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Tips to Maintain a Moisturized Skin

Does your skin feel tight?

If that’s the case then you might have dry skin. But to further determine if you have this skin type, dry skin is typically associated with dull, rough, flaky or scaly skin. People with dry skin are most likely to have less elastic skin and are prone to show more visible lines that are itchy once irritated.

Don’t worry, nothing is wrong with your skin and thanks to today’s science, there are numerous ways to achieve that plump, moisturized skin.

Some people like to think that excessively drinking water can moisturize dry skin. But human biology does not work that way. When you are feeling thirsty, that means your body needs water like an oil to an engine. That’s not the case for dry skin because it is an external problem and it is best treated externally. Even if you drink past the normal amount of water your body needs, it is not effective for curing dry skin.

So What Causes Dry Skin?

Understanding what can cause dry skin is the first step in achieving well-hydrated skin. Any activity that can strip water and reduce the natural barrier function of the epidermis, the top layer of your skin, can cause dry skin. Some of these activities include bathing too often, using harsh soaps and long skin exposure in hot baths. However, there are also other factors to consider in addressing dry skin including aging, cold environment, exposure to irritant chemicals (solvents, detergents) and certain medical conditions. 

Choose the Right Products

Moisturizers

According to Harvard Medical School, moisturizers are the best products in protecting yourself from external factors such as dry, cold air that can cause dry skin. Moisturizers rehydrate the top layer of your skin by attracting, sealing in the moisture and putting a barrier that protects the water from being stripped off.

It is important to apply moisturizer right after you get out of the shower to lock in the hydration on your damp skin.

Gentle Cleanser

Avoid using cleansers that strip too much of your natural oils. Alcohol-based cleansers are a great example for you to avoid, especially when you have dry skin. While alcohol-based cleansers are effective in removing sebum, the oil in your skin, they tend to be extreme in removing the gunk in your face as they also remove natural oils that keeps your skin hydrated.

Instead, choose gentle cleansers that keep your face clean while protecting the skin’s natural oils.

Water-based Skin Care Products

Dermatologists recommend water-based creams if you have dehydrated skin. These products penetrate through your skin and preserve moisture which is vital in skin hydration. Specifically, invest in products that contain hydrating agents like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, urea and ammonium lactate. Avoid cleansers, exfoliants and other skin care products that are harsh on your skin. You’ll know when a product is harsh on your skin because of the stinging sensation and dry feeling after usage. 

Sunscreen

Apart from gentle cleansers and moisturizers, a broad-spectrum sunscreen must be an essential part of your skin care routine. Over-exposure of the sun can dehydrate your skin and can also cause skin damage by breaking down the collagen and elastin that manages the strength and elasticity of the skin. Also, sunscreens prevent UVA and UVB skin damage caused by sun exposure. 

Hydrating Supplements

Hydrating your skin does not only come from applying moisturizer, but also from supplements that can help sustain healthy skin. Ceramide is a great example of hydrating supplements because it repairs your skin barrier, preventing water loss and retaining moisture. Also, some studies have shown that essential omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil supplements can help support the skin’s overall health. 

Tips to Remember for Maintaining Moisturized Skin

Daily Reminder to Drink your Water

Drinking enough water can balance the body’s overall water loss and increase skin hydration. Having enough water intake is essentially the first step in maintaining hydrated skin – the skin being made up of 30% water.

Have a Skin Care Routine

It is important to have a skin care routine throughout the day to keep your pores clog-free and maintain hydrated skin. It is necessary to wash up every night before going to sleep to get rid of the dirt and sebum build-up that clog the pores of your skin.

Skip Long Showers

Having long showers, especially steamy showers, can strip the natural oil layer and dehydrate your skin. According to Harvard Medical School, the ideal time limit in taking a bath is 5-10 minutes daily. Swapping out hot water with lukewarm water can be ideal in preserving the moisture content and necessary oils in your skin.

Also, hot water evaporates faster than lukewarm water so you don’t have much time to apply moisturizer to preserve moisture after you shower.

Minimize Soap Usage

Contrary to popular belief, you can effectively clean your skin without the use of harsh soaps. Soap-free cleansers can also clean your skin without stripping away natural oils. Swapping out deodorant soaps and perfumed soaps with soap-free cleansers is a great tip in maintaining hydrated skin.

Invest in Humidifiers

If you are in a cold environment, a humidifier can be the best friend for your skin. Humidifiers disperse water back into the air therefore increase humidity indoors. These hefty appliances save you from itchy skin, chapped lips, and thirsty hands, just to name a few.

Be Gentle to your Skin

There is a general rule in effectively cleaning your skin. Avoid pulling and aggressively scrubbing your skin because doing so can damage the natural barrier and may cause skin abrasions. If you use a bath sponge or a scrub brush, using it lightly is already effective in rinsing out dirt from your skin. For the same reason, avoid rubbing the skin when toweling dry.

Avoid Irritable Clothing

Clothes containing wool, acrylics and other irritating clothing can cause textile dermatitis. You may develop rashes on your skin because of the reaction to the fibers, dye, resins and other chemicals in your clothes. It depends on each person but nothing is wrong in making sure that your skin is comfortable with what you wear.

Get a Good Quality Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for the hydration and overall health of your skin. When you sleep, the skin repairs itself (including the moisture barrier) and replenishes moisture (that is why you feel oily when you wake up).

Eat the Right Foods

Having a balanced diet can help you achieve moisturized, plump, healthy skin. Including foods that are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E & C, and essential fatty acids can help increase collagen production, accelerate the natural moisture barrier repair of your skin, and help your skin stay soft and radiant, all in while keeping your overall body healthy.

Key Takeaway

Taking care of your skin means you should be careful on what you apply and take into note factors that make your skin comfortable. Having moisturized skin reduces the chances of skin problems, appearance of blemishes and overall helps your skin stay young and healthy. This goes without saying to first seek advice from your dermatologist before testing out various skin care products to determine what’s best for your skin type. 

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