Dry skin is characterized by a dull appearance with almost invisible pores, flakiness and sensitive red patches that are easily irritated. Your skin will feel less elastic and you’ll likely have more lines and wrinkles, as a result of the dryness.
The dryer your skin is, the more sensitive it becomes. Cracking, itching, peeling and a reaction to many products you try may be a constant problem if you suffer with dry, sensitive skin.
It may be particularly irritating on the backs of your legs, arms and hands. Quite often you may even see small ‘dots’ on the tops of your arms and legs, when the skin is dry and in need of moisturizer.
If you allow your skin to become even drier, you may notice more lines and wrinkles than usual too. After moisturizing, they may disappear or become less distinct as the skin responds to the added moisture.
What’s Causing Your Dry Skin?
Causes of dry skin can include aging and hormonal changes, UV (Ultraviolet) radiation – especially from tanning beds, too much exposure to indoor heating, and weathering from the wind, cold and sun.
Dry skin can also be brought on by certain medications, ingredients in soaps, cleansers or cosmetics you may be using and even from taking long, hot baths and showers. You may be washing away all your natural moisture!
If your skin is particularly sensitive, try to isolate which products could be causing a problem and avoid them.
Skin Care Tips for Dry Skin
Here are some other techniques you can include to care for dry skin:
- Use a humidifier in the home – Humidifiers put moisture back in the air which relieves dry air and dry skin! They are especially helpful when you have air conditioning or heating, especially during the dry, winter months.
- Moisturize after bathing – Using a creamy moisturizer just after bathing is an excellent way to moisturize your skin. The skin is ready to soak up the moisture. If a regular moisturizer isn’t enough, try special ointments and creams designed for extra dry skin.
- Cleansing your skin – Only use gentle soaps and cleansers, and don’t use deodorant soaps, and never scrub your skin.
- Bathing tip – Baths and showers should be taken once daily if possible and avoid overly hot water. Instead use warm water. Don’t stay laying in a bath for hours, or having indulgent showers either.
- Protect sensitive hands – Wear gloves when cleaning with products containing abrasive and drying ingredients. Most do, so always read the label.
- Use a gentle cleanser – Always use a gentle cleanser and cleanse at night rather than in the morning. Products which contain retinol can be used even with dry skin for their anti-aging ingredients. If your skin is sensitive to retinol, reduce the frequency of the applications.
- Use products containing hyaluronic acid – Products containing hyaluronic acid are particularly helpful for dry skin. They help keep the moisture in your skin. Use it beneath your moisturizer to ensure that water stays in your skin.
More than any other skin type, you should be careful when adding new products to your dry skin treatment. If unsure, do patch tests on your skin. It may take some time to develop a reaction to a new product, so be aware and discontinue if in any doubt.