Dry Skin and Moisturizers
The pain and annoyance of dry skin: Those who naturally have a dry skin type know what it feels like. Although dry skin is a skin type, almost everyone will suffer from dry skin from time to time. This is because the moisture level of the skin is heavily affected by environmental factors. Low temperature and humidity, as well as indoor heating are common factors that reduce moisture levels in the skin. This is why dry skin is often a problem even for people that don't typically have dry skin in the summer.
- Genetic tendencies define your overall skin type. If you have a dry skin type, you will likely have small or invisible pores.
- Dry skin can accentuate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If dryness becomes severe, the skin may crack which can lead to bleeding and increase the chance of infection.
- Environmental factors also play a major role in the skin's moisture levels. Winter, where humidity and temperatures decrease, cause dry skin in a lot of people.
- Bathing too often, and bathing with hot water both dry out the skin.
- Indoor air conditioning reduces humidity levels, leading to dryness. A humidifier can help counteract this effect, and can be helpful during the winter.
- Sun exposure can also have a drying effect on the skin. In addition to protecting your skin from premature aging and skin cancer, it can also help keep your skin from drying out.
Moisturizers help control dry skin in several ways. They contain humectants which draw moisture from the deeper layers of the skin to the surface, and also from the air if the humidity is high enough. Moisturizers help reinforce the skin's barrier function which help protect the body from outside antigens.
- Moisturizers are most effective when used on a regular basis, as a part of a skincare regimen. They should not be reserved for special occasions.
- Moisturizers are most efficient when applied immediately after a bath or shower before the body is completely toweled dry. This allows the moisturizer to seal in the moisture that the skin has absorbed.
- Choose your moisturizer based on your skin type. If your skin is extremely dry, use a Vaseline or similarly greasy moisturizer. For milder dryness, use a lighter moisturizer.
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