4 Daily Habits That Cause Dry Skin

Dry and flaky skin is a common concern during the winter season. Many external variables contribute to dry skin; weather being a major factor. Since the cold, dry winter air sucks the life out of normally smooth skin, it is important to evaluate your skin care regimen to ensure you are treating you skin properly.

If not taken care of, dry skin can become a severe problem.  First and foremost, dry skin can leave your skin feeling tight, rough and itchy. In addition to feeling uncomfortable and not aesthetically pleasing, dry skin can crack when it becomes too severe. These cracks make a perfect entrance for germs that can potentially cause infection within your body.

Chances are you may be doing everything within your power to avoid dry skin and keep your skin healthy. However, if this condition continues to persist, it is worth take a close look at your daily habits. These seemingly innocent habits may, in fact, be one of the culprits causing your dry skin.

1). Are You Taking Hot Showers?

Hot showers and baths can be quite soothing, especially after a cold night during the winter. As pleasurable and relaxing as these showers can be, long and steamy showers are actually terrible for your skin. If the water is too hot, the water washes away your skin’s protective oils. As a result, your skin will be left dry, tight and itchy. This is because the hot water will break down the lipid barriers in your skin, which causes your skin to lose its moisture.

If you want to help protect your body, we recommend switching a lukewarm or tepid water temperature. In addition to lowering the water temperature, keep your showers short because the longer you stay in the hot shower, the more moisture your skin will lose.  If your skin is already dry and itchy, we recommend you try a handful of oatmeal to the water to help relieve the skin’s tightness.

2). Are You Using Harsh Products?

The warm water in your shower isn’t the only culprit. You might not notice, but your soap might be the culprit for drying out your skin. Truthfully, many people do not realize that antibacterial and deodorant soaps can be harsh on the skin because it strips off the moisture. If you want to prevent dry skin this winter, we recommend switching to moisturizing soups that contain ingredients such as milk, honey, oatmeal, coconut oil and shea butter.

3). Are You Getting Enough Water?

It’s no secret that the key to a great complexion is keeping your skin healthy and hydrated. Skin that is hydrated from the inside will stay healthy on the outside. We’ve all heard that rule that you should drink eight glasses of water a day over and over again. Often, we avoid drinking enough water because we don’t find the time or we are too lazy to make the time.

More importantly, it is not enough to simply drink water to keep your body hydrated because the water may simply pass through you. As an alternative, you can make some changes to your diet. You can do so by incorporating water-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet if you want to keep your body feeling and looking healthy. Also, remember to hydrate even when you are not thirsty. Try increasing your water intake if you have perpetually dehydrated skin and you might see the glowing difference.

4). Are You Moisturizing Properly?

You may be wondering how you can moisturize incorrectly. Believe it or not, when you moisturize and how you moisturize can affect dry skin. To get the most out of your products, be sure to slather on your favorite lotions after you get out of the shower while skin is still damp. This will help lock in moisture and replenish skin far better than if you were applying a lotion to dry skin. In addition, be sure to moisturize after you wash your hands and face. Remember that dry skin slowly becomes more sensitive and needs gentle care. Scrubbing too much or too vigorously can potentially strip the skin of natural moisture which will cause the skin to become dry and itchy.

If the cold, dry weather has your skin feeling dry, don’t suffer in silence. Contact Short Hills Dermatology today!

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