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Why Does Skin Become Dry?
Dry skin can be irritating literally. Particularly in the winter months many people are affected with dry skin. There are a lot of things that you can do and avoid to reduce the dryness of your skin.
Dry skin occurs primarily due to low humidity of the cold air in winter. Heated air inside also tends to be dry. Bathing too frequently and use of bar soaps can also contribute to dryness of skin. The skin shows a tendency to crack or peel when it becomes excessively dry. Dry skin is primarily caused by lack of moisture rather than of oil. The aim of moisturizers is to trap the water in the skin.
Recognizing Dry skin
To know whether your skin is dehydrated, press the back of your hand for a couple of minutes and then release it. The color of your hand should return to its natural shade quickly in a matter of 2 or 3 seconds. If it does not, then your skin is dehydrated.
Some steps that you can take
- Bath: Keep your baths short and use warm water rather than cold or hot water.
- Wash your face infrequently. For those with very dry skins, it is better that they wash their face with a cleanser only once in a day, preferably in the evening. In the mornings, just wash your face with plain cool water and apply a moisturizer.
- Wash away the soap on your skin thoroughly. The film that soap leaves behind can cause drying.
- Avoid frequent bathing. Some experts suggest cutting down regular baths to once in two days, with sponge baths in between to take care of odor prone parts of the body.
- Use gentle cleansers, preferably formulated specially for dry skin.
- Avoid frequent washing as this too can dry the skin
- Use soap only in parts that really need to be cleaned with soap, such as armpits and genitals.
- Dry your skin gently by patting rather than rubbing with the towel.
- Adding a small quantity of olive oil or other scented oil to your bath can also help in reducing the dryness of y our skin
- Drink plenty of water and take a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Avoid too much of air-conditioning or heat and exposure to sun
- Use gloves and protective gear to protect your hands when handling certain substances like detergents
- Steam baths might aggravate the problem of dryness, and so are best avoided with people with dry skins
- Sufficient exercise can be crucial in combating dryness, by increasing the blood flow and thereby ensuring supply of essential nutrients to the skin.
- Use a good moisturizer.
No matter what your skin type is, it helps to moisturize. If your skin feels tight, it means, it needs to be moisturized. However, you should guard against over moisturizing, as this might clog the pores. You can use a moisturizer that does not irritate your skin. The best moisturizer will leave you without a feeling of greasiness on the skin.
Moisturizers are usually made of oil and water. Moisturizers only help to keep the moisture within the skin. They do not put moisture into the skin. Petroleum and Vaseline are the most effective ingredients in moisturizers, as they provide a coating that prevents moisture from escaping.
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