8 Ways to Care for Dry, Sensitive Skin
Updated: Oct 23
Do you struggle with dry, flaky or cracked skin? Maybe you suffer from eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis. Or you might have allergic reactions to commonly used soaps or skin care products.
If you are tired of dealing with these issues, read on!
These are 8 steps that our thousands of customers report work for their dry, sensitive and itchy skin.
1. Avoid artificial fragrances.
Artificial fragrances are among the most common causes of skin rashes and irritation. If you have dry, sensitive skin it is best to avoid these chemical ingredients. Luckily, there are a number of fragrance-free options.
Mother Nature’s Beauty offers scent-free goat’s milk soap, which is a great facial or all-over cleanser for dry skin. Customers feel comfortable with this gentle, skin-loving bar for the whole family. From infants to senior citizens, this soap is mild and packs a double dose of humectants. Humectants are ingredients that attract and retain moisture on the skin. Our goat’s milk soap contains glycerin and goat’s milk, both of which leave skin nourished and soft.
For people dealing with flaky skin, we recommend Honey Oatmeal Goat’s Milk. This bar smells slightly of its natural ingredients - honey and oatmeal. The oatmeal provides just the right amount of gentle exfoliation to help slough away dead skin cells to leave your skin bright, moisturized and smooth. The goat’s milk, glycerin and honey are all natural humectants which work to keep the skin supple, smooth and well-moisturized.
2. Choose skincare products with few ingredients.
As a general rule of thumb, it is best to use skin care products that have few ingredients that are easy to understand. Go ahead and ditch the cleaners and moisturizers that have long lists of unpronounceable and difficult to understand ingredients.
Mother Nature’s Beauty soaps and moisturizers care for your dry skin with no complicated ingredients. Our facial serum only contains meadowfoam seed oil and jojoba oil. These natural oils are light, glide on easily and are rapidly absorbed into the skin. The serum is the perfect moisturizer to use to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its lightweight formula makes it ideal to use on its own or to set up your skin for makeup application.
For a richer moisturizing experience, try our skin cream. It only contains shea butter, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, coconut oil and beeswax. This buttery formula melts into your skin and helps create a barrier that protects the epidermis and retains moisture for hours.
3. Avoid sulfates.
Most mass-produced soaps, facial washes and cleansers contain chemicals called sulfates, which have been proven to irritate skin. They often overstrip skin leaving it dry, tight and even painful. After using these cleansers, many people immediately feel the need to apply a thick layer of lotion to counteract the effects of the sulfate-based cleansers.
Instead, choose all-natural cleansers that use oils as the basis of their formulas.
4. Try glycerin goat’s milk soap.
The American Academy of Dermatology lists glycerin as a top ingredient in products to combat dry skin. Glycerin is a natural, clear substance that is odorless, sweet and somewhat sticky like honey. The vegetable glycerin in all of Mother Nature’s Beauty soaps is a natural by-product of the saponification of the coconut, palm and safflower oils in the soap base. Saponification is the process in which triglycerides are combined with lye to form fatty acid metal salts. Basically, it is the process of making natural soap from combining oils with lye.
Glycerin is a humectant and it can help skin retain moisture. It is able to diffuse into a layer of the skin known as the stratum corneum, making it an effective moisturizer. Glycerin has been shown to alleviate skin dryness and it can help improve the barrier function of the skin. Retaining moisture and maintaining skin barrier function are important for healthy skin.
Goat’s milk added to glycerin soap makes it even more moisturizing. Goat’s milk is packed with vitamins, particularly vitamin A which helps repair damaged skin tissue. Both goat’s milk and glycerin are about the same pH as human skin. This means that the skin recognizes them and is able to absorb the moisture and nutrients they impart.
5. Wash with lukewarm, not hot water.
If you have ever washed your face and been left with dry, flaky, inflamed skin instead of a glowing complexion, the temperature of the water you’re using could be to blame. According to board-certified dermatologists, when the water temperature is too hot, you risk drying out your skin and ultimately interfering with your skin barrier function. This means that your skin's ability to protect itself is compromised.
The solution is simple. Wash your face and body with lukewarm water and a gentle unscented cleanser rich in glycerin. Mother Nature’s Beauty’s goats milk soap or honey oatmeal goat’s milk soap are great options.
6. Apply moisturizer while the skin is still damp.
It is best to apply moisturizer when the skin is still moist from face-washing or showering. The dampness will help lock in hydration and will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft all day. Wet skin is more receptive to creams or oils, allowing them to penetrate more deeply.
