HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR SKIN IS DRY
- Does it feel tight, especially across the cheeks, forehead and chin?
- Is it prone to itching and irritation?
- Are there flaky patches?
- Does it chap easily?
- Does it look a little like the image below?
Anyone can develop dry skin. But you may be more likely to develop the condition if you are in your 40s or older. The risk increases with age — more than 50 percent of older adults have dry skin.
CAUSES OF DRY SKIN
Weather - Skin tends to be driest in winter, when temperatures and humidity levels drop. Overexposure to the sun can also cause dryness.
Environment - Pollutants include dust, ozone, carbon monoxide (from vehicle emissions and smoking), sulphur and lead. Prolonged and repetitive exposure to these agents can have negative effects on the skin.
Indoor heating - Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and dry your skin.
Hot baths and showers - Taking long, hot showers or baths can dry your skin. So can frequent swimming, particularly in heavily chlorinated pools.
Harsh soaps and detergents - Many popular soaps, detergents and shampoos strip moisture from your skin as they are formulated to remove oil.
Hormonal changes - During the menopause hormonal changes can stop the body from being able to secrete the normal amount of natural oils in the skin, so it is harder to retain moisture, particularly for the skin on the face.
HOW TO TREAT DRY SKIN
Drink water - The most important way to combat dry skin is to stay hydrated. Drinking the equivalent of two liters of water per day can make a big difference.
While this liquid can be in the form of juice, tea, coffee, or other beverages, for the best results, stick to water or green tea.
Increase unsaturated fats - The other way to battle dry and itchy skin on the face is to make some key dietary changes. Increasing the amount of healthy, unsaturated fats, like Omega-3, can help mitigate dryness due to their oily content.
Eating avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds and increasing the intake of cold-pressed salad oils such as Olive Oil.
Stop drying the skin - Avoid harsh soaps and drying cleansers, particularly with ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, mint, citrus and eucalyptus.
Do not use abrasive scrubs or stiff bristle cleansing brushes. Take care with water. too hot or too cold will exacerbate dryness. Limit lengthy soaks in the bath as this will accelerate the breakdown of the skin's surface.
Hydrate the skin - Use gentle creamy cleansers that don't strip the skin of it's natural oils. Choose moisturisers and serums that are filled to the brim with antioxidants to lock in moisture and prevent skin dehydration. Restoring elasticity and comfort while offering protection against oxidative damage and premature ageing.
Sun protection - Wear a sunscreen everyday. This can be within the formulation of your day cream or an added layer of sun cream or mineral make-up with an SPF.
Don't forget your lips - Finally don't forget to moisturise your lips, use a lip balm with an SPF to protect and hydrate in one.