When you’ve got dry, flaky skin, you need a solution immediately. Sometimes, though, all the giant tubs of body cream in the world can’t help the dry skin you’re experiencing. You exfoliate, you use a good body wash and moisturizer, but for the life of you, you cannot figure out why your skin is still dry. We may have found the culprit, ladies. Below are eight ways you’ve been drying out your skin without knowing it.
Hot showers: Everyone loves a long, hot shower, but standing in a constant stream of scolding hot water for an extended amount of time is like asking for dried out skin. The heat and steam will open up your pores and dehydrate every pocket of moisture. Instead of extra hot water, turn the heat down to a mild temperature and your skin will thank you.
Lightweight moisturizers: Especially in the winter when the cold weather is doing nothing but drying out your skin, switching to a heavier lotion instead of a lightweight moisturizer will make a huge difference in how much moisture your skin holds onto.
Harsh soap: Unfortunately, many bar soaps are harsh and drying, removing every bit of oil and hydration from your skin and leaving you with a “squeaky clean” — which is literally “squeaky” because your skin is devoid of any kind of moisture. Choose a creamy body wash instead of a bar soap and please, never use a bar on your face!
Scrubbing too hard: Whether you’re using a rough loofa or you’re overusing a scrub, remember that your skin is sensitive, and scrubbing too hard can strip it of its moisture. Switch to a soft wash cloth and ease up the pressure when using your hands.
Central heat: Sometimes you can’t control the heat in the room you’re in, but if you can, stick will something south of room temperature, even in the winter. High heat indoors can dry out your skin, so lower the temperature and, if possible, use a humidifier so some moisture is put back into the air.
Time in the sun: Even if you’re using SPF while in the sun, too much exposure is bound to dry out your skin, hence “sun burn.” Limit your intake of sunshine and wear a hat with a brim when possible to protect your face.
Constant hand washing: It needs to be done, but when you’re constantly washing your hands you’re also constantly taking away any and all moisture that’s there. Keep a small hand lotion in your purse or at your desk and reapply as needed throughout the day. After a few days, you’ll notice what a big difference it makes to rehydrate.
Being dehydrated: A dehydrated body means dehydrated skin. Making sure that you’re drinking enough water is essential to not drying out your skin, and an easy way to drink more is to carry a reusable water bottle with you wherever you go, filling up where you can.
Image via Istock