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How to Prevent Dry Flaky Skin

By Edited Aug 12, 2014 2 7

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Prevent Dry Flaky Skin (37332)

Many of us suffer from dry itchy skin, especially in the winter. Low humidity outside, and central heating indoors can create serious problems for our skin. Dry skin shows more wrinkles, and can become rough and chapped. If you currently use a skin lotion and a face moisturizer, but do not feel as if it is helping, what else can you do?

Moisturizers Reduce the Effects of Dry Skin

Use a face moisturizer several times a day, especially in the morning, after a shower, and before you go to bed at night. For me, the best face moisturizer is actually three different products: a serum, a moisturizing eye cream, and either a daytime moisturizer with SPF sun protection or a night cream. Smoothing a body moisturizer over my skin, especially after a shower, also seems to help. If it is very chilly out, and the furnace is running continually, I may also add a thin layer of petroleum jelly over my face, hands and elbows before I go to bed. This seems to seal in the other moisturizers, and I awaken with soft, smooth skin. You may want to experiment with several different combinations of moisturizers until you find the one that works best for your skin type. You may need a moisturizer for oily skin, or one for damaged skin, depending on your personal preference.

Humidifiers Reduce Dry Skin

If you are running a furnace in your home, you should also be using a humidifier. This is especially true if you live in a warm, dry or desert type of community. Adding humidity to the air in your house will not only decrease the damage that the heat is doing to your skin, but it will also help you sleep better, and keep your nose from getting dried out during the night. Getting enough sleep is an important part of skin beauty. In general, humidifiers make you feel more comfortable. However, don't overdo it. Too much humidity in your home could lead to mold, mildew and other problems.

Use Olive Oil to Moisturize Your Skin and Nails

If your fingernails begin to split during the winter, pour about an inch of light olive oil into a small container that you can seal with a lid. This allows you to use the oil over the period of a few nights, until you have used it all up. Every evening, dip your fingertips into the olive oil for a few minutes. Remove your fingers from the oil and rub your hands together. Once your hands are moisturized, smooth a little of the olive oil onto your elbows and face, and wipe off the excess with a paper towel. I do this several times a week in the winter. On occasion, I also rub some of the olive oil onto my feet, legs and knees.

Alternate Hand Sanitizers with Hand Washing

Although it is important to wash your hands during the day to keep them clean and germ free, sometimes you may want to use a hand sanitizer, instead. Some of the commercial hand sanitizers now contain moisturizers and can be less damaging to your skin than frequent hand washing.

Drink Plenty of Water to Hydrate Your Skin

How you treat the outside of your skin is not the only thing you need to do if you want to maintain skin that is soft, hydrated and comfortable. You also need to consider what you put into your body. Make sure you drink plenty of plain water. Some beverages, especially caffeinated ones such as coffee or Coke, can actually cause you to become more dehydrated, particularly if that is the only liquid you are consuming. Everyone needs to replace the water they lose every day when they exhale, sweat or urinate. If you don't drink enough healthy fluids, especially water, you will begin to develop dry flaky skin. It is not usually necessary to drink vitamin waters, or other designer waters. Ordinary water will do just fine.

Consume Fats that are Good for Your Skin

In addition, you should add healthy fats and oils to your diet. These include the MUFA's or mono unsaturated fatty acids. Some dermatologists believe that consuming MUFA's every day will reduce wrinkles. These fats include olive oil, nuts and nut oils, avocados, fatty fish like tuna and salmon, and fish oil. These oils all contain a substantial amount of calories, of course, so don't overdo it. However, consuming a few teaspoons of these oils every day will work wonders on your skin.

Use Rubber Gloves When Cleaning or Washing Dishes

Whenever you get your body wet in the winter, you need to take steps to protect your skin, if possible, and replenish your hand or body moisturizer, afterwards. For example, if you are washing dishes or cleaning, you should wear rubber gloves. After you have completed the task, rub a little moisturizer onto your hands and massage it in.

Use Moisturizing Body Wash When You Bathe or Shower

When bathing in the winter, avoid water that is excessively hot. Use a gentle soap or body wash that contains moisturizers. In addition, I also make my own bath oil that I add to the water. I mix light olive oil, and sometimes jojoba oil, with a drop or two of my favorite perfume. I keep this mixture in a little squeeze bottle, and squirt a bit into the bath water. The oils, along with the moisturizing body wash that I use, helps to keep my skin feeling soft and moisturized even after a warm bath. There are commercial bath oils that you may also find helpful.

Wear Gloves Outdoors

The skin on your hands can become chapped and dry very quickly if they are exposed to cold windy outdoor weather. Whenever you need to be outside in the winter, be sure to wear gloves. Again, once you are back inside, rub a little moisturizer onto your hands.

More Dry Skin Remedies

If, despite all the above suggestions, you forget to moisturize for a few days and the skin on your hands or feet becomes chapped, flaky, dry and itchy, here is a technique for helping it to return to normal. Rub a thick layer of moisturizer on each of your hands and feet. Massage it in thoroughly. Cover you hands and feet with white cotton gloves or socks, and sleep with them on overnight. In the morning you should see a dramatic difference! Getting an occasional manicure or pedicure may also help to remove excess dry skin, especially from your feet. If none of these remedies work, see your dermatologist. You may be suffering from a more serious medical condition.

If you are looking for some additional suggestions for maintaining good health, you may be interested in reading some of the articles listed below:

Walk Your Way to Weight Loss

A Healing Meditation

Avoid Holiday Alcohol Abuse

Products to Help You Quit Smoking

Moisturizers Can Make All the Difference

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Jan 10, 2011 9:36am
Very informative article on dry skin. I love the idea of using olive oil that it really great stuff, and there are literally thousands of way to use it. thumbs up
Jan 10, 2011 9:42am
Thank you, Eileen. I read about olive oil in a health magazine years ago, and have used it regularly every since. I know it makes a real difference in how my skin gets through the winter!
Jan 10, 2011 11:34am
I'll take any reason to eat more avocados; I love them!! Great tips!!
Jan 10, 2011 5:47pm
You make your own bath oil? You're amazing. How do you find time!!!
Jan 11, 2011 10:48am
very nice article good adivce Humidifiers Reduce Dry Skin
Jan 14, 2011 6:01pm
The reminder to drink water is soo important. I have used all of the above except make my own bath oil- nice idea.
Jan 17, 2011 8:37pm
The olive oil works wonders for me, and if I don't drink my required eight glasses of water a day, I can feel the difference in terms of dryness. Excellent tips on how to prevent dry flaky skin; well-written and informative article.
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