It’s been below freezing for weeks, and the bombogenesis and bomb cyclones have brought ridiculously cold weather and wind. This weather wreaks havoc on my skin which is dry even on warm, sunny days. Add in allergy related eczema and sensitive skin, and the wrong skincare could easily be a recipe for disaster. In light of these cold freezes and my sensitive skin, I’ve had to focus on my dry skin strategies.
1. Select A Moisturizing Soap
Keeping skin moisturized starts with soap and cleanser. Most soaps (including ones for sensitive and dry skin) leave my skin feeling stripped and dry after I step out of the shower. For this reason, I put a lot of thought into my soap.
I’ve used trial and error to figure out what soaps work for me. Mainstream soaps like Dove, Dial and Ivory leave my skin stripped and dry. Even Dove Beauty Bar and sensitive skin soaps are harsh on my skin.
I am currently using African Black Soap from a local flea market. It consists of mostly natural ingredients, and doesn’t dry out my skin. My previous blog post – 6 Reasons To Use African Black Soap In Your Skincare Routine – explains why I use this soap. Traditional African Black Soap leaves my skin moisturized, and improves the texture of my skin.
I’ve had great success with the Shea Moisture line. The following products work great on my skin:
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shea Butter Soap
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Soap
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Body Wash
- Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Body Wash
These products smell wonderful, lather nicely, but don’t aggravate my skin.
For years starting during my childhood, my doctors recommended Eucerin products. I was never a fan until my recent adult life. Many Eucerin products clog my pores, and fail to moisturize my skin. However, I am a fan of Eucerin’s Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash. In my opinion, it doesn’t smell good, but it gets the job done. My skin is left clean and moisturized.
2. Use Natural Oils
YourDictionary.com defines an oil as “any of various kinds of greasy, combustible substances obtained from animal, vegetable, and mineral sources.” Natural oils generally refer to oils obtained from fruit or vegetable sources. They include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and other oils routinely used for cooking. The oils are derived solely from the fruit or vegetable.
Natural oils have varying textures, smells, qualities and moisturizing levels. For example, jojoba oil mimics the natural oils on one’s scalp and is relatively light. Jojoba oil is not heavy enough to moisturize my skin. In contrast, coconut oil exists in liquid and solid form (depending upon the temperature), and is heavier than jojoba oil.
These oils have minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that benefit skin. They are free of preservatives and chemicals, and help address dry skin issues.
3. If Natural Oils Aren’t Enough, Use Oils Mixed With Other Products
Before purchasing or trying a new oil, I recommend checking the ingredients. Many oils are marketed as a natural oil, but actually include other ingredients. Their labels are often misleading. For example, I’ve seen a number of oils that have the name of a natural oil, but have other oils as the main ingredients. You don’t want to buy coconut oil that has soybean oil as the main ingredient.
That being said, a mixed oil may work more effectively on your skin than a natural oil. For instance, many people debate whether mineral oil is good for the skin. Yet, there are a number of people who use mineral oil based products on their skin. I use Palmer’s Deep Radiance Gel, and its main ingredient is mineral oil.
4. Try A Lotion That Targets Dry Skin
There are a number of lotions that target dry skin such as:
I use Eucerin’s Advance Repair lotion. Even though my skin quickly absorbs it, it improves the texture of my skin.
5. Try A Butter
Cocoa butter, shea butter, mango butter and other butters have been used throughout the world for hundreds of years. Butters offer the same benefits as oils, but are thicker in consistency.
6. Layer Oils And Lotions Together
Because I can’t find one product to moisturize my skin, I layer oils and lotions together as soon as I step out of a bath or shower. Recently, I’ve layered avocado oil, Eucerin’s Advance Repair lotion and Palmer’s Deep Radiance Gel Oil. Sometimes I’ll substitute coconut oil or olive oil for the avocado oil. In warmer weather I’ll layer several natural oils together.
The key to layering is to find what works for your skin. Most people find one lotion or natural oil that moisturizes their skin. One product won’t work for me, and any product that I rub on my skin soaks in within minutes. Unless I layer products, my skin will not stay moisturized throughout the day.
7. Routinely Exfoliate
Exfoliation is extremely important. Scrubbing away the top layer of dead skin enhances the skin’s ability to absorb moisturizer. Body scrubs, exfoliation brushes (such as Clarisonic), and loofahs/body brushes/wash cloths are exfoliation tools.
A simple homemade body scrub made of brown sugar or sugar and a natural oil can rival an expensive department store body scrub. Mix the oil with the sugar, and rub the mixture against your skin. When you rinse the scrub off you will be left with moisturized skin and a lovely layer of oil. If you want a pleasant scent, add a few drops of essential oil such as lemon oil to the mix.
I love Burt Bee’s Cranberry and Pomegranate Sugar Scrub. Also, I adore the Pure Shea Store’s Sugar Scrub. It smells heavenly!
8. Stay Hydrated
Last but not least, stay hydrated! It’s easy to forgot that water is essential to our skin.