Your skin is the largest organ of your body and has an important job to do. It is your first and most essential defense against outside elements such as bacteria, allergens, and other irritants.
Taking good care of your skin is vital to your well-being. Dry, cracked skin not only affects your physical appearance, it also opens the door to organisms that could cause you harm.
Dry skin happens when the top layer of skin loses moisture. Many factors can cause this to happen including stress, aging, frequent hot-water bathing, harsh soaps, nutrition and even lack of sleep.
Here are some steps to reduce the loss of moisture and keep your skin healthy and intact.
- Use warm water, not hot, to bathe and shower. Hot water helps to strip away the natural oils in your skin.
- Moisturize immediately after bathing or showering while your skin is still moist. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing.
- Use a mild soap or a soap-free cleanser with added moisturizers. Avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol and/or fragrance.
- Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Cold, dry winter air, heated rooms and even dry summers can contribute to the loss of moisture in your skin.
- Eat a well balanced diet, exercise, and get enough sleep. Decreasing the amount of daily stress can also keep away dry skin.
These tips can help prevent loss of moisture in normal skin and help heal skin that's already facing some dryness. If you are experiencing extremely dry skin, you should see a dermatologist for more options.