As we all know, Wisconsin winters can be brutally cold. A hot shower can take away the chill, but what is that hot water do to our skin? About 47% of the population suffers from dry skin. Although most of us only have to deal with it in the winter, some have trouble year round. If you are one of those that have to struggle with it more than just in wintertime, you may have a chronic skin condition. Sometimes the culprit can be the products you are using on your skin.
Asteatosis and Xerosis are the medical terms for dry skin. One of the causes of this are the lack of ceramides, which are fats found naturally in the outer layer of the skin. Ceramides are what hold the cells of your skin together, kind of like a glue. Another cause of dry skin is one that can easily be reversed – dehydration. You should drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day to stay hydrated and also to keep your skin in its optimum condition.
Sometimes the products we are using can cause dryness. Some soaps are too harsh, they are alkaline and can actually strip the skin of its protective outer layer. Soap itself is an emulsifier, which removes oils on the skin. Excessive use of these can cause your skin to dry out. A common mistake many make is scrubbing while cleansing; you should not feel tightness after, but refreshed.
Now that you know what some of the causes of dry skin are, I bet you are wondering how to prevent and treat it. One of the best ways to take care of your skin is to moisturize it daily. Moisturizers encourage the desquamation (shedding of the dead skin cells) process that makes skin appear smooth. You can also use a dry brush to exfoliate the skin as well. Moisturizing lotions also contain emollients, which are substances that inhibit the evaporation of water. When you bathe, your skin does absorb some of the water; however it evaporates into the air and takes excess water out of the skin along with it. The way to prevent this from happening is to apply a lotion as soon are you pat yourself dry after getting out of the shower or tub.
One of the best ingredients to look for in a good lotion is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is already present in our bodies and holds up to 1000x its weight in water! Just a little fyi for you, all of the products in our Hylunia line contain hyaluronic acid! I would recommend the Healing & Restoring Cream; it is a favorite here and is used at the end of our body wraps.
Along with a good moisturizer, some foods can help with dry skin, especially oils. Some examples are olive oil as a natural moisturizer, coconut oil helps the skin store moisture, almond oil nourishes the skin and heals damaged skin, and avocado oil decreases dry skin and age spots. You can use these oils by either including them in your diet or applying them right on the skin. This is one of the reasons Back To Bliss only uses oils in our massages as well. Although there are many other oils that are beneficial these are just some of the most common. Turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel, and ginger are some great spices as well for the skin because of their therapeutic properties.
I hope I have saved you some itching and scratching and have made Wisconsin winters a bit more tolerable!
~”If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas A. Edison~