Spring is coming, and so are dresses, skirts, and shorts, which means showing off more skin than we’ve been used to these past months. If you’re struggling with dry skin, then here are the best ways to banish it just in time for summer.
What Is Dry Skin, Anyway?
Dry skin appears in the most superficial layer of the skin, the epidermis. This is the outermost layer of your skin, that works to protect your body, and it’s the skin we can see and apply products to.
Skip ahead if science-y talk boggles your brain (or you're just not interested!) The epidermis is composed of fat (lipid) and protein, the lipid being the portion of the epidermis that helps to prevent dehydrated skin. When your skin is low in proteins and/or lipids, the moisture in the skin evaporates easily, making the skin dry.
When your skin is dry, it’s also more prone to the skin issues we hate the most: rashes, ingrown hairs, razor burn, and irritations.
Fortunately, with just a little bit of TLC, dry skin can easily be banished. Of course, if you experience major dryness, it is recommended you consult your doctor.
Here’s how you can soothe your dry skin and prevent its return.
How To Get Rid Of Dry Skin
Stay Away From The Hot Water
I know, we all love a hot, steamy shower or bath, but this can lead to excessively dry skin.
Showering or bathing in hot water not only dries out your precious skin, but it can also damage the epidermis (the outermost layer of your skin, remember?) causing skin inflammation or even more serious conditions like eczema.
If your skin becomes red, scaly, or itchy, then turn down the temperature, lukewarm water is all your need to get squeaky clean. And whilst you’re at it, please stop rubbing your body aggressively with a towel to dry off. Gently patting with a towel is enough.
Finally, showering every other day rather than daily may help. I know, I know, but hear us out - studies have shown that you are upsetting your natural microorganism level on the skin and causing your skin to become drier. It also saves water!
Go Fragrance Free
Now, it’s important to note that not all fragrances are created equal, artificially scented products are much worse for your skin than products that are naturally fragranced with essential oils.
Artificial fragrances are chemical mixtures that come from petroleum or crude oil that produce a specific scent (yes, the same chemicals that are in petrol). Companies use these synthetic fragrances for two reasons:
- Firstly, it is cheaper to use artificial fragrances than scents that are produced naturally. These intoxicating aromas make us think we’re buying a luxury product, whereas you’re actually getting something that may irritate your skin.
- Secondly, synthetic fragrances cover up unpleasant smells that come from other chemical mixtures. Even if a product is “unscented”, it may include other chemicals used to neutralise the smells.
Check the labels of the products stacked in your bathroom cabinet to ensure they don’t include ‘fragrances’, ‘perfume’ or ‘parfum’.
Treat Yourself To A Humidifier
If you live in a dry climate, or you love to turn up the central heating in the colder months, you could be inadvertently drying out your skin. By adding a humidifier to your home you will help to increase the hydration levels by forcing moisture into your environment.
Low humidity levels degrade your skin’s natural moisture barrier which may lead to skin flaking, cracking, and peeling, as this dry air damages the outermost layer of your skin. If you’re in an environment that's lacking moisture, you may also find your skin getting oilier, as your skin is trying to compensate for the dryness.
BTW - don’t forget to clean your humidifier weekly, otherwise, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, yeast and even mould! None of which you want to be expelled into the air you breathe.
Exfoliate, But Do It Right
Exfoliating removes the dead skin cells from the epidermis, it helps to remove dry skin, increases blood circulation, deep cleanses and brightens your skin’s appearance. There are different methods for exfoliating so you need to make sure you are doing it right.
You can exfoliate mechanically, or exfoliate chemically. Mechanical exfoliation involves a dry brush, a sponge, a glove, or a scrub, whereas chemical exfoliation uses chemicals - obviously - such as alpha-hydroxy acids or beta-hydroxy acids.
If you have sensitive skin, then avoid using chemical exfoliants because this can irritate the skin further. Always exfoliate gently, never aggressively scrubbing or applying too much pressure, use short, light, circular strokes avoiding broken skin or sunburn.
How To Exfoliate Properly
The two best ways to exfoliate are by using a body scrub, or with a dry brush.
- Using a body scrub - Make sure your body is thoroughly wet and softened with warm water, to avoid damaging your skin and then cover your skin with an appropriate amount of product, moving in circular motions to massage it into your skin. It is best to avoid scrubbing daily, instead opting for twice or thrice weekly use.
- Using a dry brush - Dry brushing involves a daily body massage with a dry, stiff-bristled brush, it helps to gently buff away flaky skin, unclog your pores and promote lymph drainage. Start at your feet/ankles and work your way up using long, fluid strokes on the limbs and circular motions on the torso and back. You only need a few strokes per area, too many can break the skin.
Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise
You cannot underestimate the importance of moisturising dry skin. There is no part of your body that shouldn’t be moisturised - well apart from down there, of course - if you want to have soft, hydrated wrinkle-free skin.
How often you should moisturise is often debated. Some people religiously moisturise daily, while others probably can’t remember the last time they applied body butter, but the rule of thumb is to moisturise the skin every time it comes into contact with water. Though, if you regularly expose your skin to the elements then moisturising is needed.
But what moisturiser should you choose, an oil or a lotion?
- Lotions are good as a sheer moisturiser and are best for skins that aren’t as dry, or for those with oilier skin.
- Body oils are the most emollient, which means they soften and nourish the skin. They also resemble the natural oils in our skin so they are easily absorbed. Oils don’t clog pores either.
Meet Folli Oil
Folli Oil is natural, cruelty-free, Vegan skincare range that actually works. Using the finest, ethically-sourced and sustainable plant-based and natural ingredients. Our products are handcrafted in small batches at our studio in the beautiful Cotswolds. We test on willing humans, not animals, and our packaging is recyclable. Shop now.