Dry skin can be a difficult condition to manage, especially in the summer months when we are spending more time outdoors in the sunshine. Air conditioning, fans and both outdoor and indoor swimming can also take their toll on the skin. This can be a real annoyance, especially at a time of year when we all want to look our skin kissed best!
People who suffer from conditions such as eczema, rosacea and psoriasis may find their skin is made worse by sun exposure, causing it to become inflamed, itchy and red. The first course of action in this case should be to consult a doctor or pharmacist. However, many people also choose to use alternative or complementary therapies.
It can be difficult to find products that don’t irritate the skin, especially if you have sensitive dry skin. One solution is to mix your own face mask using detox clay powder. Superfine white kaolin clay is ideal for all skin types, because it is mild, high grade and ultra pure. This reduces the risk of irritation caused by many common additives to skin products.
Kaolin clay has traditionally been highly sought after as a beauty treatment, with evidence that it was used in ancient Chinese, Egyptian, and Roman cultures. It is thought to help stimulate circulation while unclogging pores and making them appear smaller.
It is particularly suitable for dry skin because it does not draw oils from the deeper layers of the epidermis, and may work to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. To use kaolin clay as a face mask, simply add purified or filtered water to the powder until it is of your desired consistency.
For best results, use a non-metallic spoon and a glass or wooden bowl. The product can also be used as an intensive hair mask to help add smoothness and shine. Leave the mixture to work for 20 minutes or half an hour, and then rinse thoroughly.
Other ways to help dry skin feel smoother and softer include avoiding taking long hot showers. Hot water breaks down the lipid barriers in the skin, which help to keep moisture locked in. It also activates the cells that contain histamine, so if you are prone to itchy skin or eczema then you may find it is worse after a hot bath or shower.
When drying yourself after a bath or shower, pat yourself down with a soft towel rather than rubbing away at your skin.
It’s essential to moisturise dry skin, especially after being in contact with water. Moisturisers help to seal in hydration and thick formulas are recommended for very dry skin. Avoid using products that contain artificial fragrances and colourings, as this may cause irritation.
Thicker emollients work best to repair dry cracked hands, but these do not always sink in very easily. If you find that this causes you a problem, try applying it last thing at night and wearing a pair of thin cotton gloves to protect your bed sheets.