Human skin accomplishes truly amazing things: it protects us from bacteria, injury, heat and much more. Without it we would be completely vulnerable. It is our largest organ and when things are going well for us we feel totally at home in our skin.
Basically we can distinguish between dry, normal or oily skin. Sometimes, however, one person can have several skin types: the skin on the face, for example, could be oily but the rest of the body dry. Age, hormone levels and seasons are also important factors.
Many people suffer from dry skin
There are many people, also healthy people, who suffer from dry or extremely dry skin. Heating, air conditioning, care products, perfumes, nutritional deficiencies, too much alcohol, nicotine, hormonal contraceptives or hereditary predisposition can all cause dry skin. Sometimes the reasons are skin disorders (neuro-dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, allergies and others) or illnesses of other organs. Often skin dryness doesn’t manifest itself until old age.
Dry calves and elbows
Those affected know this unpleasant feeling: the skin is rough, chapped, taut and itchy, and feels like sandpaper. People with very dry skin suffer from so-called exsiccation eczema, where the skin splits and is red and itchy after washing or showering. Those parts of the body with a poor blood supply and which have fewer sebaceous glands such as the elbows or calves are particularly susceptible to dry skin.
Dry skin usually looks scaly, reddened and neglected, and gnaws at the self-confidence of many sufferers. But there are not only external consequences of dry skin. The skin can no longer function properly and is unable to give sufficient protection against external influences.
Start your day with a glass of water with lemon juice
The first step to improvement is moisture. Drink enough tap water – although opinions differ as to the ideal quantity. Listen to your body and start each morning with a big glass of lukewarm water with some fresh lemon juice. Don’t drink too much at mealtimes or directly following a meal, but drink plenty between mealtimes. You should drink so much that you never feel thirsty. Have a carafe of water at hand at work or at home and regularly drink a glass full. Avoid too much coffee, black tea, sodas and alcohol. Pure water is always the best option.
If your dry skin is caused by a disorder such as neuro-dermatitis or psoriasis, you should consult a doctor and discuss treatment options. There are anti-inflammatory and moisture-retaining ointments and bath supplements available.
Coconut oil and lukewarm showers
Otherwise here are a few tips for you:
Treat your skin carefully, don’t rub it with coarse sponges or bath mits.
Don’t shower or bath with too hot water, lukewarm is hot enough. Contrast showering (warm/cold) stimulates the circulation. Always start with warm water and finish with cool. Repeat two or three times.
Use gentle cleansers such as pH-neutral shower lotions or soap.
Always keep some pure coconut oil at hand. Coconut oil is quickly absorbed and offers long-term moisture. Apply daily and before sleeping to particularly dry spots such as cuticles, elbows, calves and décolleté.
Avoid facial toners containing alcohol.
Occasionally have a bath with almond oil, jojoba oil or peach kernel oil supplements.
Always apply a barrier cream containing vitamin A and E after showering or bathing.
Eating a balanced diet also helps. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit and at every mealtime eat some of these raw. Avoid convenience food which are low in nutrients and limit your refined sugar intake.
Smoking and alcohol also have an adverse effect on the skin causing premature aging.
20 to 30 minutes direct sunlight per day is good, but not during the midday heat. Afterwards it is better to stay in the shade and cover up with light clothes (light linen or cotton).
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