Friday, February 6, 2009

14 Tips for Dry Skin - Naturally

Cccccold, sunny and still.

Dry skin is pretty common up in this neck of the woods but it is beatable. Here are some tips for beating dry skin, naturally.

1 - First, make sure you feed the skin from the inside. Have good nutrition, fresh vegetables and fruits for vitamins that take care of the skin. Good fats are important too, flax seed and walnuts. Make sure you are not allergic to anything. Get plenty of fiber and water.

2 - Avoid temperature extremes which unfortunately includes a super hot shower.

3 - Use a highly fatted, good quality soap, preferably all natural (plant) based (check for nut allergies) devoid of unnecessary chemicals. (see previous blog on real soap)

4 - Use a humidifier - keep that moisture in the 40 to 50% range in the winter.

5 - Make sure the clothing that is contacting your skin is agreeable. Skin often prefers natural fibers vs synthetics. Be mindful of wool allergies.

6 - Make sure your laundry soap is non irritating. Look for non-detergents and low ingredients. Charlie's soap is one of the most recommended soaps on the market and gets rave reviews from mothers (and babies) using cloth diapers. Mothers have been known to travel miles to get it.

7 - Showers are better than baths. This is important so you can do the next step.

8 - Soap last ... barely rinse and get out. It is always tempting to soap up when you first get in the shower and then stand there for many more minutes while the soap sheds off. If you still need to do that, fine , but end your shower using your fatty soap or oil based liquid soap or soap containing shea butter, and rub it into your skin well. Have a quick rinse and get out. The whole idea is to leave a slight layer of oil on your skin.

9 - Pat your skin dry, do not rub. Again, make sure the towels have been laundered with skin agreeing laundry soap.

10 - For cracked hands, the first thing is to protect them against water use and extreme temperatures. Wear gloves when washing. Use fatty soaps and rinse lightly. Lotions are okay (make sure they have no alcohol or other unnecessary drying chemicals in them) but balms are the best. If your lotion isn't working, try balms which are oil/plant based without all the extra stuff that creates lotions. Of course you could do what Italians have been doing for centuries and that's just taking your cooking olive oil and spread it around as needed.

11 - Gloves, when all else fails, is the final line of defense. Slather your hands with a balm, put on the gloves and wear all night while you sleep. Try cotton or bamboo gloves. hands. Really!

12 - For those cracked heels, do all of the above and do the same as far as balm and sleeping at night - in socks. Again, the gloves and socks should be laundered with gentle soap. Use balms during the day as well. Do not use petroleum,or Vaseline. These are products from the bottom of the barrel (literally) and form a barrier so that your skin can not breath. (which is fine when you are on top of Mt. Washington in January in a sub-zero 60 MPH wind and need protection)

13 - For Facial Dryness, use a fatty soap, an oil based liquid soap and/or anything with natural shea butter in it. For difficult Eczema, a tried and true product is Trillium's Daily Face Polish, an organic salt scrub, that has worked miracles on many a face. If your soap is high quality and truly oil based, then you shouldn't have to follow with lotions. If you still want to use lotion, remember to avoid alcohol and other irritating ingredients, or you risk undoing all your efforts.

14 - Be Patient. Skin takes a few days to heal and slough off the top dead layer, so give these dry skin tips a few days to work. They really will work..naturally.

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