Hair & Beauty Magazine

Cure Seasonal Dry Skin in 5 Easy Steps

By Jackiebernardi @JackieBernardi
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Aligator

This week I am focusing on dry skin because…well…my legs look like alligator skin. It’s that time of year when heaters are turned on with more frequency, the air gets drier, and because it’s covered up, we pay less attention to the skin on our body. If we let the condition go on too long we risk itching, cracking skin, and the potential for infection. Before I give you my strategy, I want to explain a bit why slapping on moisturizer is not enough.

The science:

The outermost layer of skin is called the stratum corneum. This layer is considered the barrier layer between your body and the elements. For it to work effectively in protecting your body from disease, it needs to be as moist as possible.

One of our body’s natural functions is evaporation, the process of moving moisture from inside to out. This causes the lipid layer (which holds the moisture) to dehydrate. The rate at which this happens is much faster in environments that are dry. Another important bodily function is absorption. Naturally, when the air is drier, there is less moisture to absorb, and this further dries the stratum corneum.

When we are in forced air conditions such as indoor heating, both the evaporation and absorption functions are compromised, and dry skin is sure to follow. To try to retain as much moisture as possible, it is important to exfoliate the dead skin cells off, and create a permeable barrier that works to keep dry air from sucking the moisture out, while allowing oxygen to flow in. It is a delicate balance, but follow these tips, and your skin will be in great shape.

How to prevent dry skin:

Stop using soap

Soap is full of harsh ingredients, whose pH balance is not optimal for skin hydration. If you use soap, try switching to a creamy body cleanser that is soap-free for the season.

Exfoliate

There are millions of products you could use to exfoliate your body, but a good body brush made of natural bristles is more than adequate. Give your skin an all over dry brushing in small circular motions with a body brush. Never use a body brush on your face—it is far too harsh.

Hydrate

To combat the environmental dryness, I recommend a having humidifier wherever you spend the most time (usually your bedroom and office). A humidifier will keep the relative humidity of your environment higher. This serves to slow down the process of evaporation, and helps with better absorption. It’s one of the best-kept skin care secrets around. I use this compact humidifier on my desk top, and this 9 gallon large capacity humidifier in my bedroom. Warning, you will wake up with dewey skin : )

Moisturize

During this time of year you want to make sure you have a very emollient, creamy moisturizer on hand to apply liberally on a daily basis. If you find that this is not enough, apply body oil immediately after bathing (while the skin is damp), and follow with your moisturizer. You will see the results right away.

My secret weapon

As mentioned, this time of year my skin looks more reptilian than human. What’s worse is that I live in Southern California, which is just a fancy way of saying I wear shorts or Capri’s all year long. So as not to offend my friends and neighbors, I created this simple homemade bath soak that works like a charm (the recipe follows). Here’s what I do once or twice a week:

      • Draw a warm bath and pour one or two cups of the Dry Skin Soak into the running water
      • Dry brush my entire body with the body brush
      • Soak in warm water for up to 15 minutes (after that the water is too cold for me)
      • Pat body dry with clean towel
      • Mix sweet almond oil with your moisturizer, and massage into damp skin

Super easy, and fantastic results! Try it this week, and let me know how it works out for you!

PS–I’ve included a shopping resource list for you at the end of the recipe.

splashing milk
Dry Skin Soak

2 cups of plain oatmeal
1 cup of dry powdered milk
1-cup cornstarch
1/4-cup honey powder
10 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil

In a blender mix the first 4 ingredients until pulverized into a fine powder. Take 1 cup of the mixture and pour into a warm water bathtub. Pour drops of both essential oils into a large spoon and pour into bath.

Soak in the dry skin elixir for no more than 15 minutes. Be careful getting in and out of the tub. Barely dry the skin then apply fast-absorbing oil such as sweet almond oil, mixed with your moisturizer.

Repeat up to two times a week during the dry season.

Shopping List:

Plain Dry Oats

Powdered Milk

Corn Starch

Honey Powder

Sweet Almond Oil

Natural Bristle Body Brush

Rosemary Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

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