Winter usually takes first prize for causing dry, flaky, itchy skin, but summer weather can bring skin its share of woes as well, especially in arid climates. Even if you are ultra careful about exposure to the sun, you’re not alone if the end of a long, hot season finds your hide feeling parched and looking tired.
Dry skin, referred to in medical circles as xerosis, can be improved with a few lifestyle changes. Adopt two tactics that go hand in hand: create a moister environment for your skin and work to preserve its natural oils.
Oddly enough, air conditioning may play a role in drying your skin in hot weather as most systems deplete humidity in the air. Turning down—or off—your air conditioning systems may help.
In another paradox, prolonged immersion in water can dry your skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, frequent hot baths strip natural lipids from your skin. Spending a shorter time in cooler water is a better idea.
Swimming pools and the ocean are also notorious for drying the skin. If you enjoy swimming often, try a lotion designed to act as a shield against chlorinated or salty water. Some skin experts advise toweling the water off your skin immediately to avoid the drying effect of evaporation.
To preserve the oils in your skin, take a critical look at the variety of soaps it’s exposed to on a regular basis. Detergents, soaps and shampoos—particularly those with an anti bacterial component or those that contain deodorants—tend to rob your skin of its natural lubricants. You may want to consider bathing less often and/or changing some of the products you use.
You probably already moisturize your skin with lotions or creams. If you add exfoliation to your routine prior to applying your skin care products, they will penetrate more deeply. Scrub gently and aim to remove just the top layer of dead skin cells—vigorous treatment can make things worse. You may have to try a few different exfoliants to find one gentle enough for you.
If your skin doesn’t look and feel better with some tender loving care, it’s possible you suffer from conditions handed down to you genetically.