With the summer months upon us, clothing gets skimpier and more of our skin is exposed to the sun. The dry, flaky skin that you have been hiding away all winter long is now out on display, and it can be itchy, painful, and downright unsightly.
You’ve got to deal with your dry skin if you want to do justice to those pretty summer dresses!
Smooth, sexy, and well hydrated – if you want to look and feel your best this summer, here are ten top tips for banishing your dry skin.
- Skip the piping hot showers and long baths
Sure, a nice hot shower or a long, luxurious bath can feel like a real treat, but if you do this too often, you can accidentally strip your skin of its moisture. Use lukewarm water, and make sure you moisturize liberally after a bath.
- Turn down the air conditioning (and consider a humidifier)
Depending on where you live, the air in your home could be partly to blame for your dry skin woes. If your home’s air is too dry, it can really wreak havoc on your skin.
This isn’t just advice for those who live in arid, desert climes – people who live in humid and muggy places tend to use their air conditioner a little too often too.
The solution is to turn down your air conditioner, especially at night, and consider replacing it with a cool air humidifier. This will help your skin’s barrier layer stay hydrated, and prevent dry and flaky skin.
- Choose natural soaps and cleansers
You might associate strong soap with cleanliness, but harsh soaps can actually strip your skin of its moisture and cause more damage. Choose a gentle, natural soap, and keep an eye out for allergic reactions or adverse effects. Products with added perfumes and alcohol can really dry out your skin, so be sure to avoid those ingredients.
- Invest in a good body cream or lotion
A thick (even greasy) feeling moisturizer is one that will have the greatest effect on your body. While you might be tempted to spend lots of money on products that offer ‘too good to be true’ benefits, remember that sometimes, simple is best.
If you are using an oil based moisturizer or body cream (such as coconut oil), apply these to your skin when you are still damp from the bath or shower. The oils will help seal in the moisture.
- Stay away from scratchy sponges and loofahs
While some gentle exfoliation is a good idea (see the next point), scratchy sponges and rough loofahs should be avoided. They are likely to scratch your skin and could even break the skin and cause damage over time. The rough texture might feel nice in the moment, but they will do more harm than good.
- Use a gentle exfoliant (but don’t over exfoliate!)
Even if you use a gentle soap and an effective body lotion, you will still need to exfoliate to remove dry, dead, and flaky skin. Stick to a light washcloth or a mild glycolic or lactic acid serum to remove your dead skin. Now that it’s out of the way, your moisturizer can work to its highest potential!
- Resist the urge to pick and scratch
We know, we know – itchy skin can drive you nuts! But it is important that you never, ever scratch your skin.
Raking your fingernails down your already-compromised skin is one of the worst things that you can do, as you can make the itch must worse, and even break the skin and cause more damage.
Moisturizing your skin should help soothe the itch.
8. Avoid strongly perfumed detergents and fabric softeners
Instead of reaching for the Bounce sheets, strongly-perfumed detergents, or liquid fabric softener, consider using Borax or another natural soap to clean your clothing. Need something to prevent static cling? Try some dryer balls!
- Assess your pets and other household allergies
New allergies can develop over time, so even if you weren’t allergic to Kitty or Fido a few years ago, they could be causing contact dermatitis now! Similarly, pollen, textiles, and soaps can also be the culprit, irritating your skin and causing it to become dry and itchy.
- Change up your diet
There is a clear connection between what we put into our bodies, and how our bodies react and behave. If you are experiencing dry skin, try increasing your intake of healthy fats. A diet rich in olive oil, avocados, and nuts can help moisturize your skin from the inside out.
Similarly, you might also want to avoid excess alcohol and caffeine. Of course, it is always a good idea to drink lots of water! Stay hydrated!
Hydrated, healthy skin makes you look and feel your best. Following these tips will help you look and feel your best this summer – and beyond. Feel comfortable in your skin!