What causes dry skin?
In the wintry months that cover the first part of the year the words, “Baby, it’s cold outside” sadly sing a little louder than, “Your welcome has been so nice and warm.”
Unfortunately, the cold weather's unforgiving companion is dryness and it's easy to say the effects of this chilling partnership on our skin are anything but "nice and warm."
Dry skin is an inevitable characteristic of the cold, winter months. But that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer! Here are some tips on what causes dry skin and what symptoms to look out for that may be telling you your skin’s a little parched.
A significant drop in the temperature causes the moisture in the air to take a plunge as well. When there’s less water in the air, there’s less water for your skin to absorb, causing your skin to become a little drier and thirstier than usual.
While you can't do anything about the weather, you can arm and shield your skin from the cold by using skin balms and lotions containing vitamin E, which helps block free radicals that break down and damage skin cells.
It's true that your body can absorb moisture from the outside, but it's no surprise one of the causes of dry skin is a lack of water on the inside! That’s right, you can’t blame everything on the weather. This one’s on you.
How do you know if you're dehydrated? Asides from feeling thirsty, your skin becomes less supple and elastic. You may notice more expression lines around your mouth and your forehead. Relax! Just have a glass of water or two.
A good rule of thumb for staying hydrated is to drink water like it’s your job—literally, it’s your job to stay hydrated… can’t blame everything on the weather, remember?
Don’t worry, this is not us telling you that you’ve got to throw out your water heater. What we are saying is if your shower water is too hot it can actually strip your skin of moisture.
Yes, it’s water and water is moisture but when water is too hot it can deprive the skin of natural oils that provide the skin with the moisture it needs. No, we're not saying you have to convert to the other extreme and take cold showers, though that would be something to try... just turn the knob down a little bit.
There may be some wisdom in showering less often. Hot water on its own can be damaging but length and frequency also play a part. If you can’t stop your daily shower habit, trying washing your hair only once or twice a week and cut down on your time. Just think how much you’ll save on the water bill!
Hand Washing Soap
Again, we're not saying you have to throw anything out or stop a perfectly good hygienic practice. However, it may be worth looking into switching up the soaps you have renting out space on your bathroom countertop.
Typical liquid hand soaps contain irritating parabens and sulfates known as surfactants that strip your skin of its natural protectant “sebum” layer and as a result, your skin gets dried out. It’s time to make some new friends.
Switch them out for some gentle bar soaps with nourishing oils like shea and cocoa butter.
“Sleep, drink water, and treat your skin”