As your skin gets dryer, it gets more sensitive because it has less moisture. Less moisture makes the surface of your skin more porous. When you skin is more porous, it lets in more irritants and pollutants which makes your skin drier and more sensitive.
You try to solve this problem with more skin care products and some of these products have irritating ingredients. Therefore your skin gets dryer and more irritated and becomes more porous and lets in more irritants that cause allergies and rashes. The cycle goes on and on.
A few days ago, I tried to go “cold-turkey” and eliminate all moisturizers. I could not believe how rough and dry and cracked my skin was. I was in pain, the itching was terrible! Just bending my knees and elbows was painful. I gave in and slathered on the moisturizers again.
Here are a few things I have found that work for extremely dry skin.
1. Limit your baths and showers to 10 minutes. Use barely warm water, hot water dries out your skin even more.
2. Carefully pat yourself dry, you want to leave a little moisture on the surface of your skin.
3. Right away apply a sensitive skin moisturizer or oil. If this soaks in try another layer after waiting a few minutes.
A few words about moisturizers:
Just because a moisturizer claims it is hypoallergenic doesn’t mean it will be for you. Each of us has different things we are sensitive to. When a product says it’s “All Natural” it doesn’t mean it will be safe for your skin. I love the smell of lavender in my products and have no problems with them, but a friend of mine is very allergic to lavender. Even safe sounding ingredients like: Green tea, chamomile, rosemary, mint, sandalwood, aloe vera, etc, can cause problems. I had the worse reaction in my life when I used aloe vera on a rash on my arm. I now stay away from lotions with aloe vera.
Try using food-grade oils like: Olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, Shay Butter and even Crisco. I have tried Crisco with mixed results (see my earlier blog) , coconut oil and shay butter with better results. Olive oil is great for your skin and hair, but I do not like its strong odor. I like to use shay butter from Africa by itself, without all the irritating stuff. I have also used St. Ives, Naturally Soothing Oatmeal and Shea Butter with fair results. It does have a mild fragrance and some mineral oil though (best not to use if you are extremely sensitive).
Here is a link to a recipe for shay butter moisturizer that you can make. I would suggest leaving out most of the fragrance and coloring and using pure shay butter. Shay butter has a nutty smell, you may or may not like. If you can tolerate a small amount of essential oil, it might improve the experience.
A few ingredients to avoid: Added fragrance, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Formaldehyde (that nasty stuff from biology 101), Phthalates, Parabens, Toluene, TEA and DEA, Mineral oil, Thimerasol and Parabens. Avoid products that are said to kill germs. The triclosan also kills the “good” bacteria on your skin that is helpful to maintain the natural skin barrier.
Test all products before using them on your whole body or face. A small area on the inside of your arm is best.
Make a comment below and tell everyone what product you like to use.