Clients have been complaining to me about the condition of their skin which they describe as extremely dry, itchy or scaly. The clinical term for this is known as Xerosis. Everyone is wondering how to address this problem.
Why is my skin so dry?
The skin’s purpose is to protect the body. Healthy, normal skin is made up of 20-35% water which helps to keep it supple. During the winter when the humidity levels in the air drop, moisture is pulled from our skin. When our skin has less than 10% water, it becomes dry and flaky. Long, hot showers and frequent hand-washing serve to further aggravate and irritate the skin thus leading to an even drier surface.
With less water in the skin cells, the natural oil in the tissues diminishes. When this happens, the skin ceases to exfoliate properly. The result is an excessive layer of dead cells on the surface.
What should I do?
STEP ONE: Exfoliate (Please note that the face and body should be handled differently.)
The body will benefit from the use of a loofah sponge which has a mild abrasive texture. Note that you should not be scrubbing with force; just maintain a comfortable pressure while moving the loofah in a circular fashion over the skin. This first step will help to loosen and remove the dead, dry skin cells.
For the face, I would recommend the use of a mild enzyme which is ideal for a woman’s delicate facial skin. Enzymes can be used by all skin types, even sensitive and reactive types. (With regard to scrubs, I am not a fan of them as they often contain rough ingredients which can scratch and scrape women’s faces. Scrubs are better used by men whose facial skin is typically thicker and hardier.)
STEP TWO: Moisturize
Moisturizers work to seal in the natural moisture of the skin. They help to minimize irritation and dryness while soothing the skin’s surface.
I often recommend to clients that they “layer products” used on their facial skin in order to protect it during harsh weather. Begin by applying a light oil (such as jojoba or grapeseed, for example) allowing a few minutes for the oil absorb. Next, add a creamy moisturizer of your choosing to further protect the skin.
For the body, it is best to apply lotion immediately after showering while the skin is still damp. That way, the body lotion will help to lock in the moisture.
2 tsp – Avocado oil
2 drops – Geranium essential oil
1 drop – Lemongrass or lavender essential oil
Blend well and then lightly massage onto clean skin. Allow to absorb for several minutes prior to applying makeup.
Lori Weintraub is a licensed skin care therapist, holistic health coach and a hair removal expert. She offers online consultations, skin care lessons, exceptional products and hand-holding guidance to help women over 40 regain their youthful glow. Learn more here.