Many peoples' skincare routines focus on keeping the skin clean and smelling fresh. You might spend 10 minutes scrubbing in the shower to make sure you remove all of the sweat and smelliness left behind by your last workout, or use a scented spray to add extra freshness after your bath. While these routines have good intentions, they, and several other common skincare mistakes, can also have an unwanted consequence: dry skin.
If you suffer from dry skin, simply eliminating these four skincare mistakes from your routine is likely to make a big difference.
Mistake #1: Taking long, hot showers.
Sure, a hot shower feels good at the end of a long day, but it's terrible for your skin. The hot water rinses away your skin's natural oils, leaving you feeling dry and flaky. Try turning the dial down and taking a warm, but not hot, shower instead. Limit the time you spend in there, too. The longer you stand in the shower, the dryer your skin becomes.
Mistake #2: Using alcohol-based body sprays.
Your goal is to smell fresh, so you spritz on a little body spray or eau de toilette after your shower. Unfortunately, most of these scents are alcohol-based, and alcohol is well-known for its drying effects. Switch to a water-based body spray, or better yet, use a dab of essential oils to add fragrance. Even some water-based sprays contain fragrant chemicals that irritate and dry some people's skin.
Mistake #3: Scrubbing too much.
The importance of exfoliation tends to be overstressed in the media. Yes, if you have dry skin, scrubbing can make it appear smoother -- temporarily. A day or two later, you'll look dry and scaly again. Scrubbing and using exfoliating products can remove your skin's oils and even cause damage to the healthy skin that lies beneath your dry and flaky layers. When your skin is dry, use your hands or a soft wash cloth to bathe it gently, rather than trying to scrub the skin away.
Mistake #4: Relying on scented lotions for moisture.
The vanilla, lavender, or freesia-scented lotion from the mall is not really designed to moisturize your skin. It might make it look smoother for an hour or two, but it won't really cure your dryness problem. In fact, the scent ingredients in these lotions often make dry skin worse. For better dryness relief, visit your drugstore and look for a non-scented moisturizer rich in ingredients such as lanolin, fatty acids and vitamin E.
If your dry skin does not clear up within a few weeks of improving your skincare routine, don't be afraid to contact a dermatology physician. He or she can assess your individual skin health and recommend products or treatments that will leave your skin looking and feeling soft and flake-free.