All I want is everything! I want a beautiful, glowing and smooth complexion that will be the envy of all especially in the harsh winter months. But just as Murphy’s Law would have it, this remains my wishful thinking. Come winter and my skin goes from just right to dry, flaky and dull. The low humidity levels, the chill in the air and the consequential inadequate amounts of natural skin oils leave my skin feeling very unhappy. So how does one combat dry and flaky skin?
Dry, flaky skin – the real reason
Most of us believe that we are the unfortunate lot of the spectrum who have to deal with this bane because of our genes or because of the cruel aging process. While this is true, there are a number of other contributors that lead to this situation. Soaking in a hot tub or taking long piping hot showers is a winter favorite with all. But this is also a very big cause of dry flaky skin. The hot water tends to dry out the natural oils of the skin and leads to dryness. Couple that with the fluctuating temperatures between heated rooms and cold outdoors and your dry skin becomes worse. Sometimes dry flaky skin could also be a sign of a fungal infection such as Athlete’s foot or rosacea. It is best to head to your dermatologist to verify if there is any specific cause to your flaky skin problem.
Eating a balanced diet that promotes enzyme functions and boosts collagen production is the first step to saying goodbye to dry and flaky skin. Foods that are high in Vitamin C, zinc, copper and Omega 3 fatty acids promote this skin activity and help the skin absorb moisture better. Caffeine and alcohol should be consumed in moderation when you deal with dry skin as they tend to dehydrate the skin.
Apart from your diet you will need to religiously follow the cleansing, toning and moisturizing routine. If you can, use bottled water to wash your face. Do not use harsh cleansers as they dry out the skin further. You should also avoid using anything that could irritate your skin like grainy exfoliants, face washcloths, alcohol based toners etc. Use a gentle exfoliant with micro beads to slough away dead skin cells. Always pat your face dry gently and use a moisturizer meant for dry skin followed by a sunscreen prescribed by your dermatologist. Make sure that you use a heavy night cream so that your skin can soak up the essential oils and repair the damaged skin. You should also try to stay away from heavily scented moisturizers (as tempting as they may feel) as fragrances may contain allergens that might irritate your dry skin.
Furthermore, using a deep moisturizing, nourishing face mask meant for dry skin once a week works beautifully to get rid of this problem. A honey and flaxseed mask does wonders for dry and flaky skin.
With some gentle care, patience and perseverance you can say goodbye to dry flaky skin and show off your glowing complexion this winter. Who says you can’t have everything?
What are your secrets to greater looking, soft skin in the cold months? Write in.