Butter 'em up!
Some fat is good, and we were born with it. Your skin, your largest organ, is made up of fatty acids (lipids) which are a protective wall between the world and everything inside of your body. The top skin layer known as the "horny layer" contains ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids. When it's time to moisturize, you'll need this balance within your lotion for extra protection.
When the wall is breached, problems arise.With compromised skin, allergens and toxins can evolve dry skin into an eczema or psoriasis nightmare. Even with all that itching Diphenhydramine HCl isn't always what you need. My friend calls them his "itch pills" that double as a nighttime sleep aid. It's the same antihistamine medication in Benedryl for allergies and various sleep aids, but they won't be the sole solution.
My dermatologist explained it to me like this:
Imagine your skin is like a wall made of bricks protecting your body...but missing the mortar in between. That's what dry skin is like a wall with crumbly, dry, or missing mortar (lipids). Regular moisturizing lotions are fine for daily, light dryness but when you're missing your mortar bring on the ceramide lotions.
To put it simply:
"As we age our skin loses the ability to retain moisture. Ceramides restore skin's ability to hold moisture."--Adrie at Earth Science NaturalsMy preference is Earth Science's Multi-Therapy Ceramide Healthy Skin Lotion. It utilizes the right amount of plant ceramides that bolster what our skin cells provide; fortifying against irritants.The Earth Science option was very helpful for my body and face. But the CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, while terrific for my body, created an uncomfortable rash all over my face (if you're sensitive avoid this CeraVe product on your face). Frequently, fragrance-free options specifically for the face are not available. So, I opt to use body lotions.
For hands try O'Keeffe's Working Hands hand cream for seven nights, you'll see and feel a difference. Read more here.
Dry skin makes you vulnerable to other irritants such as:
- hot showers
- residue from fabric softeners
- pet allergens (even after the pet is gone allergenic proteins remain)
- dry winter air
If you keep your "wall" in good repair, you'll look and feel better.
Remember to drink water.
More fragrance-free posts here.
Opinions expressed on this blog are not to be considered medical advice.