Monday, August 23, 2010

Extra Dry Skin

By Tilottama Chatterjee

If you're prone to extra dry skin you'll be familiar with the way it can make you feel itchy and uncomfortable. Soap can exacerbate the feeling of 'stretchiness' such that your skin feels like its being pulled in opposing directions. Dealing with extra dry skin takes a little more care than normal skin but the extra effort will pay off, when you're left with skin that's smooth and supple. A few additions to your daily skin care routine can banish this problem completely. The following are some suggestions that can help you deal with extra dry skin.

Extra Dry Skin on Face and Body
Facial skin is delicate and even ordinarily needs more care than the skin on the rest of your body. If the skin on your face is very dry, be sure to use a soap free cleanser, or one that is made specifically for extra dry skin - ordinary soap contains compounds that make your skin dry. Wash your face twice a day with lukewarm water and a mild cleanser and make sure to moisturize with a face cream for dry skin immediately after. This is especially important if you have extra dry skin, as the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin, is more prone to drying immediately after washing.

Legs and hands in specific may also take a beating if you are prone to extra dry skin. Use a special formulations like an extra dry skin lotion, to counter the drying effect, and moisturize whenever you feel the need but specially after you shower. Remember to pat your skin dry instead of rubbing, as this can further irritate already sensitive skin and take care to use a cream based shower gel. If you have a tendency to experience intense dryness on your hands and feet, make sure you pay special attention to these areas, as also knees and elbows, these too are generally prone to dryness. A good moisturizing hand soap can also counter the dryness that normal soap creates. Some of the popular products formulated for extra dry skin are Jergens ultra healing extra dry skin moisturizer, Olay body quench lotion and Lubriderm advanced therapy triple smoothing lotion.

Home Remedies for Extra Dry Skin
Although there's little you can do to change your skin type, you can take a few steps to minimize the effects of dry skin. Keeping yourself well hydrated is advisable irrespective but it takes on even more importance if you have extra dry skin. Drink at least 2 liters of water, or 10 to 12 glasses, daily. Eating habits can also take a toll on your skin leaving it dull, dry and flaky, so follow a balanced diet and up your intake of olive oil, leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts - all beneficial for healthy looking skin. Another practice that's a great extra dry skin remedy, is using a body oil on dry skin, before you bathe. Coconut and olive oil work wonders in this regard, forming a 'shield' that protects your skin from the drying effects of soap and water. For very dry feet, a tried and tested remedy is to slather some lotion on clean and dry feet, then put on some warm socks and leave them on overnight.

Tips for Extra Dry Skin
The following are some tips to keep in mind if you're dealing with a dry skin condition. With time, incorporate these into your daily routine, and they'll soon become second nature.
  • Avoid bathing in very hot water - hot water dries out your skin, so shower in lukewarm water for best results.
  • Intense heat is also drying and the sun's rays can harm your skin, so make sure to use good sunscreens on exposure, and as far as possible, stay out of harm's way when the sun's intensity is high.
  • Wear rubber gloves on your hands when washing dishes or on prolonged exposure to water, to protect them. Using a hand cream at regular intervals will also help keep your hands soft, smooth and moisturized.
  • Skin exfoliation is important and is not to be ignored as at least once a week - dry skin brushing, or using an exfoliating body wash, will get rid of surface flakiness and prep your skin for hydration.
  • As far as possible, use soap free formulations and mild cleansers.
Dealing with extra dry skin can be tiresome, but a few simple tricks can restore the shine and give you a healthy glow. Moisturize, moisturize and moisturize some more - that's the cardinal rule to follow!

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