We all want soft, smooth skin, and one of the best ways to do that is to keep it moisturized and healthy. Here are a few common tips you can incorporate into your daily regimen to keep your skin moisturized.
HOT SHOWERS ARE A NO-NO
Hot showers rob your skin of moisture, leading to dry, flaky, itchy skin. It’s best to use only warm or tepid water for showers. Don’t shower for more than 5 or 10 minutes, and dry yourself off by patting your skin dry and not rubbing. Immediately apply your moisturizer to seal in the moisture that the shower provides. Remember, moisturizers don’t actually hydrate your skin….they merely provide a barrier that keeps the existing moisture in. So apply moisturizer within three minutes of a shower to damp skin for the best results.
PICKING THE RIGHT CLEANSER
If your skin tends to be dry, cleansers that foam and lather a lot can rob your skin of the precious lipid barrier that holds in moisture. And while you’re at it, avoid cleansers with fragrance. Look for cleansers that contain emollients and humectants, which hydrate while they cleanse; good examples are the emollient glycerin and humectants such as petrolatum, sunflower oil and soybean oil.
It’s also important to look for cleansers with exfoliating AND hydrating ingredients together. Salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic acid are excellent for cleansing your skin AND removing dead skin cell build-up. They will leave your skin soft, smooth and healthy and also prevent acne breakouts. If you can’t or don’t like to use exfoliating cleansers, keep a loofah in the shower and periodically use it to remove the dead skin from your body before using your favorite cleanser. However, it’s important to remember that when you regularly exfoliate your skin, be sure to be religious about applying your sunscreen. Exfoliators are great but they can increase your sensitivity to UV radiation from the sun.
SHAVE AWAY TOO!
Most women hate the dreaded routine of shaving legs and underarms….but remember shaving is actually an exfoliating process, and it’s one of the reasons that men’s facial skin tends to age better than women’s. Men are exfoliating their faces daily with shaving!
SUNSCREEN IS A MUST
Remember, the sun’s rays are one of the most prevalent yet damaging things for your skin. They age the skin, destroying collage and natural elasticity, and they dry the skin out. Just remember to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with UVA and UVB coverage to all sun-exposed areas every day, even if you’re in the car. If you’re at the beach or on the water enjoying the summer, re-apply your sunscreen often as UV light can be reflected off of surfaces like the water, intensifying your exposure and rendering hats and visors less protective.