How to Prevent Dry Chapped Skin
Aside from its unsightly appearance, dry skin is just plain uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this time of year with its cold, dry weather makes the battle to keep skin hydrated seems to be an even greater challenge.
On top of the discomfort, dry skin is also more susceptible to aging – it suffers from loss of elasticity and is more prone to wrinkles. So how can you prevent dry, chapped skin?
Cause and Effect
As you may know, we are 90 percent water, but as we age we lose it. By the time we reach our retirement years, we are only about 10 percent water on average. Yet another thing to look forward to! Our skin is the first place that we lose water, and the first place dehydration shows.
When it comes to dry skin there are intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) causes. Intrinsic causes of dry skin include genetic factors, medications, antihistamines and antibiotics, illness, and aging. Sorry, but if you have thinner skin or a fair complexion, you are typically more prone to dehydrated situations. Extrinsic causes include:
- Environment– sun, wind, extreme cold – it all contributes to dry skin. Of these, sun is the biggest contributor. We’ve all seen the leathery or burned results of those who have spent too much time in the sun.
- Lifestyle– insufficient water intake, poor nutrition and smoking cause dry conditions.
- Skin care products– alcohol-based and certain clay-based products can be very drying as well as under cleansing and over moisturizing. This may seem counterproductive, but if you don’t properly cleanse, the moisturizer sits on the surface unable to penetrate the skin.
For starters, try to eliminate as many of the afore mentioned extrinsic causes as possible, particularly over exposure to the sun. As far as skin care protocols go, you’ll want to follow a process of cleaning, rebuilding and protecting. This will help counteract some of those extrinsic factors.
Morning and night use a non-greasy antioxidant and moisturizing formula to fight free radicals and hydrate. Look for ingredients like D2O (heavy water), soybean protein (glycine soja), D-Boldine (from the Boldo tree), and L-Glutathione and superoxide dismutase (powerful antioxidants). And always protect with a good physical block like zinc.
Follow this and your days of uncomfortable dry skin will be few and far between.