Archives for category: dry skin

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall – dry and itchy skin can attack at any time during the year and make your life miserable. Although many cases of dry skin can be traced to environmental factors and changes in the weather, some skin conditions can be chronic health problems. Banish the itchy dryness today in a few easy steps!

Why Does My Skin Feel So Dry?

Dry skin is the result of less moisture in the skin cells. Low humidity can wreak havoc on skin that is already prone to dryness but everyone can fall victim to dry skin at some point in their lives. Other causes include frequent exposure to water (especially hot water) as this breaks down the lipid barrier in skin, harsh soaps, sun exposure, psoriasis and thyroid disorders.

Should I Worry?

Dry skin is more than just a mild annoyance. Although the itching and flaking can be enough reason to seek a treatment, here is one more: cracked skin can give bacteria the entrance it wants to get into your body. As the skin dries out tiny cracks form, especially on the hands and this leads to breaks. Some people may experience extremely severe cracks that cause bleeding, pain and discomfort. These cracks are much like a cut and need to be taken care of immediately before becoming infected. Your skin is your body’s best defense against disease and you don’t want to take it for granted!

What Can I Do?

If you have suffered from dry skin in the past, you probably know that most basic over the counter moisturizers have little long term effect on this problem. Some people may apply moisturizers continually throughout the day and still suffer from this problem. A thick moisturizer, alcohol free, is an important step in the defense against dry skin. Thin and runny lotions will do little to “seal in” the moisture your skin so desperately needs. If you are not sure, put your lotion to the test. Squeeze a nickel sized amount in your palm and then turn your hand sideways – if the lotion runs or drops off entirely, it’s the wrong lotion.

Final Thoughts

Dry skin is a common problem that affects millions of people each year. Keeping a daily skin routine that includes a high quality moisturizer specifically designed to target dry skin will go a long way towards rectifying this problem. Avoid dry environments and invest in a humidifier for the home. Remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially in regards to skin care. It is always simpler to take preventative action rather than needing to repair significant damage.

The eyes see everything but themselves unless you are looking in a mirror. Your eyes are the window to your emotions and communicate a magnitude of information to the world around you. Over the years the delicate skin surrounding your eyes can develop fine lines and wrinkles through the natural aging process. Keeping your eyes youthful is the key to making sure that when someone looks deep into your eyes they see wisdom, not age.

Not all eye formulations are the same and knowing how different products can benefit your skin will save you time and frustration during this process. We use the term process because a dedication to allowing your skin the time it needs to repair and rejuvenate will provide you with the results you are longing to see. Proper skin care is a lifelong commitment to yourself and the person you want to be.

Botanical eye and throat crèmes are a basic step that will tighten and tone the skin surrounding the eyes with no irritation. Thinner skin needs lighter lotions and moisturizers to avoid build up and most eye crèmes are designed to absorb easily into the tissue. This type of crème will hydrate the skin (dry skin leads to fine lines) and provide a smoother texture.

Alpha lipoic eye crèmes are a slightly more intensive treatment for fine lines and wrinkles that occur in the eye tissue. Alpha lipoic based crèmes will reduce puffiness, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and help to diminish dark circles. Alpha lipoic acids are especially beneficial for mature skin care because they are an antioxidant and rejuvenate healthy cell production.

Bellanina Cosmeceutical Stem cell repair serum is made from a rare Swiss apple, Uttwiler Spatlauber, which is extremely rich in phytonutrients, proteins, and long-living stem cells. These qualities give the apple excellent storability, and therefore, great longevity potential. This serum is a liposomal preparation developed from these unique plant-based cells. Problem Epidermal stem cells replenish and maintain the balance of cells within the skin tissue and regenerate tissue damages during injury. But with age, the number of skin stem cells decreases and their ability to repair the skin becomes less efficient. This serum provides an anti-wrinkle effect on Crow’s feet. In studies, 100% of the test subjects showed a significant and visible decrease in wrinkle depth

Natural and organic eye treatments provide paraben-free alternatives. These products use all natural ingredients that can offer many health benefits such as reduction of puffiness, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles, increasing circulation and dark eye reduction. Plant extracts offer a variety of very beneficial treatment options for people looking for dramatic, all natural skin care solutions.

