Does your skin feel dry, scaly, tight, or itchy? Do your fine lines seem more noticeable than in past years? For most of us, unfortunately, the answer to these questions is YES. Dry skin is something most of us will not escape.
In this blog, we dive into the topic of dry skin - what causes it and what can be done to treat it.
What Causes Dry Skin
There are several reasons most people will suffer from dry skin. As we age, our skin cells:
- produce fewer oils, as sebaceous gland activity slows down
- become less efficient at holding moisture
- are more sun damaged, with increased pigmentation
- become flatter and thinner
As women age, reproductive hormone levels decrease and exacerbate all of the above.
This means that the collagen and elastin structures are more susceptible to UV damage, becoming more disorganised and less supple. Ultimately, this shows up as fine lines and not-so-fine wrinkles!
How Can Dry Skin be Treated Naturally
Dealing with dry skin isn’t pleasant, but there are things you can do to combat itchy, dry patches, wrinkles, and lines naturally. To help treat dry skin, it’s essential to include four key vitamins in your diet and skin care regimen.
Vitamin A is an excellent antioxidant. It regulates cellular growth, increases collagen and elastin deposition, stimulates growth and the immune system, and improves eyesight unrelated to the dry skin benefits.
Some natural sources of Vitamin A include fish oils, eggs, milk, liver, yellow and orange vegetables, carrots (carotenes), pumpkins, and flaxseed oil. Carotenes and flaxseed oil are particularly useful to the skin, normalising skin conditions such as dry, flaky skin.
B complex strengthens immunity and is an essential supporter of cellular metabolism, which is crucial to battling dry skin as we age.
Natural sources of vitamin B complex include Flaxseed oil, brewers yeast, potatoes, bananas, and lentils. Flaxseed oil is essential for your skin because of its Omega 3 oils and antioxidant support function.
Known for its role in promoting a healthy immune system, Vitamin C has other superpowers in combatting dry skin. It is a natural antioxidant and actually stimulates the production of collagen. You can find vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables, including broccoli, pomegranate, berries, cauliflower, tomato, Brussels sprouts, and cucumber.
Of particular relevance to skin care is pomegranate oil. It is a superb anti-ageing ingredient because of its high antioxidant activity. Cucumber, as an extract, is also helpful because it normalises skin oil production and is a fantastic anti-ageing ingredient due to its hydrating, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin E is another dry skin superhero because it is an antioxidant, promotes anti-ageing, and stimulates the skin's natural repair system.
Vitamin E can be found in sunflower seeds, safflower oil, nuts, olives, wheat germ and leafy greens. Natural vitamin E extracted from sunflower seeds is particularly helpful in skin care. It is commonly described as “d-alpha tocopherol” and is not to be confused with the synthetic dl-tocopheryl, which is half as active as the natural form. Note: if you forget which form is best, here is a tip: “dl” = “does less”.
Safflower and macadamia oils are excellent skin nutrients, and the fatty acid composition of macadamia oil is exceptionally close to that of our skin. Hence, it is very easily absorbed.
Tips to Reduce the Potential for Dry Skin
A good healthy diet with ingredients from known and natural sources of vitamins A, B complex, C, and E are vital for great-looking skin.
Remember that many of these ingredients, such as flaxseed oil, salmon, and tuna, are also sources of EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) like Omega 3, 6 and 9. EFAs cannot be synthesised by the human body, but help the antioxidant activity of many substances.
And, apart from a healthy diet to combat dry skin, look for natural skin care products that contain at least some of these ingredients to ensure that vital nutrients are readily and directly accessible to your biggest organ, the skin. Azurlis botanical skincare offers excellent all-natural products, including some of the best facial moisturisers for dry skin. Interested in learning more? I highlighted a few of these natural skin care products for dry skin in this recent article. I hope you enjoy it!