Dry skin is one of the most common concerns that almost everyone runs into at some point, whether from over-washing one’s hands (all too common these days) to living in a dry climate to simply having dry skin for your skin type. The more pressing question is: what should you do about dry skin?
First of all, how do you know if you have dry skin? The telltale signs are skin that feels tight, particularly after showering or being in the water; skin that feels and looks rough; flaking, itchiness, redness, and deep cracks. Severely dry skin might even bleed.
Dry skin is a skin type. When you have dry skin, it means you naturally produce less sebum than other skin types. With less sebum (the main component in your body’s natural oils, sebum is a lipid, one of several healthy fatty oils that naturally protect our skin), it’s harder for skin to maintain moisture and build a strong, natural barrier against external pollutants.
While dry skin is a skin type, there are numerous external causes that can increase the dryness. Luckily, you can exercise some control over some of them, as well as protect yourself with skincare.
Some of the common causes of dry skin include dry air, especially during the winter season; hot showers, because the heat strips moisture from your skin; harsh soaps that are inadvertently stripping your your skin of its all-important lipids and natural oils; and even hard water, depending on where you live.
Solutions & Treatments
Now that you know why you have dry skin, it’s time to discuss what to do about it!
First, consider time spent in the shower or bath. It’s soothing to luxuriate in the tub, but not if you know the end result is cracked and peeling skin. Limit your shower to 5-10 minutes if possible, and avoid hot water. Go for warm or lukewarm instead.
But the most important solution of all is this: apply moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower! Moisturizers work by trapping existing moisture in your skin, so they need to be applied within a few minutes from drying off your body or washing your face/hands. We like the Thom Elzner Daily Repair Moisturizer, which delivers non-greasy hydration while moisturizing and repairing redness and irritation. Among its ingredients you’ll find hyaluronic acid, which maintains moisture by binding up to 1000X its weight in water!
Pro Tip: ointments and creams are preferable for dry skin over lotion. Better still, your ideal moisturizers should contain Jojoba oil, Glycerin, Hyaluronic acid, Lactic acid, Lanolin, Mineral oil, or Shea butter. The Thom Elzner Daily Repair Moisturizer includes three of these!
You can also look for fragrance-free skincare and make sure to avoid products that include alcohol (with the exception of hand sanitizer, of course), alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), and retinoids. Avoiding these ingredients will help your skin retain its natural oils.
For a next-level solution, treat yourself to our Signature Skin Spa Custom Facial, a personalized experience tailored to your concerns and goals – in this case, what to do about dry skin. Microdermabrasion is another option to rejuvenate dry skin that also minimizes pores and eliminates black heads, while the Oxytrio Oxygen Facial is designed to hydrate the thirstiest skin, particularly due to environmental damage.
Quick Tip: Add moisture to the air with a humidifier.
Last but not least, if dry skin still persists, a board-certified dermatologist is your best option. If your dry skin does not respond to these solutions, it may be a sign that you need prescription treatment. Always consult a doctor when it comes to potential medical issues.
Dry skin is no picnic, but addressing the problem doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Take control of the dryness with simple changes in routine or indulge in the soothing self-care of spa treatments. Your hydrated skin will thank you.