Sometimes, no matter what you do, it just doesn’t seem like you’re doing enough for your skin.
You feel like you’ve tried everything. Moisturizing after every bath, turning on the humidifier at bedtime, and eating healthy. But why does your skin still feel itchy, dry, dull, and just looks lifeless? Before you pick up that phone or drop by your dermatologist’s office for an appointment, reevaluate yourself and your actions, not just your skin care routine. You might not know it yet, but maybe you’re guilty of some of the most common habits that dry out your skin. Keep reading!
1. Long Hot Showers or Baths
Hot water removes natural lipids from the skin such as cholesterol, ceramides, and fatty acids. These three help give your skin cells a type of seal to help retain moisture. It is easy for hot water to destroy this barrier, and as a result, water in the skin escapes through evaporation.
You will know if your lipids have been reduced because your skin feels itchy and dry. So, don’t take a hot shower or bath for more than 10 to 15 minutes, and only use warm, not hot water, if at all necessary.
2. Fragrant Soaps and Shampoos
Specific irritants in deodorant or heavily fragrant soaps like sodium lauryl sulfate, a type of detergent (makes bubbles) enter skin cells and may cause inflammation. Shampoo may also contain this ingredient which may irritate the scalp, so it is recommended to shampoo first and then wash the rest of the body including the face to remove all of its traces.
Alcohol and water-based cleansers and bubble baths are also risky to use. Choose gentler products -those that are oil-based and unscented.
3. Drying Off with a Towel after a Bath or Shower
This might be one of the most common mistakes that people are unconsciously making. Rubbing a towel on your skin and hair vigorously causes friction which can be a cause for irritation. Pat dry instead of rubbing, and apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp to make sure you lock in as much moisture as you can.
4. Aggressive Facial Peels
All peels mean well. They remove the dead skin cells sitting on top of your skin which then helps the skin absorb moisture more efficiently and quickly. But if your skin is already dry or irritated by cold or freezing weather, don’t use strong peels. Look for a gentler and soothing oxygen facial mask, or use a moisturizing mask instead,
5. Not Applying Sunscreen in Cold Climates and Weather
Even if you think the sun is hiding, nothing can stop the UV rays from penetrating your skin unless you’re indoors. Clouds may block off actual light, but the invisible rays radiating from the sun can still do skin damage. Wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 no matter the weather, but make sure it contains UVA/UVB protection. This means the sunscreen is a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Certain medical conditions and diseases can also lead to dry skin. So if you think you have a skin condition that might need medical intervention, get off the internet and speak with your doctor.
Do you know more bad habits we should stop to achieve healthy skin? Let me know in the comments!
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