Natural Dry Skin Relief
Sibhan O' Connor and Alexandra Spunt, authors of "No More Dirty Looks," speculate that skin cosmetics cause more problems than they solve. Luckily, there are alternatives to the toxic chemicals in many skin creams, soaps and lotions that might be unsafe for your body and actually harm your skin. Consult a dermatologist before trying any natural remedies if you have an ongoing or severe dry skin condition that is causing disfiguring or painful symptoms.
About Your Skin
The top layer of your skin, or the acid mantle, is composed of sweat and oil and has a chemical pH balance that is slightly acidic. O'Connor and Spunt explain that most soaps remove that acidity with alkaline pH contents of around 10, throwing your skin's natural balance off-kilter, possible causing rashes or redness and introducing toxic chemicals onto your skin.
MayoClinic.com cautions that deodorant and antibacterial soaps do the most damage to dry skin. Experiment with various brands, choosing soaps with the fewest chemical ingredients or fragrances and sticking with those that contain only natural ingredients like coconut or olive oils or milk products. Choose soaps that leave your skin feeling smooth and soft, not tight or dry.
O'Connor and Spunt recommend massaging a small amount of coconut or cold-pressed olive oil into your skin for two to three minutes. Wash off the oil gently with a natural, mild soap and pat, don't rub, your skin to dry it.
As with soaps, choose commercial products with the most natural, least chemical ingredients, such as those with coconut, olive, jojoba or aloe. O'Connor and Spunt recommend buying the actual ingredients themselves, adding anti-aging ingredients, too, such as vitamin E oil or green tea. Follow the advice from MayoClinic.com and apply moisturizer immediately after washing your face or bathing to increase its effectiveness.
One of the easiest natural ways to help your skin retain its natural moisture is to avoid harsh external factors. Wear gloves to protect your hands, opt for 10-minute showers instead of baths and use warm water instead of hot water. Protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet radiation from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and lightweight, loose, long sleeved tops. Natural fibers, such as cotton and silk, and cautions that wool can irritate skin. You invest in a humidifier to moisten the air in your home, and that you clean the humidifier regularly to minimize the growth of bacteria and fungi.
As Ladies' Home Journal staff writer Lisa Kovalovich notes, drinking eight glasses of water doesn't literally moisturize your skin from the inside out, but doing so, along with eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and high-fiber grains, does keep your body's systems functioning at their peak and leads to good health overall. Internal health appears on the outside, too, as healthy-looking skin and rosy color in your cheeks.
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