Healing Extremely Dry Skin

Think of what happens when you take a fresh, soft slice of bread and put it in the toaster for two minutes. The heat removes the moisture and the bread becomes hard, dry and crumbly. 

When your skin is dry, it's lacking water. A common misconception is that dry skin is a result of a lack of oil in the skin, but it is actually a condition brought on by a lack of moisture or water in the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin.) 

The epidermis is composed of tissue primarily made up of sulfur containing fibrous proteins called keratin, the same chemical basis as hair and nails. Keratin needs water to keep it supple and pliant. When moisture evaporates more quickly, the result is dry, itchy skin.

Here are eight tips for healing extremely dry skin: 
 
1.  Get Your Omegas. 
Incorporating the essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 into the cell membranes is one way to combat dry skin. These can be found in nuts and seeds as well as the oils of soybean, sunflower and evening primrose. You can take a supplement, as well. Here's a good one:

 Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega - 180 Softgels - Omega 3 Fish Oil
Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega - 180 Softgels - Omega 3 Fish Oil
$59.46 for 180 softgels, Vitamin Shoppe (Today's Vitamin Shoppe Coupons.)
Cntains 70% purified omega-3 fatty acids, providing an exceptional high concentration of EPA and DHA in one serving. Formulated to support healthy aging, improved mood, and healthy glucose levels.
Read more about choosing an Omega 3 supplement here.

2. Use a good, moisturizing soap. 
Not all soaps have the same ingredients and some are much harsher than others. Some of them contain lye, which can wreak havoc on dry or sensitive skin. Using a brand that contains lanolin, cocoa butter or cold cream will help reduce dryness. 

Here are direct links to three top-rated moisturizing soaps/cleansers, as well as links to coupon codes, so you can save money by buying them online:

 

LOccitane Almond Shower Oil 8.4oz
LOccitane Almond Shower Oil 8.4oz
$24 Skinstore.com, (Get the latest SkinStore coupons.)
A customer favorite. Transforms into a lavish, softening foam-original and unique in texture-that leaves a satin-like softness all over the body. Rich in almond oil and nourishing lipids. Cleanses gently to impart a delectable perfume. Keep handy in bath or shower as an extra-pampering alternative to Shea Butter Soap and our fragrance soaps. Suitable for men and women.

Kerstin Florian Krauter Chamomile Shower and Bath Gel 32oz
Kerstin Florian Krauter Chamomile Shower and Bath Gel 32oz
$50, SkinStore.com, (Get the latest SkinStore coupons.)
This light exhilarating bath gel containing natural aloe, calendula and chamomile extracts, is designed to maintain the skin's proper moisture balance. For use everyday in the shower or in the tub for a relaxing bubble bath. Benefits: Rich in botanicals. Gentle on the skin. Linden Extract helps to calm tension and stress. Chamomile helps to reduce skin inflammation.

Mega Rich Body Wash
Mega Rich Body Wash
$18, Ulta Beauty. (Today's Ulta Coupons.)
Mega Rich Body Wash by Peter Thomas Roth is a uniquely formulated body wash that contains micro-beads with vitamins A, C & E and moisturizers that burst onto the skin leaving it clean, fresh and moisturized.

3.  Lubricate your skin. Use a moisturizing lotion to trap the water in. First, pat dry with a clean, soft towel. Do not rub because this only tends to irritate dry skin. Then apply a moisturizer. Although most lotions will work just fine for helping to keep the water in, the most effective of all moisturizers are a class called humectants, which include alpha hydroxy acids. They help the skin to maintain moisture. We've compiled a listing of some of the Best Lotions for Dry Skin

4. Turn down the thermostat. Try keeping the air somewhat cooler by turning the thermostat down a notch or two. Think of the dry, parched heat baked desert floor as opposed to the smooth, malleable soil of the forest. Just like the ground we walk on, skin will react better to cooler conditions. 

5. Use a humidifier. Place humidifiers throughout the house, especially in bedrooms. If you do not have a humidifier, keep a kettle of water on the woodstove. 

6. Get more plants. A healthy dose of plants in each room will help to keep moisture in the air, but be sure to water them frequently.

7. Take a bath. Instead of showering every day, revitalize your skin by spending a few minutes soaking in lukewarm water every other day or at least two times a week. Do not use hot water and do not oversoak. A simple fifteen minute bath will do the trick.

8. Enjoy the sunshine. Get out there and frolic in the snow but be sure to cover your skin with the proper clothing and use lip balm and suntan lotion on exposed areas. Sunshine helps the body to convert Vitamin D, and exercise helps to circulate the blood throughout the body. Good circulation is crucial to good health. 

Here's an award-winning sunscreen to consider:

La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid 1.7oz
La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid 1.7oz
$29.95, Skinstore.com (Get SkinStore Coupons.)
Skin Cancer Foundation Recommendation
The Seal of Recommendation is granted to products that provide effective UV sun protection and safely aid in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin.
Allure Best of Beauty 2010 in Category: Best of Skin – Facial Sunscreen
Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid with Cell-Ox Shield is a synergistic combination of patented high efficacy sun filters and powerful anti-oxidants to further protect your skin. This ultra light, fast absorbing sunscreen fluid provides SPF 60 and broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with the breakthrough Cell-Ox Shield, to protect your skin, even at the cellular level. It’s excellent for use outdoors and at the beach. The advanced UV filtering system of Anthelios 60 is a unique association of photostablized sunscreens for broad-spectrum and longer-lasting protection, with advanced efficiency against UVA rays.

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