#HealthBytes: What can you do to fight dry skin
There are many factors that can make your skin rough and dry. This condition mostly happens because of the loss of skin moisture caused by various reasons such as weather, hot water, chemicals, etc. Dry skin is uncomfortable, as your skin gets tight, itchy and cracked. Sometimes it gets so dry that it starts bleeding. To fight this condition, here's what you can do.
Bathing time lasting more than 10 minutes can strip your skin's natural oily layer, the biggest contributor in keeping a moisturized skin. Limit yourself to a daily bath or shower of just 5-10 minutes. This will help the necessary amount of oily layer to stay put. Excessive hot water can also harm the natural oil, so go for lukewarm water while taking a bath.
Steer clear of skin care products that have alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). These include deodorant, and perfumed soaps. Such products can diminish the natural oils and can be harsh for a dry skin. Choose mild soaps that have added oils and fats. Even cleansing creams or gentle skin cleansers, and bath or shower gels with added moisturizers are good options.
Applying moisturizer right after your bath plugs the spaces between your skin cells and seals in moisture while your skin is still damp. You can moisturize your body throughout the day, but don't skip this step after taking a bath. Along with cosmetics like creams and lotions, oils are also good moisturizers. There are ointments like petroleum jelly that can help as well.
As we just mentioned, oil can be a natural moisturizer. Coconut oil is the best option of them all. While there are many essential oils that can help dry skin, they all need a carrier oil. Coconut oil, however, is a self-sufficient carrier oil with emollient properties. Emollients fill the spaces between skin cells and hydrate the skin to create a smooth surface.
Using humidifiers can help minimize the dryness caused by home heating systems. Opt for cotton and natural fabrics to prevent skin irritation. Use fragrance-free detergents while doing laundry, and avoid fabric softeners. If possible, wear gloves before you put your hand in the water. Try to avoid bath sponges, scrub brushes, and washcloths. If you can't, use them gently.