There’s nothing more annoying than having dry skin. We spend lots of money on clothes, beauty products, and trips to the salon, but seeing our dull complexion in the mirror can put a damper on our day. While dry skin may not seem that serious a medical condition compared to psoriasis or eczema, it still presents a lot of negatives that can affect our quality of life.
The fix often sounds simple. “You just need to hydrate your skin,” some would say. Some would even tell you that your problems can be solved by lotion or moisturizing oil, but going that route is hardly the solution. Sure, you can go to the drug store, pick up a jar or a bottle, and slather it on your skin every so often. But skin hydration requires changes to your lifestyle and using the right products at the right time.
The good news is there’s always a better way of doing things. With a few small tweaks to your routine, you can keep your skin soft and supple, even in the winter months. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Cut back on showering
Before you protest, hear me out first. If you have chronically dry skin, the first thing you need to do is to shower or bathe less often. Of course, you still need to keep yourself clean, but if you’re the type who showers twice a day, you might want to cut back on your regimen to four or five times a week. You need to give your skin a chance to regenerate the oil that’s washed away during showering.
Soap and water strip the skin of oils that keep the skin supple and hydrated. If you shower often, your skin won’t have enough time to recover and protect itself. If this sounds too drastic or too much of an ask, try switching to warm water and avoid long showers. Ditch your regular soap for a gentle cleanser so the stripping action won’t be as severe.
2. Find the right products for your skin
Drug stores and supermarkets are full of skin hydration products with hard-to-pronounce ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, but all claiming to do one thing: to keep your skin soft. Just choosing one product can often be a daunting task, but you don’t need to be a skincare expert to find the right product that works for your condition.
There are two basic types of moisturizers: occlusive and humectant. Occlusive moisturizers work by creating a waterproof layer that seals in moisture, sort of like a Saran wrap for the skin. They’re usually made of viscous, oily ingredients such as silicone, which can irritate the skin and cause pimples.
They’re a great option for most people who want to keep their skin hydrated, but not so much for those with naturally oily or sensitive skin. It doesn’t make sense to seal your skin if it doesn’t have enough moisture in the first place. Look for humectant moisturizers if you want a way to moisturize your skin without the breakouts. Since they’re water-based, they actively add moisture, which is what your skin needs.
3. Get your timing right
Now that you’ve selected a skin hydration product that works for you, the next thing you need to do is to know when to use it. You can always apply and reapply throughout the day, but it’s not the most efficient use of your product. There are certain periods when your products work more effectively for your skin.
The best time to moisturize is right after washing yourself. Carefully dry yourself with a clean towel, taking care to not remove all the moisture from your skin. Apply your cream or lotion while your skin is still slightly damp. This will make sure that your products have more moisture to work with. Finally, moisturize again before bed. Don’t forget to wash your face with a gentle cleanser you can remove all the dirt and grime from your busy day.
These are just some secrets to softer and healthier skin. Don’t expect results overnight, though. You need to give the skincare products some time to work. Trust the process, and eventually, you’ll start seeing results.