A Simple Beauty Regimen Catering to Dry Skin and Hair
- Refresh in the Morning Having dry skin means we don’t have the necessary oils in our skin to keep it soft and moist. Thus, washing your face obsessively is a bad idea because the more you wash it with soap or cleanser, the more oil you’re stripping from your already dry face. Instead of washing your face with soap in the morning, get a clean washcloth, run it under hot water (as hot as you can stand) and press it on your face. Let the steam refresh your face for a few minutes. Follow with a gentle toner, moisturizer and sunscreen.
- Bright Smile My dentist and orthodontist both praise me for my beautiful tooth and gum health. I befriended a dental hygienist last summer and she too was impressed with the state of my mouth. But between you and me, they all might be taken aback if I were to confess my method to them: I brush only once a day. I use a soft bristle brush, baking soda based toothpaste, and I F-L-O-S-S. If I do eat sugar, or anything that would harm my teeth, I brush right after eating those things in addition to my main brushing. You’ve got to remember, do NOT brush with force. I am living proof that it is better to brush gently and consistently, rather than forcefully and unfaithfully.
- Soft Skin Lotion up! All throughout the day, apply lotion to those dry areas (elbows, knees, hands, arms). Stay away from lotions with scents because scented beauty products only mean that you’re giving your body yet another chemical to process and eliminate which is stressful and, quite frankly, unnecessary.
- Wash Before Bed By the end of the day, your face has had enough time to accumulate pollutants, germs, oils from cooking over a hot stove, smokes, and all sorts of yucky nastys floating in the air. Night time is the time to wash your face with a cleanser. A gentle, non-foaming cleanser. Even though we dry skinned folk need to wash the day’s accumulated gunk off, we need to be careful and refrain from harsh oil stripping soaps. A non-foaming cleanser does do the job, and it is not abrasive or aggravation but gentle on your skin. Follow with a gentle toner and moisturizer.
A Few Times Weekly
- Wash Your Body This might seem gross to you, but if you have dry skin, it is actually better for you if you won’t wash your body on a daily basis. Reason being, like with washing your face, when you have dry skin it isn’t good to be constantly exposing it to harsh foaming soaps that deplete your skin of what little oil you have. My rule of thumb is this: Shower when you’re sweaty, smelly, or stingy- for me that means I need to shower two or three times a week. You’ll find your won balance-it is different for everybody. Gradually wean out of your habit until you find your perfect routine, aiming for as few times as possible (somewhere between 4 times a week and 2 times a week).
- Exfoliate Your Body Whenever you do shower, be sure to exfoliate. Exfoliation is important but in moderation, especially for those with dry skin. Exfoliation removes dead dry skin and leaves your skin soft and glowing. If you do it in excess, you’re only stripping your thirsty skin of the oils, when you really just want to get the dead skin off. I lather my loofa with a good, gentle soap and scrub my body (arms, legs, tummy, back, chest, bum, hands and feet) 45 seconds per limb/spot.
- Moisturizing Mask On the days you do the full body work up, go ahead a throw in there a moisturizing mask for the face. I like to shower at night, so I’ll wash my face in the shower, and then when I get out, pat my face dry, and then apply a nice moisturizing mask. I leave it on longer than most people suggest (45-1 hour). Add pre-brewed (cooled off!) black tea bags, thin cucumber slices or thin potato slices to the eyes. Rinse with warm water and a 10 splashes of cold. Follow with a gentle toner and moisturizer.
- Hair Mask Do you love your hair? If yes, then you will give it a mask on a weekly basis (especially if you have dry hair!!!). I’ve written an article about happy hair here if you care to delve in a little deeper. As you’ll read below about minimal hair washing, I suggest that you apply the mask the night before your designated hair washing day. That way you can sleep in the mask and wash it the next morning, allowing your hair 12+ hours to absorb all of the yummy nutrients in your mask.
- Wash and Condition I know this rule may be up in the ‘gross’ category for some of you right next to showering as infrequently as possible.. BUT, washing your hair less is the best thing you can do for it, especially if your hair is dry, frail, damaged or thin. Your hair produces oil that nourish your hair naturally and when you strip your mane of it frequently then you will never reap the full benefit of the nutritious oils nature already set in place for your hair. As with washing your body less, wean off of your daily habit until you find your balance, aiming for once a week (you can do it! I believe in you!). Shampoo, let conditioner set for as long as possible, then rinse; first with warm water, then with cold.
- Whiten your Smile Once a week, make a past with peroxide and baking soda. Brush your teeth for two minutes. Slosh mixture in your mouth before spitting it out. Rinse with water.
- Hands and Feet Scrub your fingers and toes with a soft/medium bristle brush. I like to sing my ABC’s twice through for each hand and foot (about a minute). Clip nails and apply lotion, put on socks, paint nails (if desired).
If you have dry skin like me, you really want to focus on keeping well hydrated (drinking half of your weight in ounces) and well moisturized throughout the day. Read this article about DIY recipes for moisturizer, toner, hair masks and face masks, using ingredients that you can find in the convenience of your own kitchen (for pennies per treatment)