How to Prevent and Treat Dry Skin
It’s been really cold here in the American Northeast, and my skin has been suffering: dryness and itching, flakiness — yuck! Then I found this wonderful book.
Just one day after trying some of these great tips, my skin is feeling more soothed, smoothed, and moist.
Learn how to prevent winter-dry skin, and how to make some quick and super-effective remedies for curing it if you’ve already succumbed. Smoother, younger, delightfully moisturizing skin tips, right here:
1. Avoid caffeine, smoking, and alcohol. They act as diuretics and are guaranteed to suck you dry!
2. Increase your water level. Drink up! Make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of pure water a day to keep your skin and body properly hydrated. Drink more if you’re super active.
3. Add oil to your bath. Add a tablespoon or so of almond, jojoba, olive, or hazelnut oil to your bath water after you’ve soaked for about 5 minutes. By soaking first, your skin gets plumped up by the water, then by adding the oil, it will seal in the absorbed moisture.
4. Protect your skin from the elements. Wind, sun, heat, cold, and dry office and airplane air can quickly cause or exacerbate the condition of dry skin. Apply a moisturizer before exposing your skin to these moisture-sapping conditions. A lavender, rose, or German chamomile aromatic hydrosol sprayed onto your face, neck, chest, and hands helps to keep your skin wonderfully refreshed and hydrated.
5. Limit hot water contact. Avoid long, hot showers and baths, especially during cold weather, as they dehydrate the skin. Warm showers and baths for a short duration, though, are beneficial to dry skin. Also, limit bathing or washing you face to once a day, usually right before you retire. When you arise, apply a bit of herbal facial splash or toner, or spritz your face (and body, if it needs treatment as well) with an aromatic hydrosol and you’re ready to go.
6. Increase EFAs in your diet. Chow down on cold-water fish, walnuts, and flax seeds, all rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help replace moisture in dry hair and skin. Also consider adding evening primrose oil to your diet. The author takes one 1300 mg capsule daily — or every other day, depending on her body’s needs — and she reports that her skin just blooms! Flaxseed oil is also beneficial — 1 tablespoon is the standard recommended dosage.
7. Use humidifiers. They work wonders in restoring healthful humidity to your dry home or office environment.
8. Use only gentle cleansers. Avoid cleansers such as deodorant soaps and harsh abrasives. These can cause your skin to feel like a dried-out Thanksgiving turkey. Use a moisturizing soap, soap-free product, or a gentle, grain-based cleanser.
1. Try a non-petroleum jelly product available in health food stores.
2. Perform these treatments as often as 3 times per week:
Exfoliate. This should always be the first step toward healing dry skin. Dead skin cells can, over time, build up and become unresponsive to lotions and creams. In order for your moisturizer to do its job, you must first get rid of this dead barrier. (look in our Channels for lots of great facial and body scrub and exfoliating formulas).
Moisturize. After you’ve exfoliated, you’re ready for moisture. Apply your favorite moisturizer to your face and body, or try good old vegetable shortening. (Shortening is typically made from 100 percent soybean oil and it soaks in rapidly — if you don’t apply too much, that is!) The author usually puts on her flannel gown and socks after applying shortening and goes to bed. She guarantees you’ll awaken with gloriously soft, smooth skin.
Adapted from Naturally Healthy Skin, by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Books, 1999). Copyright (c) 1999 by Stephanie Tourles. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Adapted from Naturally Healthy Skin, by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Books, 1999).