Dry skin can occur at any place on your body, sometimes within just small patches. In some cases it can be genetic, but for many it’s due to external factors.
Quick changes to the climate, UV sunlight rays, central heating and air-conditioning and exposure to chemicals and detergents that strip moisture away from the protective layers of skin, are all to blame for us losing moistness in our skin.
The skin is made up of two main layers; the outer waterproof layer is the epidermis with the dermis underneath. Dry skin is the result of decreased moisture in the top layers of our skin’s epidermis; this weakens its protective function and can affect the appearance of skin. It’s important to keep the right moisture balance in the top layers of the skin as this keeps it healthy hydrated and smooth.
What does dry skin look like?
Dry skin comes in many forms. The mildest cases can be recognised by a dry look to your skin, some mild flaking of the skin and a slight tightness feel to the skin.
More severe cases can result in severe itching, red or white patches on the skin, cracking, bleeding, severe tightness and pain.
Even though the skin has its own natural elasticity, allowing it to stretch and move as you do, the drier your skin in, the less stretchy it will be. This increased tightness can lead to other skin problems such as increase stretch marks and more wrinkles.
Taking care of dry skin
There are plenty of different products out there on the market that you can use to combat both dry skin to the body and the face, but there are also some factors that you can take into consideration in treating your skin.
- Drink the recommended amount of 1.5litres of water a day to keep your skin supple and hydrated
- Avoid late nights as they show on your skin, get a proper night’s rest and enough sleep to make sure you look as fresh as a daisy
- Avoid hot water; using warm water will preserve the natural oils in your skin
- Use a mild soap or a gentle cleanser on the skin to help reduce dryness
- Eat a balanced diet that limits the amount of processed foods you eat. Raw foods contain more naturally occurring water
- Avoid too much coffee as that carry moisture from your skin, leaving it dryer
- Take vitamins A and C, as they help your skin hold onto available moisture in your system
- Exfoliate your skin, about once a week, to get rid of dead skin cells and let the new ones flourish
Femalefirst Taryn Davies