“Xerosis” is the medical term used to describe dry skin. “Ashy” is the layman’s term most of us use. Although “ash” can happen any time of the year, it’s especially prevalent in the winter. Keep reading for our 7 golden rules to avoid dry skin this winter.
Many of us have had dry skin at some time in our lives and for some, it seems to be a never-ending battle. Dry skin can be prevalent at any age for a plethora of reasons. As we grow older our skin becomes drier.
Environmental factors also play a major role in causing dry skin, especially in areas with low humidity and cold temperatures.
The skin is the largest and most exposed organ of the body. Because of its exposure to harsh surroundings, our skin takes a lot of abuse. Most of the time our skin does a great job of regulating our body’s water loss. Skin becomes dry when it is deficient of water and oil.
Scientifically speaking, “transepidermal water loss” (TEWL) is how researchers measure the efficiency of our skin. There is a lot of research and development being utilized by pharmaceutical companies as they try to develop the perfect moisturizer for the skin.
Not only is it extremely important to find the best oil to water ratio, special ingredients such as “ceramides”, “glycolic acid” and “lactic acid” are being incorporated into moisturizers, not only to “moisturize” but also to “repair” our important “barrier” and largest “organ” known as the skin.
Creams and moisturizers, which contain these special ingredients are being developed and are known as “barrier repair creams”.
Many people have inherited skin problems such as “ichthyosis vulgaris”, “eczema”, “psoriasis”, and “keratosis pilaris”, which are worsened by dry skin. Whether you have these problems or suffer from plain ole “ashy” or dry skin, there are certain skincare tips that you should follow.
How to avoid dry skin
1. Avoid taking prolonged showers or baths.
2. Avoid extremely hot water while showering or bathing.
3. Avoid using harsh soaps, especially if you have sensitive skin, avoid fragrance and deodorant soap.
4. Apply your “barrier repair creams” and moisturizers immediately (within 3 minutes) after showering and bathing.
5. People with darker skin should avoid applying anything that irritates their skin because irritation will lead to unsightly discoloration and dark spots.
6. If you have eczema, do not use Vaseline petroleum jelly as your moisturizer because I have found that it will exacerbate or worsen eczema.
7. If you must shave your legs, make sure you use a lubricating shaving gel or cream specifically designed for shaving. Some women like to utilize soap as their lubricant, which will usually lead to problems.
It is extremely important to keep your skin well moisturized. There are several over-the-counter moisturizers that you can choose on your own. However, if you find that your skin looks or feels worse because of the choices you have made, you should seek the expert advice of a dermatologist.