Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dry Skin Tip Moisturize After Showers or Hand Washing
Moisturizer is the key to soft, supple skin. Apply product when skin is slightly damp. For best effect, pat skin dry instead of rubbing with your towel before application.

The skin on my legs can drive me crazy with itchiness all year round. I find I prefer oils to lotions on for the body. Renowned makeup artist Pati Lubroff got me hooked on organic extra virgin coconut oil, which you can buy in health food stores or online. Simply massage the coconut oil all over the body. Trust me, this will get rid of dry, itchy skin and the oil isn't sticky like lotion tends to be.

Antibacterial soap in public places can be harsh on hands, so I like to keep hand salve in my purse (my hands-down favorite is Kiehls). To keep cuticles soft, massage in olive oil.

Extra tip: I love keeping moisturizer and facial water on my desk at work. I spritz Evian Mineral Spray (buy it online), and then dab on moisturizer. The water locks in moisture and leaves my skin refreshed even in harsh office heat.

Dry Skin Tip: Exfoliate on a Weekly or Semi-Weekly Basis
Moisturizer is much more effective on properly exfoliated skin. Use a scrub in the shower and exfoliate facial skin with a mild scrub made for the face.

It's best to scrub skin when it's dry, according to Marcia Kilgore, the founder of Bliss Spa in New York, in InStyle Magazine. Apply scrub to dry skin before you turn on the water (mix with lotion if it's not moist enough). Massage the scrub into skin for a few minutes for best results.

Extra tip: Dry brush skin before a shower with a body brush to remove flaky skin (it's more effective than brushing wet skin).

Dry Skin Tip: Invest in a Humidifier
Ever notice how older people in desert climates look like leather? The moisture in the air is actually good for skin. If you live in a low-humidity climate or you are around furnaces in the winter, invest in a humidifier.

I once read that your skin needs more than 30 percent humidity to stay properly moisturized. A room heated by a furnace can have as little as 10 percent moisture. In the winter, consider sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom. Keep doors closed so the moist air doesn't escape the room.


Dry Skin Tip: Skip the Drying Soaps
Soaps can be drying. Stick with a creamy moisturizing cleanser that contains glycerin or petrolatum, such as Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, or Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash(my current drugstore pick).

Extra tip: Simply can't skip the bath? Skip the bubbles, which can contain harsh foaming ingredients and opt for bath oils or oatmeal scrubs, which are great for soothing itchy skin.

Dry Skin Tip: Baby Your Hands & Feet
Hands and feet can suffer terribly from dry, itchy skin. Put on moisturizer and gloves BEFORE you head outdoors in the winter, and consider lathering up your feet in thick moisturizer and sleeping in cotton socks at night.

Extra tip: Cover feet in a thick moisturizer, wrap feet in Saran Wrap, then pull on a pair of socks for a couple hours. Try to sit or lie down while the moisturizer soaks in or risk sliding into a full split and pulling your groin muscles. The same treatment can be done on hands, except try plastic bags and keep hands in a pair of socks. A half-hour should do you.

Dry Skin Tip: Stay Hydrated But Don't Go Overboard
Many people believe if they drink more water, they'll hydrate skin. But I've read time and time again that this is a myth and you simply cannot moisturize skin from the inside out.

That said, a small study recently published by the University of Hamburg (and reported in Allure magazine), suggests people who drink relatively little water could see a significant benefit in skin hydration if they started drinking nine eight-ounce glasses of water per day. What does this mean? Probably that dehydration does affect skin, but a normally hydrated person isn't going to see major benefits by drinking even more water.

My advice: don't expect bottled water to save you from dry skin and the winter itch.

Dry Skin Tip: Don't Forget Your Lips
Licking your lips will not moisturize them and instead will help dry them out. Lips retain less moisture than other parts of the body, so they tend to dry out more quickly. A simple lip balm helps, as does my all-time favorite lip trick learned in high school from "Seventeen" magazine: moisturize your lips with Vaseline. Take a toothbrush and "brush" your lips in a circular motion. This will remove dead flakes and leave your lips soft and supple.

Dry Skin Tip: Protect Your Face, Too
If you have super, duper sensitive skin, consider avoiding rinsing your face with tap water, which can contain harsh minerals that are especially drying to the skin.

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