could do is get under a blanket or throw on an extra layer.
If your thought process is, “I’ll just moisturize and hydrate later,” it’s not exactly a foolproof strategy. Causing damage and then trying to immediately repair it is a poor method, and can speed up visual signs of aging. Nobody wants that. You can opt for heated blankets, drinking a hot beverage, or anything else that doesn’t expose your skin to direct sources of heat, all in an effort to mitigate skin damage.
It also helps to wear fabrics that aren’t going to itch when you warm up. It’s tricky, but finding a medium between comfort and warmth is going to prevent you from turning on that thermostat, and protect your skin from harm. When you come in from extreme cold to turn on the extreme heat, your skin is under 24/7 assault. Give it a break.
7. Use a Humidifier
These are great because they can help you prevent dry skin, as well as treat it after the fact. In that previous scenario, we mentioned coming in from the extreme cold. Whether it’s nearing triple digits in summer, or you wake up to see that dreaded minus symbol next to the temp, your skin is going to suffer. You’re sleeping for eight hours (we hope) every single night, so why not multitask and get your rest, and hydrate your skin at the same time?
Getting a humidifier is like conditioning your skin while you sleep. There are recommended daily limits depending on the strength of the humidifier, your needs, the size of the room, etc., but if you just keep it on your nightstand and turn it on when you go to bed, you’ll be doing yourself a favor without much second thought. Just be sure that it has an automatic shut-off feature, or a full eight-hour reservoir.
Before you get a humidifier, you should take inventory of any respiratory issues you might have, and regularly check the weather. If it’s going to rain that night, you most likely won’t need the humidifier. You don’t want to cause breathing issues, so pay attention to what’s happening around you. After all, you could always get a dehumidifier if you’re living in a region where it’s just too much. There’s nothing wrong with maintaining a specific interior temperature at all times.
8. Use a Natural Remedy
We don’t mean all-natural products, but rather, try looking at all-natural solutions: apply coconut oil to your skin, use petroleum jelly, or even take an oatmeal bath. There are tons of natural solutions, or “home remedies” that you can use to get the same effect. If you’re sensitive to perfumes and additives in products off the shelf, this can be an inexpensive alternative to get your skin back to a naturally hydrated state.
You can also ingest foods with high antioxidant counts, take omega-3 fatty acid pills, moisturize your hands and put them in some single-use gloves overnight; the possibilities are endless when you look around at what you have, and make it work for you.
As with any home remedy, whether it’s beeswax, tea leaves (we could go on and on), or whatever it is that works for you, you’ll want to test it on a small area beforehand. Don’t rush into a full-body treatment, only to find out that it’s going to cause a reaction or be a waste of materials. Spot test before you commit, and you’ll emerge with the best possible results.
9. Take Quick Showers
This isn’t the most attractive method, but one that works extremely well. Limit your shower time. Nobody wants to feel dirty or unwashed, so you need to master the short shower. It’s an art, and you’re about to become an artist. Long exposure to hot water, for some skin types, is going to dry it out immensely. That brings me to my next topic:. Heat.
We talked about dry heat from the fireplace or a central heating system; hot water is going to do just as much damage, if there’s prolonged exposure. It sounds crazy that water, of all things, could dehydrate your skin and make it dry, but it’s true. Heat and potentially what’s in the tap water that’s coming out of your showerhead, can dry out your skin. You should be moisturizing, you should be exfoliating and all that excellent skin care practice, but do so while taking shorter showers to mitigate initial damage right from the get-go.
Just as a quick note, if you’re using well water, you may need to adjust your softened. To take it one step further, boil tap water and after letting it cool for a few minutes, give yourself a sponge bath. Is it awesome? No, not at all, but heavy traces of iron found in well water can seriously irritate your skin. Use this method, and possible a filtration system. You should also check your water pressure and soften the pulse that comes out of your shower head if you can.
10. Actually Use Sunblock
The amount of information available regarding the damaging effects of UV rays speaks for itself. There’s countless articles, scientific journal entries and studies that shows, irrefutable, the sun is out to get you. Ever think that it might be a direct reason as to why you suffer from dry skin? Pedal back the day, the last week, and think about how much sun exposure you receive. If you’re working outside, you have the sun beating down on you, and it’s not going to do you any favors.
If you’re indoors most of the day, maybe working at a desk, then this part might not apply to you. Sunblock is your friend, sunblock or at least some form of a low-SPF spray can be the key barrier between dry skin, and maintaining hydration.
Say Goodbye to Dry Skin
Whether you have to use home remedies or bulk up your medicine cabinet, dry skin has never been easier to vanquish. Whatever method you have to use, you can achieve perfectly smooth, flawless skin. Hydrate, lock in that moisture, and regularly practice the same methods that prove to work for you, and you’ll forget that you ever suffered from dry skin.