Simple Tips to Keep Your Skin Looking Healthy and Hydrated
Many internal and external factors can cause your skin to dry out. If your skin feels rough, taught, itchy, and uncomfortable, there’s a good chance it’s dehydrated and in need of hydrating care.
A healthy lifestyle and daily skin care routines are the first steps towards keeping your skin hydrated and healthy looking.
The #1 Tip for Keeping Your Skin Hydrated: Drink Plenty of Water
The single best way to keep your skin hydrated, bar none, is by keeping your body hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water (about 8 glasses) through your day.
You can also include herbal, non-caffeinated teas to reach your 8-glass quota.
NOTE: Beware, however, that caffeinated beverages like coffee will actually dehydrate you. Avoid consuming too much caffeine throughout the day – stick to a single cup in the morning if you’ve got to have it!
How Can I Tell If My Skin Is Dehydrated? What Causes Dry Skin?
While looking in a mirror, run the side of your index finger up your cheek just below the cheekbone. If you see fine horizontal lines while doing this, then your skin is likely dehydrated.
In addition to not drinking enough water throughout the day, there are many other factors that can contribute to dry skin, including:
As we age and approach menopause, our hormone levels change drastically. Alongside all the nasty side effects that menopause can bring, such as hot flashes, insomnia, vaginal dryness and mood changes, drier skin is also on the list.
Dry skin conditions tend to be hereditary. If dry skin runs in your family, take note. Consider moisturizing daily with skin care products that contain lipids and ceramides. These help build and reinforce the skin’s barrier functions. These barrier functions help the body with water loss prevention.
Environmental Elements, Air Condition or Heating
The sun’s UV rays are very damaging to skin, in addition to harsh winds and cold weather.
While it’s impossible to avoid the elements entirely, you can take steps to protect your skin when you go outside.
Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat if you plan to spend time out in the sun. And in the winter, wear a hat and wrap a scarf around your face to protect your skin from the wind. Particularly chilly weather affects the humidity, with the air losing moisture rapidly and even drawing it from your skin.
As with harsh winds, indoor heating and air conditioning can also dry out your skin. Avoid sleeping in an air-conditioned room if possible, or use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Water is considered hard when it contains a high concentration of minerals. These minerals can leave a film on your skin that will contribute to dryness.
This film plugs glands and aggravates skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. It also makes it harder for your skin to absorb moisturizers.
If your home has hard water, consider investing in a home filtration system if you find your skin perpetually dried out. The filtration system is designed to capture the fine minerals and remove them to soften the water, so to speak.
Hot Showers and Baths
Hot showers and baths are incredibly relaxing, but they can actually do your skin harm by stripping away natural oils.
To avoid dehydrating your skin, try lukewarm baths and showers instead of a steamier one. For added benefits, add an oil-based bath product to your bath water as a moisturizer.
Soaps, Detergents, and Scents
Face washes, body washes, and laundry detergents may contain chemicals that strip moisture from your skin. Instead of your standard soaps and detergents, look for gentler alternatives, such as sensitive skin products and laundry detergents free of harsh chemicals.
What’s more, scented skin care products tend to irritate and dry out the skin. Look for unscented products to use on your skin. If you want fragrance, look for products with honey, vanilla, and bean-based butters like cocoa and shea.
Certain chemical exfoliants that treat acne can also dry out your skin. So make sure to combine these treatments with gentle cleansers and effective moisturizers.
How Your Diet Affects Your Skin and Its Hydration
Just as with your body’s health, the foods you eat can affect your skin’s health. Be sure to include nourishing foods in your diet; they help keep your skin hydrated. These include:
- Omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and certain kinds of seafood.
- Extra virgin organic coconut oil, which is high in Lauric Acid and Medium Chain Triglycerides. These help re-balance skin and restore elasticity
- Avocados contain plenty of healthy fats that will hydrate your skin.
- Pumpkin is another food that helps nourish your skin to keep it healthy and hydrated.
- Most fruits contain water, vitamins, and minerals that keep you and your skin healthy. Try replacing one snack a day with a fruit to improve your skin’s hydration and overall health.
At-Home Skin Care Tips and Practices to Avoid Dry Skin
Alongside a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and avoiding smoking, you can keep your skin healthy and avoid dry skin with these following at-home tips:
Use a Humidifier
Since humidifiers add moisture to the air, using one at home helps prevent your skin from drying out. Humidifiers also help people breathe and sleep better since their throats and airways won’t be dried out.
Moisturize with Products Containing Hyaluronic Acid
Skin care products containing hyaluronic acid will increase the amount of moisture in your skin. Hyaluronic acid retains moisture in the skin, maintaining elasticity and hydration while avoiding fine lines from dehydration.
Always Be Gentle
When washing your face and applying skin care products and moisturizers, always avoid harsh scrubbing and rubbing. This can dry and wear out your skin.
Treatments For Deep Moisturization
To treat dry skin, include dermatologist-grade moisturizing products in your daily skincare routine. These products include cleansers, toners, moisturizers, anti-ageing serums, and sunscreens.
Hydrating Facial Treatments
For a deep skin-hydrating treatment, consider facial treatments that allow moisturizers to effectively penetrate the skin and keep your skin healthy looking and hydrated for longer.
Use these tips to achieve healthier, hydrated skin, and to figure out what’s causing your skin to dry out in the first place.
Dr. Caroline Tosoni pursued her Medical Degree at McMaster University and completed her post-graduate medical residency in Family Medicine through the University of Ottawa in 1998. Fluently bilingual in French and English, she opened her medical practice in Ottawa in July of 1998. Since 2000, Dr. Tosoni has focused her medical practice on Cosmetic Dermatology and has received extensive training and obtained multiple certifications in various medical cosmetic enhancement procedures such as Phlebology, Botox® Cosmetic, Dermal Fillers, SoftLift,™ BeautiPhication,™ Belkyra injections, CoolSculpting,™ Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Laser Medicine. Dr. Caroline Tosoni is also proficient in the treatment of Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and Migraine Headaches with Botox® Therapeutic. In 2015, Dr. Tosoni’s practice officially received a Focused Practice in Dermatology designation by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the Ontario Medical Association.