5 Crucial Steps to Preventing Dry, Chapped Skin
Though we’ve officially entered spring, many parts of the country are still experiencing frigid weather. For most of us, cold temperatures also means dry, chapped skin. It’s uncomfortable, itchy and those flakes? Embarrassing.
Not to worry. There are some simple actions you can take to help prevent the alligator skin during this end-of-winter stretch.
It’s fairly common knowledge that the body is 90 percent water. So when hydration levels are off, it makes a big impact internally and externally. The body can feel lethargic, hair and nails can become dry and brittle, and the skin can lose its “plumpness,” start to flake and become uncomfortable. It’s also worth noting, the skin is the first place we shed water.
There are a number of factors that contribute to water loss – environment, lifestyle, the natural aging process, and over exposure to the sun. Additionally, those of you with thinner skin or a fair complexion are typically more prone to dehydration.
The good news is there are solutions…five easy ones as a matter of fact.
As a general rule, try to eliminate as many dehydrating factors as possible – excess caffeine, unnecessary medications and antibiotics, lack of sleep, sugar and sun exposure, to name a few. Sometimes these things are unavoidable however, and even our best efforts can still prove no match against bone-chilling temperatures. For those times, there are 5 simple steps you can follow to rehydrate:
- Cleanse – this may seem counterproductive, but it actually helps open the pores and get them ready to receive the water and nourishing ingredients you’re about to hit them with.
- Hydrate during the shave – shaving is a great way to exfoliate the skin, but certain creams and alcohol-based gels can be extremely drying. Instead opt for an antioxidant-rich shave oil and glycerin- and aloe-based gel to keep skin hydrated and calm.
- Load up on antioxidants – be sure you are getting antioxidants in your diet as well as in your skin care. Look for a non-greasy antioxidant and moisturizing formula with ingredients like D2O (heavy water), soybean protein (glycine soja), D-Boldine (from the Boldo tree), and L-Glutathione and superoxide dismutase (powerful antioxidants).
- Check your oil – are you getting enough essential fatty acids in your diet? Daily doses range depending on individual needs, but the average recommended dose is 1.6 grams per day. There are plenty of supplements or natural foods rich in omega 3’s such as salmon, walnuts, flax seed, avocados, and the list goes on. Also look for essential oils and EFAs in skin care products too.
- Protect yourself – arm your skin with a good defense against free radicals and sun damage. This is key: find a protection formula that uses natural zinc oxide rather than a chemical base. This will help prevent dehydrating the skin further while providing protection.
Integrate these five simple steps into your daily routine and you’ll be on the road to hydrated and healthy skin, and a well-nourished body.