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7 Surprising Tips for Adding Moisture to Dry Skin

April 23, 2021

7 Surprising Tips for Adding Moisture to Dry Skin

I think we can all agree that dry skin is not attractive, and it ages us. But how do we solve it? Is dry skin an internal, external, or environmental problem? My experience and science tell me it's all of the above. 

In this article, we'll look at seven surprising ways we can add moisture to dry skin that go above and beyond using a great moisturizer and drinking water. These tips will help us heal and prevent dry skin and get the most out of the products we are using. 

TIP 1: Nutrition - not diet - matters.

Do you know anyone who isn't talking about the diet they're on? But how often do you hear anyone talk about NUTRITION? Our skin needs to be fed nutrients like antioxidants such as carotenoids, tocopherols, flavonoids, and vitamins (A, C, D, and E), essential omega-3-fatty acids from the inside to support skin health. And just about every fad diet has negative side effects on the skin (most of which lead to dry skin), so be aware of how nutrition (or lack thereof) impacts your skin health.

Here's a science-based report that supports nutrition as a key factor for supporting healthy skin. We can pile on high-performance products, but we can sabotage our results if we lack in nutrition.

TIP 2: Don't leach your skin of hydration. 

If our diet is high in diuretic ingredients like caffeine and alcohol, it's going to leach hydration, leaving us with dry skin. And, this might surprise you, but oily skin is often a sign of severely dehydrated skin. When skin cannot get enough moisture to naturally exfoliate, it will be evidenced by clogged pores leading to overproduction of oil. 

And don't forget, herbs such as hawthorn, ginger, dandelion, and parsley are natural diuretics, so they need to be minimally consumed if we aren't giving our bodies plenty of hydration. Learn more about the side effects of diuretics on the skin.

TIP 3: It's not just about LIQUID intake.

Interestingly enough, we don't just get hydration from liquids alone. The food we eat accounts for 20% of our hydration. Fruits and non-starchy vegetables are high water content foods, so if we're eating plenty of these; we're adding hydration to the body and thereby moisture to the skin. This is good news. We may be getting more hydration than we thought when we consider our fruit and veggie intake. 

TIP 4: Don't punish your skin with hot water.

Hot water is the kryptonite to moisture in the skin. It damages the keratin cells located on the epidermis. This prevents the cells from locking in moisture. So if we already have a dry skin condition, using hot water will make it worse, not better.

We often equate hot water with clean, but that is not correct. Taking long, hot showers or baths may feel great to the muscles, but it wreaks havoc on the skin. If you must indulge, keep it to a minimum or be prepared to suffer stressed dry skin. Immediately drink lots of water, eat nutritious, high water content food to speed rehydration after that hot bath or shower. To improve moisture retention, the best practice is to *always* wash your face with lukewarm water and never use hot water on the face. 

TIP 5: Don't beat up your skin.

I kind of cringe when I hear someone wants to use a spinning brush to clean the skin. It is often too much on the face, namely because people don't realize how hard they're pressing it into the skin. I recommend using a more effective cleanser, so there is no need to use such a device. Taking care not to use bath sponges, scrub brushes, and rough washcloths will go a long way in preventing damaged skin and moisture loss. Always pat or blot (don't rub) the skin when drying the face (or even the skin on the body), and we'll leave the top layers of skin intact, thereby maintaining a stronger moisture barrier. 

TIP 6: Get those Zzzz's.

Did you know that not getting a good night's sleep affects more than our stamina? Poor sleep affects our skin. Our skin repairs itself and replenishes moisture while we sleep. This report demonstrates that people who got high-quality sleep had 30 percent greater moisture barrier recovery in 72 hours than poor sleepers. This means we need to make quality sleep a priority to support the skin's moisture level.

TIP 7: Dial down the stress.

We all know stress is an epidemic in our society, but it affects more than mental health; it affects the health of our skin. This report demonstrates the brain-skin connection we may not have considered on our skincare journey. 

This research has confirmed skin both as an immediate stress perceiver and as a target of stress responses showing up as dry skin and skin disorders. As the largest organ of the body, the skin plays an important barrier and immune functions, maintaining homeostasis between the external environment and internal tissues.

So finding ways to nurture ourselves with some relaxation techniques will reduce the effects of stress to improve dry skin.

BONUS TIP: Change your pillowcase OFTEN!

As we sleep, the natural exfoliation process leaves dead skins cell and oils on the pillowcase every night. Not to mention any dirt or bacterial gremlins in the hair that is left. Our hair holds more dirt in it than anywhere else on our bodies. This means the pillowcase is a petri dish of muck for our face if we aren't changing it often.

If you aren't implementing pillowcase hygiene into your skincare regimen, I strongly suggest you begin tonight!

How often we change it is a personal preference, but experts say every day, if you have excessively oily skin or suffer from acne, to weekly for normal or dry skin.

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