Eye gels are typically used for intensive treatment around the eyes to repair damaged and aged skin. This includes fine lines, wrinkles, dryness and puffiness. Specialized treatments may focus on boosting elasticity or reducing the appearance of darkness or bags beneath the eyes. These products are available in both natural and botanical product lines.

Take a positive step forward in your skin care routine and search for specialized treatments for your eyes. Remember that your skin and its needs vary depending on which part of your body you are focusing on and not all moisturizers are the same. Seek out a consultation with an esthetician for more specialized information or skin care options.

Walking through an average cosmetic or health care aisle can be a wild adventure as well as an educational experience. The shelves are lined with mysterious concoctions, all claiming to be the miracle cure for your skin. These special brews come complete with fancy containers, shiny labels and seven syllable words to boggle your mind. Venture closer to these magic elixirs and notice the fine print:

Normal skin
Dry Skin
Oily Skin
Sensitive Skin
Combination

You feel your fingers moving up to your cheek as you wonder; what skin type am I? What if I have sensitive skin and just don’t know it? Does one dry patch mean I need dry skin care? Will products meant for oily skin completely ruin my face?

The list of questions can go on and on with no end in sight until you realize that you can come to this mysterious world armed with knowledge and ready to go to battle. Choose wisely and you will benefit greatly from your decision. Choose poorly and you will need to return and choose again.

Normal Skin

First of all remove “normal” and insert “average”. People with other skin types are not “abnormal” and should not feel as such. Millions of people have each skin type listed and there are products specially targeted for each type.

A product labeled “normal skin” is intended for use on healthy, hydrated, even toned skin with small pores and no history of irritation from skin care products. The skin retains good elasticity, good complexion and there are no blemishes.

Most “normal skin” targeted products can be used on all skin types but may not produced treatment effects for certain skin issues.

Oily Skin

Perhaps one of the more dreaded skin types to have because of the negative connotations associated with it and potential self consciousness it can create. The result of overactive sebaceous (oil-producing) glands, this skin type can appear quite shiny, feel slightly greasy to the touch and is prone to acne and enlarged pores.

Products targeted for this skin type typically contain ingredients meant to cleanse the pores, exfoliate the skin and remove the excess oil and grime build up. These products would not be very beneficial for people with dry skin.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be the result of genetics, the environment, exposure to chemicals and a variety of other causes. Dry skin is trademarked by tiny pores, flaky or ashy texture, fine lines and wrinkles and/or cracked skin.

Products for dry skin focus on re-hydrating the skin cells and stimulating healthy skin cells to develop. Many products will contain fat-soluble ingredients that penetrate the skin’s outer layer to reach the interior layers to replenish moisture from within. Exfoliants are used to shed away dead skin cells build up and reduce flaky texture.

Combination

As the name suggests, this skin type is a combination of the three above. Meaning it is possible (and frequent) to have normal skin with an oily “t-zone” which is the bridge of the nose and forehead. Perhaps dry lips with normal skin or dry forehead but the rest of your face is normal.

This skin type generally uses spot specific treatments to correct problem areas and “normal skin” care products for the rest of the face. This could include blemish control for oily areas if needed, masques for application on the t-zone, special creams for the eyes or lips, etc. Consult with an esthetician or dermatologist if you need more help creating an effective skin care routine.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is very typically dry and very reactive to heat, cold and any substances used on it. That can include all skin products, hair products and chemicals. Irritation may include rash, hives, itching, redness and swelling.

These skin care products are specially designed to omit using chemicals known to irritate sensitive skin but cannot be guaranteed. People with especially reactive skin should always consult with a doctor before beginning any new skin care treatment. Discontinue use of products at the first sign of negative reaction and take precaution by always wearing sun block to protect the sensitive tissue.

Final Thoughts

Have you figured out where you’re at yet and what to buy? Don’t be ashamed if you don’t have “normal skin” because the truth of the matter is, most people don’t. Focus on what problem areas you would like to focus on and choose a skin care routine that will be easy to maintain long term. The most important issue in skin care is persistence and maintenance. You must follow your individual plan every day and stick with it for your entire life. That is not meant to sound like a prison sentence, merely a reminder that skin care is not something you can do occasionally and expect to see real results.

