Dry facial skin can be uncomfortable, itchy, and embarrassing. Slathering on lotion or a moisturizer only does so much! If you really want to be rid of your dry skin and enjoy softer, more supple skin on a long-term basis, you need to get to the bottom of what's causing your dry skin. Here's a look at three bad habits that you may need to break.
Using overly harsh cleansers.
If you have the occasional blemish, you may assume a face wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide is a good choice for you, since these medications are meant to fight blemishes. But these ingredients are also quite drying. The problem could be that the face wash is drying your skin out too much and that the dryness is contributing to those occasional breakouts. (Sometimes skin overcompensates for dryness by producing too much sebum, which clogs pores and forms pimples.) Switch to a very mild cleanser with as few ingredients as possible. Use it for a few weeks and see whether your skin improves.
Avoiding fat in your diet.
Sometimes dietary fat is framed as the devil when really, you need a decent amount of fat in your diet in order to be healthy. A diet that's very low in fat can lead to symptoms including dry skin. Experts recommend getting 20%–35% of your daily calories from fat. Most of this should be unsaturated fats, rather than saturated fats, which are not great for heart health. If you've been closely watching your fat intake, try keeping track of what you're eating and using an online calculator tool to measure your fat intake. If your fat intake makes up less than 20% of your daily calorie intake, consider adding some more sources of healthy fats—like nuts, seeds, and olive oil—to your diet. You may find that your skin becomes more supple and soft.
Not protecting your skin from the sun.
Protecting your skin from sun exposure is important for more than avoiding skin cancer. Excessive exposure to sunlight can also lead to dry skin. If you're not wearing sunscreen on your face on a daily basis, now is a good time to start. If you wear face makeup on a daily basis, look for a formula with sun protection. Otherwise, a thin layer of facial sunscreen applied to your face in the morning should do the trick. You'll probably notice that your dryness eases within a week or two.
If your skin dryness persists after changing these bad habits, consider seeing a professional at an establishment such as Changes Of Cherry Creek/ Denver's Day Spa for treatment.