****Ok, so that was a loooooong break.**** My bad – sometimes life gets in the way of the fun stuff. :-)
Memorial Day has come and gone but it’s still summer in LA and at 100° temperatures, it’s hot as Hades right now. Unlike the East Coast that is hung heavy with lots of humidity and moisture in the air as summer dies down and fall begins, the City of Angels remains a hot and dry climate (despite its many surrounding beaches). I love the outdoors but when the sun can potentially give you cracks and burns instead of joy – your skin regimen has got to be on-point! I moved to LA to enhance healthy living, not to age rapidly due to sun exposure and dry breeze.
I want to look like this:
Does that last picture above look like how you feel? All tight and dry? Like someone can light a match to you? The itching and burning are incessant no matter what you do? You see the flaking, the cracks, the lines and you apply cream after cream, masque after masque and yet, you just can’t seem to get that dewy glow that you once had as if you were a wood nymph covered in morning dew – cherub, fresh, flawless. If this is you, then you probably have dry skin also known as XEROSIS. Yes, that sounds much scarier. It’s serious and just like oily skin, time and care must be taken to not over-do-it whilst trying to find a remedy. While I am not an overall dry skin sufferer, I’m Brown, so I am therefore anti-all-things “Ashy” on my skin. What’s that you ask? I think UrbanDictionary.com sums the meaning up best:
“Of a pale grayish color…looks like ashes”
As in: “Hey girl, you got some lotion? I’m all ashy.”
Or: “Damn, Sheila skin be ashy…..she need some cocoa butter to moisten up.”
And my personal favorite complete with Washington, DC slang: “G, my elbows are ashy than a mug!!”
How Do You Cleanse Dry Skin?
The top priority when cleansing dry skin is – Maintaining Moisture! It’s about practicing a good internal and external skin regimen to help your body naturally produce the sebum it needs and preserve the oils you have by using products that seal in moisture without clogging your pores. Externally you have to cleanse and moisturize appropriately for your skin type. Internally – DRINK WATER! Lots of it! (But we’ll get to that later in another blog).
Dry Skin – Be Gentle!
Yes the same rule applies. Be Gentle. Don’t think because it’s dry suddenly what you need to do is overload on the moisturizing products. That would be a tragic mistake that might result in a “dry acne” breakout, rash or further drying. The key is to keep skin CLEAN and Hydrated with non-comedogenic products, water or oil based and preferably those with a little fruit-acid to help gently slough off dead skin.
THE CULPRITS & SOLUTIONS:
So what is the cause of your dry skin? It could be any number of the problems below or a combination. WebMD list the top 3 as:
- CULPRIT: Dry Air = Dry Skin – Dry heat dries out our body’s natural oils and moisture, in addition to drying out our mucous membranes.
Solution: Use a humidifier to moisten the air where you sleep or relax the most in the home.
- CULPRIT: Hot Baths & Showers – Hot Baths have the same effect on your overall skin that hot water has on anything else we use it on. It completely strips away dirt and would be harmful microbes. However, washing your face in hot water is a no-no because you may end up stripping all the natural oils and friendly bacterial flora from your skin.
Solution: Take showers in cool to tepid (lukewarm) water. This will allow you to thoroughly cleanse without over-drying.
- CULPRIT: Not Giving Your Skin the Proper Moisture – So you’re all showered and fresh and ready to go. Lotion? Who needs that? We ALL do. Not giving your skin the proper moisture will only lead to flaky, itchy skin. Being ashy is not hot.
Solution: Externally, proper moisture starts with a good, non-drying cleanser and should be followed by a moisturizer that should be applied while the skin is still slightly damp. Internally, drink lots of water. Our bodies are 60%-70% water and you should be drinking at least half your weight in water each day to replenish.
Most dry skin is not serious and we will all occasionally suffer from some form of it or another (albeit more visible on some of us). However, there are some more serious conditions that cause dry skin that may require the attention of a licensed dermatologist at best or at least a trip to your local aesthetician. They are: Psoriasis, Dermatitis, Eczema and even Insulin Resistance via Diabetes. More information about these conditions can be found at www.WebMD.com.
CLEANSERS – BEST BUYS FOR DRY SKIN
CETAPHIL® Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for All Skin Types ($-$$) – Yup! Cetaphil wins
again. It is one of my absolute favorite products for dry skin and is again
dermatologist recommended. Still on the pricier end of your drug store cosmetic
buys running about $8-9 but it gently adds moisture without making your face
oily and it is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t leave residue that could trap
oils in your pores) and rinses clean without overdrying. It is a great year
round product for those who live in warmer climates.
CAROL’S DAUGHTER® Acai Hydrating Foam Cleanser ($$) – Touted as one of the best for women of color with dry skin, this new line by Carol’s Daugher cleanses, hydrates and rejuvenates dry skin that is uneven in tone and moisture. Infused with the anti-oxidant powers of Acai, along with the cooling and moisturizing effects of Ylang Ylang and Aloe, it’s also a potent anti-aging product. Plus, for all you Natural junkies out there, it contains NO Parabens, NO Petroleum, NO Artificial Colors and NO Mineral Oil.
ALBA® Coconut Milk Facial Wash ($)–100% Vegetarian, Soap Free and Hypo-allergenic,
this cleanser is moisturizing without leaving any greasy residue and it smells
wonderful!! Leaves the skin supple and glowing.
DHC® Deep Cleansing Oil ($$-$$$) – Despite the fact that this is oil, it rinses clean and doesn’t leave a greasy film on the skin. Products of this ilk originally started out as make-up removers but have since grown in popularity as great water-soluble cleansers that combat dry skin.
This concludes the first letter in C.R.E.W.(S)2™ for CLEANSING the three major skin types. Next up: “R” for REPLINISH – Inside & Out. If you have any questions about the products above or more recommendations, look me up at HealthiBeauti@gmail.com.