Is your skin feeling tight, itchy, flaky and just downright irritated? How to get rid of dry skin is one of the biggest seasonal conundrums there is. But we don’t all have dry skin, even when we think we do. You see, dry skin a genetic skin type, you’re either born with dry skin or you’re not. Those who are born with a dry skin type tend to be prone to conditions like eczema. If your dry skin is seasonal, then it’s much more likely that you’re suffering from dehydration instead. During winter, the combination of cold temperatures outside and central heating inside saps the skin of much-needed moisture.
Now, while you can’t change your skin type, you can hydrate your dry skin so it feels smoother, more comfortable and looks dewy and fresh. Luckily, these same solutions will tackle skin dehydration too.
So, how does dry skin occur?
As we mentioned low moisture in the air and central heating are two of the biggest culprits for causing skin to feel dry. Using harsh soaps can also contribute to that tight and irritated feeling, while taking showers and baths that are too hot can also dehydrate the skin.
Below we reveal the 9 tips you can try to comfort dry skin and prevent dehydration this winter.
1) Dry Skin Tip #1: Turn Down the Temperature
One of the biggest culprits for causing dry skin is taking baths and showers that are too hot. While a hot bath can feel incredibly relaxing, it could be stressing out your skin. Opt for a warm, not hot, bath or shower and swap to a nourishing oil cleanser that nurtures the skin. Be sure to moisturise your skin when it is still damp because moisturiser is more effectively soaked into damp skin compared to dry skin.
2) Dry Skin Tip #2: Look for Hydrating Ingredients
Stock your bathroom cabinet with products that boast hydrating ingredients. Sodium hyaluronate is a derivative of hyaluronic acid (HA), an ingredient that’s found naturally within our skin. HA may have grabbed more headlines, but sodium hyaluronate has a lower molecular weight meaning it can drive further into the skin where it can attract water to hydrate deep down. You can find Sodium Hyaluronate in the The Ritual of Namaste Hydrating Overnight Cream.
When it comes to hydration don’t overlook the skincare stalwarts. First up there is glycerin, derived from vegetable oils it is a hydrating powerhouse. Then there is shea butter, an emollient that creates a moisture-locking barrier on the skin. You can find both ingredients in The Ritual of Namaste Natural Hydrating Body Cream. Lastly, aloe vera does a good job of soothing skin irritation year-round; use The Ritual of Namaste Clarifying Facial Toner after washing your face to balance the drying effects of tap water.
3) Dry Skin Tip #3: Hydrate from the Inside Out
For starters you want to factor in plenty of good fats, think fatty fish like mackerel and salmon. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, look for good quality olive oil and nuts.
Dry and dehydrated skin can become inflamed and irritated, so try to factor in anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes (fish, olive oil and nuts are anti-inflammatory, too!). Bolster your diet with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables including plenty of leafy greens that are packed with vitamins and minerals that support healthy skin function.
4) Dry Skin Tip #4: Carry Hand and Lip Products Everywhere
Our lip skin is thinner than the skin elsewhere on our face, which is why our lips are the first place to dry out come winter. Always carry a lipbalm with you.
Our hands are another problem area when it comes to dry skin, water and antibacterial gel can really dehydrate the skin, so be sure to moisturise regularly throughout the day. Shop our hand lotions and balms here.
5) Dry Skin Tip #5: Get a Humidifier
When the air is lacking moisture, it will draw it from wherever it can, think houseplants and your skin! Central heating can dry out the air in our homes, so counterbalance it with a humidifier that pumps much-needed moisture back into the air.
6) Dry Skin Tip #6: Wear Gloves and a Scarf
On very cold days, make sure to always wear gloves and a scarf to protect your skin from the elements. Wool can irritate, as can many synthetic fabrics, so try to look to pieces made from cashmere, cotton or silk.
7) Dry Skin Tip #7: Don’t scratch
When your skin lacks moisture and natural oils it can start to itch, and of course when you have an itch the natural response is to want to scratch it. This can cause the skin to break and become sore. Use plenty of moisturiser to ease the itching and don't scratch! That’s easier said than done, of course. Try taking up a calming hobby that keeps your hands busy like knitting, colouring in or origami.
You may be nervous to exfoliate dry skin for fear that it may irritate, but sloughing away those dead skin cells can help your moisturising products penetrate more easily. It will also help your skin look and feel softer and smoother. Be sure to choose a gentle exfoliator with fine sugar crystals. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) that gently nibble away at the dry skin are also your friends. Luckily, The Ritual of Namaste Natural Body Scrub combines sugar crystals and AHAs with sweet almond oil to nourish and protect the skin against dehydration.
Keep a hydrating mist on your desk, in your handbag or next to your bedside table. A refreshing spritz provides a quick hit of moisture and does wonders to relieve dry, tight and irritated skin.