Or is it too dry to cry?
It’s that time of year!
You’re out enjoying the crisp winter weather with your family—sipping hot chocolate, building bonfires, sledding the biggest, baddest hills you can find…
But sometimes it’s hard to enjoy this cold, snowy season when your skin feels like a piece of 1000-year-old sandpaper. Ugh!
Why so DRY?
Most people, especially as they age, pay close attention to wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots, but skin dryness (xerosis) is one of those conditions that will sneak up on you fast — leaving you annoyed, frustrated, and ready to try anything for relief.
Did you know that skin isn’t just the “case” for your body? It’s living, breathing, protecting, constantly recreating, and is an external expression of your internal environment.
Its resume is extensive. Aside from being the largest organ in your body, skin:
- Regulates your inner temperature no matter the weather
- Protects you from the environment, disease, sun rays, and other injuries (Can you imagine if we walked around with our internal organs open to the world?)
- Serves important metabolic functions
- Provides complex sensory information
- Weighs 7-9 lbs. and could stretch out to about twenty square feet
- Has in one square inch: 100 oil glands, 15 ft. of blood vessels, and two different kinds of sweat glands
- Though resilient and tough, is actually only 1/25 to 1/8 of an inch deep
- Renews its top layer (epidermis) every 15-30 days
- Naturally produces oil, called sebum, which helps protect the skin from moisture loss (but under certain environments, that natural oil gets stripped away, and your skin can’t replenish fast enough)
Skin tells you— and anyone else who catches a glimpse of that chalky leg of yours— how your body is really doing.
It’s pretty amazing! That’s why it’s so important when your skin is trying to tell you something to listen up!
If yours is saying “Waterrrrr,” then let’s identify some potential problems with your moisture maintenance.
Your Top Moisture Marauders
Long, hot showers
I know! I love them too. But excessive heat and exposure to water—especially water with high concentrations of minerals— isn’t doing your skin any favors.
It’s always a good idea to get your water quality checked. When it contains those minerals like magnesium, lead, and zinc, it’s called “hard water.” Over-washing in hard water will take away those natural oils your skin needs to glow.
And while we’re on the subject of hygiene, if you use regular old bar soap, there’s a good chance your skin is suffering from using more harsh chemicals. Yes, the fancy-schmancy ones are pretty and smell good, but check the list of ingredients before putting them on your body! Some you’ll you’ll want to avoid include fragrances, parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, methylisothiazolinone & methylchloroisothiazolinone, cocamidopropyl betaine, and triclosan.
It’s not just the snowy weather that wreaks havoc on your largest organ. Any climate with low humidity and extreme temperatures will zap your skin’s moisture. (Don’t forget the sunscreen.)
Check with your doctor to see if you may have atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis. These conditions bring with them redness, itching, and flaking that may need medical help to fully heal.
Quick Solutions For Keeping Skin Soft and Supple
Here are some steps you can take right now.
Opt for gentle washes instead of drying bar soap.
And exfoliate sparingly! Let your skin do what it loves to do—keeping you healthy and glowing.
Foods high in antioxidants
I have seen incredible improvements in the skin with hormone modification and replacement!
Nutrient intake (i.e. your diet!) is essential in the health of your skin. Be sure to get adequate Essential Fatty Acids such as fish oils every day—and don’t forget zinc!
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and take extra anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C and E and Alpha-Lipoic Acid. Foods especially high in skin-boosting antioxidants include blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, beans, peas, and lentils.
You can even use olive or castor oil externally right out of the pantry for locking in facial moisture with their topical fatty acid and antioxidant properties.
Watch the heat
Lowering the shower temperature—not cold, but a comfortable warm— will do your skin a big favor and help it hold onto those important, hydrating oils.
Check your environment.
So you sit by the fire, swim in the pool, or wear itchy, chemically treated clothing? Sometimes it’s as simple as avoiding those secret antagonizers or making sure to moisturize soon after.
Use a humidifier!
Put that moisture back in the air. Not only will it be a comfort to dry skin, but also to sore throats and other rough, scratchy cold symptoms.
For a skin-care treat, you can make an oatmeal bath right at home. People have been using them for years for a reason. Buy some whole oats and then chop finely. Stir it into a warm bath—you can also moisturize with a honey or avocado mask for an added relaxation!
For more extreme cases of skin irritation and dryness remember to talk to a doctor or dermatologist.
Skin care is a fundamental part of the optimum aging and health process. And if you treat it with care it will care for you right back.
Want a Quick, Easy, and Free Way to Feel Better Today?