Winter is coming and that means falling snow, holidays, sled rides and…..dry skin. Every winter thousands of people dread the appearance or worsening of their dry skin symptoms and seek new ways to beat this powerful foe. This year, take control of your skin and don’t let itchy and flaky skin put a damper on your winter wonderland.

Dry or itchy skin is a common condition that can occur all year round but peaks during the colder months when there is a drop in the humidity. Normally healthy and hydrated skin becomes dry, cracked and flaky. Mature skin may show increased fine lines and wrinkles due to the lack of moisture. For the most part, dry skin effects the arms, hands, legs and feet but can also occur on the trunk of the body or even the face (chapped lips anyone?).

The most common complaint when suffering from “winter skin” is a persistent itchiness that can be made worse when in contact with fabrics or liquids. Over time excessive cracking can and will lead to thick and rough patches of skin (called lichenification). This thicker skin not only develops lines and wrinkles but is prone to developing painful cracks (fissures) that may result in bleeding and irritated skin. Severe skin conditions can result from bacterial infections that can develop because of these and other conditions such as nummular eczema (red, scaly patches of skin) or dermatitis (inflamed skin).

The potential outcomes of winter skin are enough to take notice and take action before things get out of hand. Always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and that is especially true in health care. Developing a proper skin care routine and faithfully maintaining a schedule will reduce your chances of developing winter skin this season.

Why does winter skin develop in the first place? The cells in the outermost layer of your skin are designed to protect the body and hold in the water to hydrate the interior layers. Loss of this water prevents the outer layer from doing its job and soon the moisture your skin so desperately needs to stay healthy slips away and you are left with dry and unhealthy skin. This can occur from over washing the hands (a frequent problem in the nursing field), exposure to harsh chemicals, changes in humidity and the natural aging process are all frequent culprits. Although some people naturally have “dry skin” and suffer this problem all the time.

Treatment options are available and can be quite effective in preventing or relieving the symptoms of winter skin. Water is not the solution and can frequently worsen the problem, not solve it so step away from the sink! A good moisturizer however is a great way to penetrate the skin and trap moisture in so the skin becomes smooth and supple. Choose a moisturizer specifically designed to target dry skin and use it regularly. If you have more severe symptoms, consult with a doctor and discuss potential treatment options – dry skin can sometimes require pharmaceutical grade products that are not available over the counter. Not all over the counter products to treat itchiness are safe to use on irritated skin so consult with a doctor or pharmacist before use.

Increase the humidity in your home or office if possible. There is no way to change the environment outside but by making strides to limit your exposure to the dry air, the better your skin will feel. Humidifiers are readily available in most local stores and online.

Remember to use sun block, even in the winter. Some sun blocks include a moisturizer along with SPF protection so you would receive double benefits! If you are outside, cover up your skin and limit sun exposure when possible. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean your skin is not suffering from UV radiation.

Cover up your hands when you go outside and remove wet articles of clothing as soon as possible. The skin on your hands is some of the thinnest skin on your body and cannot bear being constantly exposed during the winter months! Stay warm and protect your skin!

Avoid skin treatments that will exfoliate or strip the skin of essential oils if possible. Remember it is the loss of moisture and natural oils that dried your skin out to begin with, don’t cause further aggravation with harsh chemicals! This can include masques, exfoliants and peels.

Protect your lips when going outside. Use a lip balm to keep the moisture in and banish those unsightly cracks – you will thank yourself. Remember that irritated skin reacts poorly when exposed to different materials and spicy food on sensitive lips can cause more than just a little discomfort.

Learning to control your winter skin is a battle well worth fighting. Just think of all the discomfort you have endured in the past seasons and make a commitment for this year to be different (a great New Year’s resolution!). If you are prone to dry skin, try keeping your regimen going all year round to see maximum benefits. Some treatments may require a few days to work to their full extent so be patient with your skin and allow it the time it needs to heal.