Dry skin is one of the most common skin issues that some of us face. It can be due to various reasons, such as changes in weather, humidity levels, using harsh cleansers or soaps and in some cases an underlying skin condition such as eczema, atopic dermatitis, psoriasis or underlying health issues such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or unhealthy habits like smoking.
Our skin naturally produces an oily substance called sebum, an oily waxy substance that coats, moisturizes and protects the skin. When there is insufficient production of sebum, your skin can appear flaky, red, bumpy and even itchy. Or, your face may feel tight and stretched after washing.
The most important tip for dry skin sufferers is to moisturize your skin daily after washing it with a sulfate free cleanser or an oil based cleanser. It makes sense to moisturize your skin right after a bath or a shower to lock in the moisture. Either a thick cream or a balm would be preferable rather than a lotion to prevent your skin from drying out. Avoid products with harsh chemicals, alcohol, artificial fragrances as they can sometimes aggravate your condition.
Some other useful tips to manage dry skin are:
- Avoid over exfoliating your skin
- Use warm, not hot water to wash your face or when you shower
- Use a humidifier and limit the use of indoor cooling or heating
- Limit caffeine intake
- Stay well hydrated
Being consistent with these tips should help improve your dry skin woes. Please consult your doctor if your condition is not amenable to lifestyle changes.