Your skin takes a beating. Day after day, it’s on the front line, trying to combat everything that gets thrown at it—sun, wind, heat, air pollution. It’s no wonder that as we age, our skin looks less fresh and more dry. But you can do something about that. Here are five ways to beat dry skin!
1. RETAIN MOISTURE
Moisturizers can help your skin attract and hold water in the outermost layer. Look for products that contain humectants and emollients, which reduce the loss of moisture and protect the skin. Ingredients to look for include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, butylene glycol, and green tea extract.
2. KEEP NATURAL OILS
Your skin produces oils that keep it supple and moisturized. Use cleansers that clean skin but don’t strip oils. Look for sulfate-free cleansers, preferably with natural ingredients like aloe or milk thistle that soothe and protect the skin.
3. INTENSIFY PROTECTION
Sure, you can use sunscreen. But what about protecting your skin from polluted air and other environmental factors? Look for moisturizers or anti-aging products that contain antioxidants and phytonutrients to keep your skin protected from free radicals. These substances, such as green tea extract, milk thistle, bacopa, and turmeric, help you avoid wrinkles, fine lines, and sunspots.
4. ADD NUTRIENTS
Keep your skin healthy from the inside out by increasing vitamins and minerals in your diet. Your skin loves the antioxidants and phytonutrients found in green tea, avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and fish. Foods that dry your skin include alcohol, salty foods, sugar, processed foods, and coffee, so be sure to eat these foods in moderation to keep your skin fresh.
5. INCREASE BLOOD FLOW
For the healthiest skin, don’t smoke. Smoking decreases blood flow to the small capillaries that reach into the skin, making it hard for oxygen and nutrients to reach the skin. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin, two substances that give your skin strength and elasticity. And those faces smokers make, where they purse their lips and squint to avoid smoke in their eyes, contribute to wrinkles and fine lines. One way to increase blood flow to the skin is dry brushing—just what it sounds like. Get a soft natural-bristle brush and gently brush your skin. In addition to exfoliating the skin, dry brushing increases blood and lymph flow to the area, increasing the likelihood that oxygen and nutrients will reach your skin.