Living with Chronically Dehydrated Skin
Chronically dry skin is often an inherited condition called Ichthyosis Vulgaris that can be difficult to keep soft and moisturized. Environmental factors like weather can add to the discomfort. But there are things you can and should do to keep dehydrated skin healthy.
Diet – paying attention to your diet is the first step in protecting dehydrated skin. Drinking adequate amounts of water and consuming foods that are rich in essential fatty acids like olive oil, salmon, almonds, whole grains, eggs and spinach all help.
Moisturize the Air – adding moisture to the air, especially in dry climates and during the winter months will help relieve the symptoms of dry, dehydrated skin. Simply add a humidifier to the room at night to allow your skin to absorb the moisture in the air.
Use Oils – moisturizing dry, dehydrated, skin after showering is an obvious step. However, try applying an oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil or even a mild olive oil to your body before stepping in the shower will help seal in moisture. For those who like bathing, add a little oil to the warm water to pamper dry skin.
After showering or bathing, gently pat the skin dry or air dry to keep the moisture on your skin – apply lotion or oils over slightly damp skin for best moisturizing results.
Keep it Cool – steamy hot showers can feel relaxing as they wash away the stress of the day, but hot water is not good for your skin – in fact, it will dry it out even more. That’s because hot water opens the pores which strips away the skin’s natural protective oils. Showering or bathing in lukewarm water preserves those natural oils. If you must take an occasional hot shower, apply oil first, or make sure you apply oil or thick lotion immediately after showering.
Exfoliate – dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin every day, preventing the proper absorption of moisturizers and oils. Regular, gentle, exfoliation is essential for keeping skin healthy and moisturized. Dry skin can be sensitive so avoid using a harsh loofah or grainy scrub – opt for a washcloth with a moisturizing body wash to keep skin polished.
Select Products Carefully – most body washes and soaps are too harsh for dry and dehydrated skin. Select soap-free cleansers or products with ceramides, dimethicone, fatty acids, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, petrolatum or mineral oil for gentle, beneficial washing. Avoid products with fragrance – these are very drying to the skin.
Learn more about maintaining and treating dry and dehydrated skin in the related articles below.
- Dehydrated Skin
- Soothe and Hydrate Dry Skin
- Chronic Dry Skin
- Dry Skin
- Turn Dry Skin Into Healthy Skin