Tips on Treating Dry Skin for Summer
Is your skin ready for summer? As we exit the cold, harsh winter and enter into sunny days proper skin hydration is key. We put our skin through the ringer, exposing it to freezing temperatures, weather change, and lack of moisturization. These seasonal changes disrupt the skin’s ability to maintain its own state of health. This results in dry, itchy, tight skin. Not the most comfortable, to say the least.
Luckily, with the seasonal changes comes relief for your skin as the warm weather rolls in. Although this helps, the skin won’t completely repair itself. Let’s give it a little T.L.C. Here are some top tips for reviving your weathered skin.
Don’t skip exfoliation!
First and foremost, gently exfoliate your skin. Any moisturizer you apply before exfoliation won’t move past the flaky dry skin layer. This layer blocks all moisture from touching the next layer of skin. By skipping this step you would be denying your skin any actual benefit.
Dermatologists recommend chemical exfoliators over physical ones. Don’t panic at the word “chemical”. In most circumstances, chemical ingredients should be avoided. In this case, however, “chemical” just refers to the active acids (alpha hydroxy, acids, beta hydroxy acids, or retinoids) that eat away at the dead skin cells. These “chemicals” can be found in natural forms such as lactic acids in soured milk. Try a cream or lotion that doubles as a chemical exfoliant. This simultaneously moisturizes as it exfoliates.
Rehydrate! (The right way)
When your skin is dry, it is in need of water, not oil. This doesn’t mean soak your hands in a bowl of water. This simply means that you need to replenish your skin with water content to trap in the oil. This can be done by paying attention to the ingredients and purposes of specific moisturizers. Once the water content is taken care of, depending on your needs, you can then tackle cracked skin. The best weapon against cracked skin is emollient-rich products. This includes natural ingredients such as shea butter or argan oil.
The goal is twice a day
Best case scenario, you hydrate twice a day. This may seem time-consuming and if this is the case for you then skip the morning moisturization. Your skin’s hydration levels dip while you sleep due to normal circadian rhythms. So lather up before bedtime to keep your natural moisture levels balanced. Add it to your bedtime ritual.
Don’t skip after your shower
Any time your skin comes into prolonged contact with water, make sure to moisturize directly after. Prime time is within five minutes after a shower or swimming. Be sure to pat dry instead of rubbing with a towel then apply lotion generously until it is absorbed. Showering and then moisturizing right before bedtime will result in even smoother skin.
Pay attention to the heat
It might be time to rethink your shower routine. Make sure it’s a smart one. Pay attention to the water temperature. Exposing skin to long periods under heated water can strip skin of what it needs to be healthy. Keep your shower to under 10 minutes and at a lukewarm temperature.
And step away from the soup
Make your shower quicker and easier by laying off the suds. Especially in the winter, soup can be ultra drying. Soup removes the precious oils your skin naturally produces to keep it healthy. Use soap when necessary in areas that need it, such as your underarms, your face, and down below but the rest of your body doesn’t need it every day. If you work out every day and get super sweaty, don’t worry, sweat is just salt and water that will roll off under the water. If ditching the soap isn’t an option for you, try a gentle, soap-free cleanser.
Try a milk soak bath with ingredients in your kitchen!
- Mix a half gallon of vitamin D milk in luke-warm water in the tub. (Lactic acid exfoliates while vitamins A and D soften the skin.)
- Add 5-10 chamomile tea bags to the water. This is calming and helps with inflammation.
- Feeling extra fancy? Add some flower petals to the water, light a few candles and enjoy!
- Make sure to moisturize with your favorite lotion after!