Your skin is a vital part of your overall health. Not only is it your largest organ, it helps regulate your temperature and defends you against the elements. And, if you’re image conscious, it’s one of the first things people notice when they look at you.

The Skinny on Your Skin

The average adult is covered by about 20 square-feet of skin. You probably learned in biology class that it’s comprised of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the hypodermis. The epidermis is the top layer, and does most of the protecting. It’s also the layer that suffers the most daily abuse from the elements, injury, and outside chemicals and toxins. (Especially your face.)
When your skin is dry, it usually means it doesn’t have the right balance of oily lipids (fats) on the surface.  Here are some drying culprits:

  • Winter weather- a combo of cold air and indoor heat strip the moisture from your skin.
  • Hot or very cold water.
  • Soaking skin too long in water.
  • Soaps and harsh cleansers, including alcohol and fragrances.
  • Overuse of abrasive scrubs, brushes, or loofahs.
  • Using the wrong moisturizer, which may include ingredients such as: alcohol, lanolin, and chemicals like phthalates and parabens.

For sensitive skin, consider switching to Fragrance-free and dye-free products for your laundry.  Keep irritation to a minimum, and don’t wear wool or other itchy, rough fabrics. Getting informed on ingredients added into products we absorb into our skin is essential as well.

Ditch the Dryness

Modifying your daily routine and switching to safer products will help your skin stay youthful and supple, no matter your age or the season.  Making these changes will make a difference:

  • Shower, bathe, and wash in warm, not hot water.
  • Use gentle moisturizing soaps and cleansers.
  • Apply a quality moisturizer to wet skin.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water and limiting caffeine and alcohol.
  • Use a humidifier.
  • Apply sunscreen every day.
  • Exfoliate, but gently.

Remember that your lips and nasal passages can dry out and dehydrate, too.  Lip balm and saline mist are good additions to your moisturizing arsenal.  Eating right is also important—make sure you are getting enough fatty acids (from fish and nuts) in your diet, along with magnesium, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Kids Get Dry Skin Too

Don’t forget the little ones when you are looking to change your routine.  Their youthful skin is extremely sensitive, and it can dry out just as easily as yours.  Look for safe products (free of harmful additives) that are fragrance-free and designed just for babies and young children.  You can even use natural remedies for the entire family—like essential oils, aloe vera, honey, and seed or nut oils.

Natural Solutions to the Dry Dermal Dilemma

Because we absorb so much through our skin, it’s best to minimize the amount of harmful chemicals and additives we slather on it.  There are many natural, plant-based remedies for dry skin on the market, or you can make your own.  Either way, look for products with the following ingredients:

  • Natural plant oils and butters (olive, avocado, coconut, shea, jojoba, etc.)
  • Essential oils
  • Oatmeal
  • Honey
  • Aloe
  • Antioxidants like vitamin C and E

With just a few simple steps you can kick your dry skin to the curb and reveal a younger, healthier you.  For more skincare and wellness information, just search