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Several factors in our daily lives can cause dry skin. They include:
● Central air
● Heat [hot water counts]
● Harsh cleansers + exfoliators
● Cleaning Supplies
● A compromised skin barrier
While we have control over some of these factors, others are a little out of our control. However, we still have the ability to prepare and prevent dry skin with a few easy steps.
Let’s take things one by one.
Dry skin caused by weather
We’re talking fall and winter here. There is less moisture in the air, and it’s much easier for moisture to evaporate out of your skin (it is porous). This leads us to our next culprit.
Dry Skin caused by central air
When it is cold outside, we like to be cozy inside beside a warm fire or the comfort of central heating. This will also suck moisture from your skin (and other parts of your body). The good news here is that because you’re in a contained environment, sometimes using a simple humidifier will help. If you don’t have one, you can go the old fashioned route and boil water on the stove.
Dry Skin caused by heat
Now we’re really getting technical. Hot water can disrupt skin’s natural moisture barrier. It strips the skin of important lipids (fats and oils) that help bind moisture to the skin. Basically you’re damaging your skin barrier.
Dry Skin caused by harsh cleansers + exfoliants
See above. Okay, not to make light of the situation, but often dry skin can be traced back to the same core issue, a compromised skin barrier. Harsh detergents, acids, physical exfoliators (don’t even get us started on nutshells) will also strip your skin of important fats and oils that keep your skin hydrated. In the case of harsh exfoliants, they can actually tear the skin and cause irritation.
Dry Skin caused by medication
Several types of medications have been linked to dry skin issues: Diuretics, Statins, Antihistamines, and various acne treatments. We’re not experts on the why, but there are some folks here who are. What we can tell you is that treating this type of dry skin needs to be an inside out and outside in approach.
Dry Skin caused by cleaning supplies
So we now live in an age where we clean, sanitize, and clean again. Cleaning products because they are loaded with chemicals and fragrances (to mask their actual odor) that wreak havoc on your skin. Simply being exposed to them can dry out your skin.
Dry Skin caused by genetics + age
We can put these last two in the category of things that are biological and persistent, but manageable with the right tools.
You may have noticed that we didn’t call out “Dry Skin caused by a compromised skin barrier”. This is because many of the instances with regard to causes of dry skin above have to do directly with a compromised skin barrier. It’s all about the skin barrier with us.
● STAY HYDRATED. Sounds cliche, but we’re big fans of the 8 x 8 rule. 8oz of water 8 times a day. More if it’s particularly dry out or you’re pumping the heater inside. Yes, coffee and wine are liquids, but they’re also diuretics so match these, one for one, with an extra 8oz of water. Note: there is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Learn more here.
● INCORPORATE HEALTHY FATS. A diet rich in Omega 3-6-9 will help your body maintain hydration. Foods like avocado, salmon, chia seeds, eggs … even cheese and dark chocolate will do the trick. (It’s also good for the brain)
● KEEP MOISTURE IN THE AIR. If your environment is dry, moisture will most assuredly evaporate from your skin. Get some moisture in that air with a humidifier.
● MAINTAIN YOUR SKIN BARRIER. This is why we exist, and we cannot stress this enough. A healthy skin barrier will help to prevent moisture loss and keep our environmental aggressors (pollution, oxidation…) that cause inflammation in the skin. This matters because when your body isn’t having to fight off inflammation it can focus on other things like creating healthy collagen and elastin. Yes, this is an awesome way to combat dry skin due to aging!
Because we’re all about skin barrier protection at Eighteen B … it’s why we invented B-SILK™ PROTEIN to be honest. Our simple silk skin care regimen for you is this.
Step 1: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Preferably one without SLS or SLES (Sulfates)
Step 2: Replenish your skin’s natural moisturizing factor with Firm + Replenish Serum. Psst, we hear this vegan silk serum works wonders on fine lines around the lips. Red lipstick, here we come!
Step 3: Dab a little Defend + Nourish Eye Cream around your eyes (they’re the thinnest and most vulnerable to dryness because they don’t have many sebaceous glands … not a lot of protective oil)
Step 4: Deeply hydrate with our Hydrate + Restore Rich Cream … when we say generously apply your moisturizer, we mean from your forehead to your chest. Did you know that the skin on your neck is almost as thin and the skin around your eyes? Make sure you take care of your neck. You will thank us later and save us a blog post on sagging skin around the neck.
Pro Tips: If you’re really having issues with chapped, red and broken skin, you need to bring in the big guns. Start with straight Vitamin E. It is both soothing and nourishing. If you do not have this at home and you’re in a pinch, olive oil is a great alternative. Worst case scenario, you’re going to need something more occlusive. While the skin needs to breathe, something you just need a little balm (we’re loving this one from MEANT) to heal things up before you can move on.
Be vigilant, stay hydrated.