Dry skin solutions

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by Rachel Harris, Manic Managed Mom

azfamily.com

Posted on February 9, 2011 at 9:39 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 10 at 2:11 PM

Wow!  It was cold last week and I am a wimpy Arizona girl.  I guess it's safe to say that I like it hot!  Call me crazy, but one thing I truly dislike about super cold weather is how dry my skin gets.  And, like skin, your scalp can get dry, too and begin to flake.  So from head to toe, I have some dry skin solutions.  I found some helpful products and a few natural remedies, too. 

Scalp Solutions:
Dry skin from winter weather can affect your scalp and leave you with unsightly flakes.  I found an awesome book that has some helpful ideas to deal with this and all kinds of health issues.  "Mayo Clinic Home Remedies" has over 230 treatments and cures with easy to read chapters and numerous remedies to try.   I bought my copy at Fry's.

For kids and adults struggling with dry scalp, the guide recommends trying a bit of tea tree oil, which my own mother swears by for all types of ailments.  Since tea tree oil has been used for centuries as an antiseptic and antifungal agent, a lot of shampoos now include the oil in their ingredients.  So try adding a little tea tree oil to your shampoo to help eliminate dandruff since the oil may kill the scalp fungus that causes it.

Flaky Face Fix:
My forehead used to literally flake off every winter.  Dr. Theresa Ramsey, NMD, the naturopathic physician that appears on the show every Tuesday, recommended that I change my diet.  I reduced my sugar intake and now eat more salmon, green tea and veggies and my skin is much better!  And I remember to drink a lot of water.

I found a good medicated face and body cleanser for skin types that have blemishes, redness, itching and flaking.  DERMAdoctor's Born to be Mild cleanser is gentle, allergy tested, non irritating, ph Balanced, soap free, oil free, fragrance free and dye free.  I tried it because my skin is super sensitive and it worked well.  A 7 oz. bottle sells for $24 at dermadoctor.com.

I get to test a lot of different moisturizers for my segments and last year I found my all-time favorite.  First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30 is fragrance-free with no parabens, harsh chemicals or colorants and is allergy tested and safe for sensitive skin.  It is sold at Sephora for $38, so the price is higher than I like to pay for a daily moisturizer, but when I find a favorite…then Rationalizing Rachel (as my hubby calls me) buys it!

Red Nose Remedy:
Cold dry winter air can leave your nose red and dry.  Plus cold and flu can also cause painful chapping even after the illness is gone.  So, when my family is sick, we constantly apply Eucerin Aquaphor all over the nose area.  We dab a bit around the nostrils and on the skin that sits right above the upper lip area.  So when the cold is gone and the tissue box has been emptied, my kids don't return to school looking like Rudolph.  Aquaphor is great stuff and sells at drug stores for around $5 for a medium sized tube. 

Lose the Lizard Lips:
Another unpleasant side effect from illness and cold weather are chapped lips that can even become a little swollen and red.  So when winter hits, I put a tube of Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil in my purse and in my kids' backpacks.  Then we apply it throughout the day.  Plus this brand won the Women’s Health 2010 Beauty Award winner for best lip balm.  $3 in drug stores.

Bathing Tips:
My pediatrician once told me that my daughter did not need to bathe every day because it can be too drying and make the Eczema on her skin even worse.  In fact, hot showers and long baths (my weakness!) remove oils from your skin, so bathing time should be limited to no more than 15 minutes with warm water, rather than super hot. 

It is also helpful to use a bath and shower gel that is moisturizing rather than drying.  For that, I like the CLEAN line, which has no sulfates, parabens, artificial colors, dyes and other harsh chemicals.  CLEAN just introduced a bath and shower gel that locks in moisture.  The light foaming cleanser is loaded with cotton extracts, aloe and botanicals.  The CLEAN brand says that their products blend cotton seeds, cotton extracts and cotton proteins, which have hydrating effects.  I hadn't heard that before and I truly love how the gel smells and feels. 

Be sure to moisturize the minute you get out of the tub.  My doctor told me to apply lotion while still wet because the moisture from the water locks in your moisturizing product of choice.  I also like the CLEAN line's soft body lotion.  Both products sell at Sephora.

Shave Away Dryness:
Shaving with a moisturizing shaving cream can help to protect skin, too.  Skintimate Skin Therapy Shave Gels with Vitamin E sell for $2.79 at drug stores.

Healing Hands:
If I ignore my hands in the winter and forget to moisturize, I get spilt knuckles that bleed.  So, I found a few products that help hands.  Most hand sanitizers are sticky and smelly and my kids don't like that, so I was happy to find one that feels like a lotion.  Veripur Hand Sanitizer Moisturizer is alcohol-free and contains unique ingredients like avocado, jojoba, grape seed oils and Vitamin E.  I got my 3 oz. tube for $5.99 at Walgreens. 

Sometimes your hands get so dry that a rash or Eczema forms.  For severe dryness like that, try DERMAdoctor Handy Manum.  A medicated serum with 1% hydrocortisone, this works to repair skin cracks while the hydrocortisone ingredient helps to relieve itching. Order from DERMAdoctor.com.

For an all natural solution that I love, simply rub some olive oil all over your hands.  You will be amazed how well this works!

Lotion Potions:
Lotion is the potion for dry skin issues, so don't skip that step when you are getting dressed.  The "Mayo Clinic Home Remedies" book says that lotion forms a seal over skin that helps to prevent water from evaporating from the surface of skin. 

The book also recommends Cetaphil as one of the best over-the-counter brands.  This brand tends to be thicker, which the book says works best.  Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion sells at drug stores for under $10.  Cetaphil also has a brand called Restoraderm that has received the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association.  Get it for $15 at drug stores.

Severe Eczema Help:
I have experience with this because my daughter used to have bad bouts of Eczema.  She is much better, but now my teenage son has started to have occasional outbreaks.  I have several ideas here that have worked well in our household.

Make an oatmeal bath for quick relief.  This has helped my little girl time after time.  Aveeno sells oatmeal packets or you can use your own uncooked oatmeal, but grind it up in a blender first, so it doesn't clog your bath drain!

A great all natural line for severe skin issues is The Seaweed Bath Co. line.  This all natural, paraben free and dye free line includes a seaweed powder bath, body wash, hand butter, foot butter and more. 

Founder Adam Grossman suffers from severe psoriasis and discovered that brown seaweed from extended time in the ocean helped his skin dramatically, so he went to work creating a line that would help others.  Seaweed is the key ingredient in his products, which is rich in essential and non-essential amino acids, and that is very moisturizing to dry skin.  Although this line is not sold in Arizona stores, items can be ordered at seaweedbathco.com.

Sweet Feet Find:
And last but not least, don't forget your feet.  Seaweed Bath Co. also has a great Foot Butter that is paraben free and made with cocoa butter, Vitamin E, tea tree oil and other great all natural ingredients. 

So from head to toe, I hope there was a helpful tip or product here to keep your skin smooth, soft and itch-free this winter season.  Before you know it, we will be discussing summer skin solutions!  But for now, stay warm out there!

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