7. Moisturize with oil or butters instead of lotion.
Mass-produced lotions tend to be lightweight and full of chemical ingredients. A healthier solution is to use an oil or a butter made with simple, easy to understand ingredients.
Mother Nature’s Beauty uses 8 types of oils, butters and waxes in our serum and skin cream.
Meadowfoam Seed Oil
This lightweight oil is not widely known in the United States. Its unique chemical structure helps it to moisturize the skin without a heavy, greasy feeling. Meadowfoam seed oil contains more than 98 percent long-chain fatty acids that give it one of the highest stabilities of any vegetable oils. This allows it to have a very long shelf-life without losing its effectiveness.
This evergreen plant-sourced oil is very close in composition to your skin’s natural sebum, the normal oil that is secreted by skin. Jojoba oil contains vitamin E, vitamin B complex, copper and zinc. These elements are helpful in keeping your skin healthy and to accelerate healing of damaged skin cells. Jojoba oil can help with eczema, psoriasis, reduced skin elasticity and even acne. Because it is so close in composition to the skin’s natural oil, it provides just the right amount of moisture without clogging pores.
This natural vegetable fat comes from processing the nuts of the shea tree. It is a rich emollient and is good to use as a moisturizer. Shea butter contains triterpenes which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds help with skin cell proliferation, the process in which cells grow and divide. Evidence shows that shea butter can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, the heavy nature of shea butter can lead to clogged pores, so it is not recommended for oily or acne-prone skin.
This rich, sweet-smelling butter from the nuts of the cacao tree forms a protective barrier on your skin. It locks in moisture and helps improve your skin’s natural elasticity. The loss of this elasticity is the main cause of wrinkles. Using cocoa butter helps keep your skin glowing and hydrated, and can help retain suppleness and prevent wrinkles. Cocoa butter is known to slow down premature aging and can improve the appearance of mature, crepey skin.
Polynesians have long understood that coconut oil provides numerous benefits to healthy skin. They apply it regularly in its pure form to create a glowing, supple complexion. Research shows that the medium-chain fatty acids like lauric acid and linoleic acid make coconut oil a powerhouse for moisturizing skin and keeping it healthy. It helps to repair your skin's barrier and lessen the amount of moisture you lose. This means you too can have the beautiful complexion enjoyed by people of the Polynesian Islands!
Sweet Almond Oil
The oil extracted from sweet almonds contains many nutrients that are good for the skin, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants. It is used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars and stretch marks. It is safe for sensitive skin and many people use it to treat psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
Beeswax was the first ingredient in the history of mankind to serve as a waterproofing and lubricating agent. It helps to form a barrier on the skin's surface, protecting your skin from environmental irritants and harsh weather. It helps our skin retain moisture and protect it from drying out. Beeswax protects the skin from environmental pollutants such as microscopic dust and smog. These pollutants often contain free radicals, a class of chemical compounds that have an especially harmful effect on living tissue. Free radicals can enter our cells and damage their DNA, causing our cells to age prematurely.
The protective nature of beeswax makes it an excellent choice for keeping bacteria and fungi away. The barrier formed on the skin by beeswax helps keep skin clean and healthy. Beeswax is useful for people who deal with chronic skin disorders, such as psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis.
8. Use a humidifier.
Have you noticed that your skin is much drier during the winter months? Typically, skin reflects the moisture levels of the surrounding air. The heat we use to warm our homes and workplaces removes moisture from the air. This can lead to something known as winter xerosis - or winter dry skin.
When the protective barrier of your skin is damaged, small cracks can form and contribute to moisture loss. Symptoms of this include flaking, itching, or cracked skin. We all lose oil glands as we age, so older adults are particularly vulnerable to dry, itchy skin during the winter.
In addition to using a gentle, oil-based natural cleanser and moisturizer, Mother Nature’s Beauty also recommends adding moisture to the air with a humidifier. Choose a cool mist or warm mist humidifier, available online or at your local pharmacy. Be sure to use distilled water to avoid mineral buildup on the machine. Run it anytime, but especially in the bedroom at night.
Daily use of all-natural, gentle glycerin soaps, nourishing oils and rich skin butters are the best defenses against dry, flaky skin. Our small family-owned business has been hand-making all-natural glycerin soaps, skin oils and skin butters for 10 years. We have listened to customers and have worked with them to create the best skincare products for their needs. We’d love to have the opportunity to help you achieve your best, healthiest skin.
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