The purpose of our skin is to provide a barrier between our insides and our outsides. Healthy skin is strong, flexible and resilient, and part of this resilience comes through hydration. Restoring moisture to dry skin can prevent further damage, irritation and discomfort, so it is the first step to solving dry skin, achieved in several ways. Trapping moisture in is the point.
Dry skin has a few key causes. Dehydration is a good place to start, but outside influences also contribute, such as air conditioning, heating, dry air and wind. Anything that depletes the natural oils of the skin and adds to evaporation is a problem, with ageing also implicated for several reasons – loss of oils being key.
How to moisturise effectively
Moisturising with a good-quality product can go a long way to solving or managing dry skin. Moisturiser should be applied very soon after bathing to stop further evaporation and create a barrier, and if necessary, reapplied throughout the day.
The strength and barrier-function of your moisturiser will depend on how dry your skin gets, so shop around for high-quality products until you find one that does the trick. Not all moisturisers are going to suit your skin, but finding a brand you trust with non-irritating ingredients is key. If you are having trouble, see a dermatologist for advice – they know skin and often have their own range of skin products.
Things that dry skin
- Hot baths and showers
- Non-pH balanced soaps
- Bubble bath, shampoo, detergents
- Products containing alcohol
- Wind exposure
- Air conditioning that uses refrigeration-style systems (removes water from the air)
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