Not many of you will be unfamiliar with the skin feeling tight or stretchy after washing the face. If you have experienced this feeling, chances are that your skin is dry. Questions might have started popping into your head: What is dry skin? Why do I have dry skin? Our skin has tiny Sebaceous glands. These glands produce an oily, waxy substance called sebum. When these glads produce a lot of sebum, your skin is oily. When they produce very little sebum, your skin becomes dry. Sometimes (and more often), the sebum is being produced in normal quantities but the outside factors strip this moisture away from the skin. however by some care you can minimize the moisture damage.
Complexity Level: Basic
Time required: 1 week for visible results
Estimated cost: $2-$3
- Soap free shower gel
- A gentle scrub/sugar and coconut or olive oil
- Vitamin E
- Cocoa butter
- Almond oil
- A good sunscreen
Now that you have a fair idea of why your skin is dry, get to know how to get rid of this itchy stretchy dry skin. Here’s how:
1. Understanding the root cause
Needless to say, the first step is to eliminate the cause of dry skin. Analyse what you eat, what your skin care regime is, and ascertain what is making your skin dry.
2. Avoid using bar soap
Bar soap is very harsh and strips away the natural oils off your skin. Opt for a soap free shower gel instead. It is much more gentle on the skin. Another thing to watch out for is the use of hot water. Avoid extremely steamy baths if possible. The excessive steam damages the protective layer of your skin. If you must, use lukewarm water instead.
3. The Scrubbing
The top layer of your skin is filled with dead cells. Exfoliate your skin once to twice a week to remove these cells. This will also help in unclogging the pores. Your skin will be able to absorb the moisturiser a lot better. And no, you do not need to spend a lot of money on an expensive scrub. You can make a natural scrub at home by mixing one teaspoon of sugar with two teaspoons of coconut or olive oil.
4. The Moisturizing
Apply moisturizer immediately after washing. Your skin will make the best use of moisturizer while it is still damp from washing. Apply a moisturizing cream or lotion at night before going to bed. Some great natural moisturizers are cocoa butter, olive oil, almond oil, grape seed oil, or coconut oil.
5. The Protecting
Either carry an umbrella or wear a sunscreen of at least an SPF15. Look for a sunscreen that says broad spectrum. That means it protects you from both UV-A and UV-B rays of the Sun. If the air is too dry or its winter, invest in a humidifier.
6. The Pampering
Some masks can go to a great extent in returning the moisture to your skin. A great one is a paste made by mixing one avocado with a teaspoon of milk cream applied on the affected areas of your dry skin and left for about 20 minutes.
7. The Diet
Here comes the lecture that you have been hearing since you were a toddler. Yes, it works! Eat foods with sufficient omega 3 fats. Take omega 3 supplements, if necessary. Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol intake. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Eat at least 2 portions of green, leafy vegetables and 2 portions of seasonal fruits daily. Avoid junk food as much as possible.
If you follow these steps religiously, you will soon begin to notice a change in your skin and that day is not far away when you will be complimented for that glow you are so longing for.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my skin is still dry?
If the above steps don’t show any results, it would be wise to see a dermatologist or a cosmetologist. There could be an underlying medical problem that you are not aware of.
What causes dry skin?
Is it something in the environment or something that you do? Well, it could be one or both. Some of the most common causes for dry skin include:
The environment: The cold weather and dry winter air rips the skin of its moisture making it dry.
The daily skincare routine: Some of the soaps that we use are very harsh. These can quickly strip away the moisture from the skin. Washing your face too often can also lead to the moisture being stripped away from the skin.
Bad eating habits: If your body does not get the required nutrients, it can leave our skin dry and lifeless.
- Dryness of skin leads to its premature aging, so don’t neglect it!
- Put a face towel in an open area at night where it can get wet due to fog. Wipe your face gently with this towel before sunrise. Sun will make the towel dry.
- Try applying a bit of vaseline before you go to bed at night. Wash face in the morning.
- When you dry your skin with a towel, pat dry, don’t rub the towel.
Things to Watch Out For
- If you don’t notice any results with the above steps, consult a cosmetologist/dermatologist.
- Take small steps, if you do too much too soon, your skin may even become oily! Also, dryness can lead the skin to produce more oil as it tries to moisturize itself – this can cause breakouts.