What is dry skin?
A balance of oil and moisture is crucial for healthy, attractive skin. Oil is secreted by the sebaceous glands and lubricates the surface of the skin. Moisture is the water present inside the skin cells, and comes to the cells through the bloodstream. It is the water in the skin cells that keeps them plumped-up, healthy, and youthful-looking. Oil and moisture work together; there must be enough moisture in the skin cells, but there must also be enough oil to act as a shield, preventing excessive evaporation of moisture from the skin’s top layers. Ichthyosis is one of several inherited skin conditions that cause the skin to lose moisture.
There are actually two types of dry skin: simple dry skin and complex dry skin. Simple dry skin results from a lack of natural oils. This condition most often affects women under the age of thirty-five. Complex dry skin lacks both oil and moisture, and is characterized by fine lines, brown spots, discolorations, enlarged pores, and sagging skin. It is usually associated with aging. The proteins that make up the skin-elastin, collagen, and keratin-may also be damaged by prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Dry skin tends to be dull-looking, even scaly and flaky, and readily develops wrinkles and fine lines. It usually feels “tight” and uncomfortable after washing unless some type of moisturizer or skin cream is applied. Chapping and cracking are signs of extremely dry, dehydrated skin.
Dry skin is most common on areas of the body that are exposed to the elements, such as the face and hands, but it . can be a whole-body problem as well, especially in winter. It is probably primarily a genetic condition, but it may be caused (or aggravated) by a poor diet and by environmental factors such as exposure to sun, wind, cold, chemicals, or cosmetics, or excessive bathing with harsh soaps. Nutritional deficiencies, especially deficiencies of vitamin A and the B vitamins, can also contribute to dry skin. Fairskinned people seem to be more likely than others to have dry skin, especially as they age; most people’s skin tends to become thinner and drier as they get older. If all other causes for dry skin such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, or seborrhea have been excluded, then it is most likely that the reason for dry skin lies in a combination of heredity, vitamin deficiencies, and poor nutrition. Many people have skin that is dry in some areas and oily in others. In the classic case of “combination skin,” the skin on the forehead, nose, and chin tends to be oily, while the skin on the rest of the face is dry.
Home Remedies For The Treatment of Dry Skin
- Spray an herbal or floral water mist on your skin throughout the day to replenish lost moisture. Almost all skin types, but particularly dry skin, benefit from lavender. You can purchase lavender water already made, or you can make your own by adding a few drops of essential oil to 4 ounces of distilled water, or by making an infusion of fresh lavender leaves and flowers.
- Always moisturize your skin after cleansing, and at other times throughout the day, if necessary, to keep it from drying out. Use a liquid moisturizer or facial oil that contains nutrients and other natural ingredients. Do not use solid, waxy moisturizing creams. Wrinkle Treatment Oil and Vitamin A Moisturizing Gel from Derma-E Products are both good for dry age lines caused by the sun and the skin’s natural aging. The Wrinkle Treatment Oil is also good for cleansing the skin. The moisturizing gel is non oily and fast-absorbing .
- Drink at least 2 quarts of quality water every day to keep the skin well.
- Used topically, aloe vera has excellent soothing, healing, and moisturizing properties. It also helps to slough off dead skin cells. Apply aloe vera gel topically on affected areas as directed on the product label.
- Cocoa butter is good skin cream and not expensive. It also helps reduce skin wrinkling.
Prevention tips for dry skin
- Do not drink soft drinks or eat sugar, chocolate, potato chips, or other junk foods.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine. These substances have a diuretic effect, causing the body-including the skin cellsto lose fluids and essential minerals.
- Do not use harsh soaps, cold cream or cleansing creams on your skin.
- Do not use very hot water when bathing.
- Certain drugs including diuretics, antispasmodics, and antihistamines can contribute to dry skin, so avoid these drugs.