Dry Skin Issues

The skin on your face is especially sensitive, so it can dry out quicker than the rest of your skin. Here are a few helpful tricks and techniques to make dry, itching, and flaky facial skin go away for good.

Use warm water instead of hot water: Warm water relaxes your pores and makes it easier to wash your face, but hot water can cause your skin to dry out faster.

The ideal temperature for water when washing your face would be just a fraction warmer than lukewarm. Heat is a natural exfoliator, so hot water is great when you want to strip your skin of dead skin cells and oils, but if the skin on your face has been suffering a dry spell, you will need to stay away from hot temperatures.If you do need to use hot water on your face, quickly rinse your face with cold water afterward to reduce the amount of time heat lingers on your face.  

Similarly, on very hot days, you should come inside your home and quickly splash cold water on your face to cool the skin down. The humidity in the air will usually help your skin retain some of its natural moisture, but you will be able to keep even more of it if you can cool your skin down regularly.

Pat your skin dry: Never rub a dry towel over your skin after washing your face. Instead, gently pat your face dry with a dry, soft towel. In order to minimize potential irritation as much as possible, you should only pat your skin dry for about 20 seconds or less.Use a soft cloth but make sure that it is made from fibers that can actually absorb water. A soft terry cloth works well.

Ideally, you should dry your face so that it is slightly moist to the touch but not dripping wet. However, if you know you’re going to be using certain creams (such as Hydrocortisone) then make sure your skin is 100% dry before applying to the dry areas. This will avoid watering down the cream and having a lower concentration of medicine in the bit you apply.

Only use mild facial cleanser: Body soaps are too harsh for the skin on your face, so you should look for a cleanser specifically meant for your face.   Many soap-based cleansers contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant known to steal away moisture. For your face, non-soap cleansers or non-sudsy cleansers are a safer way to go.

You should also avoid cleansers with added fragrances, since these often include some form of alcohol, which is an astringent that can severely dry your skin out.   Also consider using a cleanser that contains ceramides, a type of fatty molecule usually found on the outer layer of your skin. Synthetic ceramides can help your skin retain more moisture.

Apply a moisturizer after washing your face: A moisturizing lotion or cream should be applied generously over your face right after you wash it. Preferably, the skin should still retain a little moisture, as well, since applying moisturizer on wet skin can trap more of that moisture on your skin for a longer period.

Any moisturizing cream or lotion meant for your face is worth a shot if you do not know what to look for, but if you already use a moisturizer and need something a little stronger, look for one with shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, or glycerin listed somewhere in the ingredients. These are moisturizers that help you replace the outer protective layer on your skin responsible for keeping moisture inside.

Protect your skin with petroleum jelly: Occasionally apply a thin coating of petroleum jelly over areas of your face that dry out easily to lock in your skin’s natural moisture.

This can be especially helpful during the winter, when the skin of your face is frequently exposed to harsh, drying air. For winter use, apply the petroleum jelly before stepping outside, especially if you plan to be out for quite some time. For year-round use, apply a little petroleum jelly over notably dry areas of your skin. Let it sit for 10 minutes before gently washing it off. You can repeat this procedure twice a week.

Try an occasional egg facial: Separate an egg; whip the egg whites. Spread it all over your face. Wait 10 minutes, then wash it off. Repeat with egg yolk. Pat your face down. Moisturize face with lotion. Enjoy your soft, smooth skin.

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