Flaking, cracking, redness, and itchiness are hallmarks of dry skin, but there are lots of other symptoms to be on the look out for that you may not be aware of including tightness, rough feeling or looking skin, fine lines or deep cracks, greyness or ashy tones (particularly noticeable on dark skin).
What Causes Dry Skin?
Weather often plays a role in dry skin—cold winter air combined with forced indoor heating can lead to dryness, or hot summers under too much sun, for example. But if you seem to constantly be battling dry skin, it’s likely there are other factors at play, such as using water on your skin that’s too hot (guilty!), washing your face or body with harsh soaps or scrubs, irritating skin care ingredients, like alcohol, and even your overall health.
How to Reverse and Prevent Dry Skin
In most cases, it doesn’t really matter how you got dry skin—you just want to get rid of it. But not all skin lotions or moisturizers are created equal—nor are they all necessary! Here’s what you need to know to take care of your dry skin naturally.
- Cool Water: As noted above, those hot showers may not be doing your skin any favors, especially when other factors are to blame too, like the weather. Try cooling your shower temps off or washing your face with cool water instead of hot.
- Oil Treatments: Just like hair loves a good oil sesh, skin can benefit from it greatly, too. Pure olive oil is a great hydrating and moisturizing treatment for dry skin. Slather oil on the face, hands, or body, and let soak in for a good ten minutes before rinsing off. (Pro tip: lay on an old towel you don’t mind getting greasy.)
- Sugar Scrubs: Exfoliating that dead, dry skin off is key to delivering moisture, and oily sugar scrubs are a great way to slough off the dead skin and deliver moisture.
- Eat (More) Healthy Fats: Dry skin can be related to not eating enough healthy fats such as omega-fatty acids found in oils, nuts, and flax seeds. Try adding a few teaspoons of hemp seeds or flax seeds to your diet a day.
- Hydrate: A thirsty body is a dry one—and that means your skin, too! Make sure you’re drinking lots of water every day. Need a reminder? Set an alarm on your phone. Really.
Image: Katie Tegetmeyer