If you live in an area of the country that has a cold winter, or a very dry climate like Arizona, you've probably encountered dry skin from time to time especially in winter. I am going to discuss some of the common causes of dry skin and a few suggestions on how to find relief. Remember that your skin is the largest organ in your body and it is the only organ that has an inside and an outside. It's best to support your skin outside and inside.
Some common dry skin causes are:
Environment – If you are in an area with a harsh, cold winter, you are probably spending 90% or more of your time indoors with the furnace running. The warm air from the furnace can evaporate some of the moisture from your skin.
Synthetic clothing – If you wear a lot of man-made, synthetic clothing like nylon, polyester, fleece, microfiber, rayon, etc. your skin can not breathe properly and some synthetic materials can cause itching and skin discomfort too. Stick with natural fiber clothing like cotton, silk, linen.
Medication – Some medications like high blood pressure medications can act as diuretics and flush water from your skin.
Soaps – One of the obvious culprits to drying your skin is the soap you are using. Choosing the right cleanser is very important. I recommend avoiding soap because of its high pH (alkaline). Most soaps are well over 7, and some as high as 10. A high pH (alkaline) soap will dry and age your skin, making it look lifeless. The skin's surface is mildly acidic, having a pH of around 5. Soaps with a high pH will not only dry the skin but also eliminate its acid mantle (coating on the surface). Choose a gentle organic cleanser that will not strip the skin of its natural oils.
Read the label. Some of the ingredients to avoid in soaps and cleansers:
Propylene Glycol – synthetic petrochemical, absorbs quickly through the skin, may cause delayed allergic reaction, contact dermatitis.
Parabens – synthetic, derived from petroleum, absorbed through the skin.
Pentholatum / Mineral Oil – synthetic, derived from petroleum, skin irritant, clogs pores, potential carcinogen.
DEA – synthetic, mucous membrane, eye and skin irritant, carcinogen in mice.
TEA – synthetic, skin, mucous membrane and eye irritant.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate – synthetic surfactant, may cause dry skin, eczema, potential mutagen.
It's not all bad news though as there are a few things you can do to combat dry skin.
• Use a high quality, organic moisturizer morning and evening to help hydrate and seal in the moisture. One good way to apply moisturizer is just after showering while your skin is still damp.
• Hydrate from the inside by drinking 8-10 glasses of pure water daily. No ….. soft drinks, coffee, alcohol do not count. Water is what your body needs to hydrate itself.
• Take a high-quality Omega 3 supplement to give your skin the nutritional support it needs to rejuvenate itself.