Tips to Deal with Dry Skin

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31 Jan 2014

How to Deal with Dry Skin

We all wish for the dewy soft skin that models flaunt in glossy advertisements.   While a lot of that perfection can be attributed to clever photography and editing, it is surely possible to come pretty close to it by caring well for your skin. Here are some tips to get rid of dull and dry skin and get a radiant complexion.

Change your bathing habits

All of us love long, blissful showers. But they can really dry up the skin, particularly if hot water is used. Here’s how you can have a bath without drying your skin:

  • Keep your showers short. They should typically last for 5-10 minutes
  • Use regular water at room temperature instead of  warm water
  • Use a mild cleanser like Cetaphil, Dove or Neutrogena instead of soap.
  • Consider adding 2-3 tsp of olive oil or coconut oil to your bathing water
  • Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it with a towel

Moisturize well with the right product

Here are the basics about moisturizing that you should remember:

  • Use a bath oil or moisturizer daily. Apply it when your skin is still damp. This helps seal in the moisture and lets the skin remain moisturized for longer.
  • With the market flooded with products that promise to get you smooth and supple skin, it can be difficult to choose the right product for yourself. Look for ingredients such as ceramide, dimethicone, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lanolin, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly in your moisturizer. A thick formulation works best for people with extremely dry skin. A convenient way to check if the product is right for dry skin is to check whether it runs or drips when you put it on your palm and turn your palm upside down. If it doesn’t, this product is right for you.
  • Exfoliate before you moisturize. Removing the dead cells can help the moisturizer penetrate better and produce better results
  • Prefer a formulation with no perfumes or alcohol

Change the environment that your skin faces

We often forget that our skin is the major defense organ of our body and bears the brunt of the environment that we face. Here’s how to keep it protected when you step out:

  • Cover as much as you can when you go out in winter as winter air can dry up your skin considerably
  • Use a humidifier if the air is excessively dry
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Apply a sunscreen if you are going out in the sun. A product with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 should work.


Watch your medications

Some drugs can make your skin dry. If you have been noticing dry skin after starting a medication, you might want to speak to your physician about this. Common medicines that cause dryness are:

  • Diuretics, which are typically used to control increased blood pressure
  • Retinoids, which are used to treat acne

Check for a medical disorder

Certain medical disorders are associated with dry skin. You might want to get yourself screened for these if your skin is often too dry. These include:

  • Nutritional deficiency: If you’re not getting the nutrients you need, it is extremely likely that you’ll end up with dry skin. Remember to include food rich in vitamin A and essential fatty acids like carrots, spinach, walnuts, tofu and milk to have smooth and supple skin.
  • Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Although using a moisturizer is helpful in these conditions, specific treatment is often needed.
  • Hypothyroidism: This implies a state in which there is an inadequate amount of thyroid hormone in your body. Dry skin is one of the most common complaints of patients with this condition. Other complaints include fatigue, weight gain, constipation and excessive sleepiness. Treatment usually involves supplementation with synthetic forms of thyroid hormone. 
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