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10 Ways to Soothe Your Dry Skin

10 Ways to Soothe Your Dry Skin

It may not seem like big really big problem in the grand scheme of things, but those suffering from dry skin know just how irritating and problematic it can be. Dry and flaky skin is not the prettiest sight, and if the skin actually cracks, things can get painful as well. Since naturally dry skin can be aggravated by a number of external factors, it is important to take good care of it.

This means that you will have to put more effort than the average Joe into keeping your skin healthy and soft, but since there is no satisfying alternative, all that work won’t seem too difficult. It’s important to mention that even if your skin is not naturally dry, it can still become dry, ashy or even crack due to things like exposure to extreme weather conditions, so these tips can apply to a fairly wide variety of people.

1. Get a gentle exfoliating shower gel

Woman in shower

    You never want to go too rough when exfoliating dry skin, and you also want to stay away from heavily perfumed skin care products and those containing alcohol. A simple soap should do the trick, but it is even better to get a simple shower gel with exfoliating elements, and rub it over your skin gently for a couple of minutes before washing it off.

    2. Take faster showers and don’t let it get too hot or too cold

    A lot of people, particularly women, like to take their time in the shower, and this is understandable. We all want to stretch out those few moments where we are able to relax on our own in peace and quiet. However, the problem with long showers or baths is that they will strip your skin of its natural oils, making it very dry.

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    To avoid this you should try to keep your showers to about 10 minutes and avoid using water that is very hot or cold – think like Goldilocks and you’ll be fine. After you are done, dry yourself off by lightly patting your skin down with a soft towel.

    3. Moisturize regularly after you shower

    Moisturizing

      Even if you are quick in the shower, use non-perfumed hygiene products and gently dry your skin with a towel, some of the natural skin oils will be washed away, leaving you somewhat dry. This is why moisturizing is so important.

      If you have issues with dry skin, you should moisturize after you wash your face and whenever your skin starts feeling dry, but special care should be taken to rub your whole body with moisturizing cream after showering. It’s also important not to go overboard and apply too much moisturizer, as this can eventually make your skin very oily and lead to acne problems.

      4. Try out aromatic fruit oils

      Oils from a variety of different fruits are frequently used in aromatherapy to help transfer essential oils into the skin and seal it in. These oils will help your skin hold moisture better, keeping it soft and smooth for longer. As far as skin care products go, natural oils are a very safe and effective option, and can be used to massage your body, so you get the benefit of ensuring that your skin retains moisture and loses less of its natural oils, while relaxing your muscles and reducing stress in the process. It’s best to apply fruit oils to your skin after a quick shower, while you are still slightly wet.

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      5. Lather up your skin well when shaving

      Shaving legs

        Shaving skin without a shaving cream is the fastest way to irritate it, which can cause redness, soreness and pimples to form. Your skin should be still somewhat wet when the shaving gel is applied, and make sure to use plenty of it. You can apply more gel and use some more water if it starts getting dry.

        Be sure to choose a shaving gel that is suitable for sensitive skin, as that type has only the basic active ingredients necessary for hydration and lubrication of the skin, although those with aloe vera are great for preventing irritation. It is best to apply moisturizer after you shave.

        6. Avoid exposing your skin to the summer-sun

        We all like to spend a lot of time outside the house during summer, and there is nothing better than stripping down to your swimwear and having some fun at the beach. However, you should avoid sunbathing for extended periods of time during the hottest hours of the day – it’s best to sunbathe later in the afternoon, as you can get the same effect without the added risk to your skin.

        You should always apply sunscreen with a protective factor of 20-30 before going outside during the summer months. Longer sleeves and hats can also be your friends in the heat.

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        7. Eat your fruits and vegetables

        Assorted fruit

          In order for your body to properly regulate itself, and things like skin moisture are a part of this auto regulation process, you need to feed it the right nutrients. Vegetables and fruit contain a good deal of water, various vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants which can help keep your skin healthy.

          Foods containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E – like olive oil, nuts and avocados – are particularly good for keeping your skin smooth, soft and well-moisturized. Whole-wheat bread and turkey are good sources of selenium, which strengthens the cells in the skin.

          8. Work on reducing the stress in your life

          Stress can negatively affect our health in more ways than one, and skin rashes or dry and flaky skin can be a result of prolonged periods of chronic stress. This is why you need to find an effective way of coping with emotional stress, as well as a good way to blow off some steam. A few simple solutions for reducing stress include:

          • Regular physical exercise
          • Combat sports or just punching a heavy bag
          • Breathing exercises
          • Light music
          • Learning not to sulk and hold grudges
          • Taking a break and doing a fun activity on the weekend
          • Taking up an interesting hobby
          • Having a few drinks and fun chat with some friends

          Taking the time to manage your stress effectively really pays off in the long run, and not just in terms of your skin health.

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          9. In winter, wear a good pair of gloves and cover up

          Winter,autumn woman

            External factors like the weather can have a huge effect on your skin. Exposure to the cold, dry air and the harsh wind will dry out your skin very quickly and caused it to crack. If you have fairly sensitive skin, the low temperature can even cause redness, swelling and itchiness of the skin on your hands and other exposed areas. This is why it is important to have a good pair of gloves with good insulation. You should also try to cover up the face, feet, legs and other areas of the body the best you can.

            Wearing two or more layers of clothing is a good tactic. Some hand cream and chapstick will help you keep your hands and lips from drying out and cracking. The skin around the nose can be problematic, particularly if you have a cold and keep blowing your nose, so cover the face with a scarf and apply a light layer of moisturizer on the area if begins to seem dry.

            10. Don’t heat up your home too much, and make sure there is enough moisture

            Some people just can’t stand the cold, and they really heat up their homes in the winter. Walking in from the cold to such a home feels like going through a magical portal that transports you from wintertime straight into the hottest of summers.

            All that heat also dries out the air, so if you are the kind of person who likes to stay really warm during the winter, be sure to get a decent humidifier to ensure that the air isn’t too dry. You can add essential oils to the humidifier to get some additional benefits like destroying bacteria, opening up your sinuses and making your home smell great.

            It takes some work to prevent your skin from being dry, cracked and itchy, especially if you have naturally dry skin. However, with all these effective tips, which are relatively simple to implement, you will be able to keep your skin as healthy as possible in any season and any situation.

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            Ivan Dimitrijevic

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            Last Updated on October 16, 2018

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

            It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

            If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

            One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

            Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

            In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

            Why you can’t sleep through the night

            The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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            Stress

            If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

            Exposure to blue light before sleep time

            We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

            While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

            Eating close to bedtime

            Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

            Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

            Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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            Medical conditions

            In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

            The vicious sleep cycle

            The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

            Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

            You get a bad night’s sleep
            –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
            –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
            –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

              You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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              How to sleep better (throughout the night)

              To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

              1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

              What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

              Here are a few suggestions:

              • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
              • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
              • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
              • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
              • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

              2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

              What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

              • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
              • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
              • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
              • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

              3. Adjust your sleep temperature

              Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

              Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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              Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

              Sleep better form now on

              Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

              I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

              As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

              Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

              Reference

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