From Ask Lutz

Dry Skin! Help!

Dear Lisa,

I have really, really dry skin. I put a lot of lotion on right after my shower, which helps for a little while but them bam! It's dry again. The lotion I use is not petroleum based, as I heard that actually promotes dryness. Is it something in the water I drink? The air? My food? What should I do?

~Scaly at LaScala


***

Dear Scaly,

First let me commend you on your courageous question. We have all had dry skin at some time or another whether we are willing to admit it or not. I did some asking around on the topic to see what I could come up with. My friend Dave claims he only got dry skin when he moved to Boise and he swears by Nivea Body Extra Enriched Lotion. He also says, “Keep the showers brief,” but I’m not sure if that just because he doesn’t like showers. I do know, however, that more tepid water is better for your skin. Then I asked my grandmother and she said that in her day people would take milk baths (for the vegans or lactose intolerant—try soy milk). That does seem pricy and I asked her approximately how many gallons of milk are required to fill your average bathtub, but she shook her head and refused to answer my question. And until I get the proper measurements for milk baths, I can’t recommend them.

Then I remembered my friend Ellen in England claimed to have super dry skin and she used to rub Vaseline all over her face until a friend of hers told her that Vaseline caused unwanted hair. I don’t think that Vaseline causes unwanted hair because if it did then bald men would have figured it out and started rubbing on their scalps. That is not to suggest that you use Vaseline; I’m just saying that it won’t make a person grow a beard if they don’t have one to begin with. And Vaseline type products can actually improve the condition of dry skin, but like all remedies for dry skin, they must be applied with water to act as a seal to the moisture.

As far as diet is concerned, you really ought to drink at least 8 glasses of bottled water a day. And make sure your water is from a reputable source. If you like to booze it up, make sure you have at least 1 extra glass of water per alcoholic beverage. This might be hard to remember when you’re tanked, but maybe you could write yourself a note or something. It might also be a good idea to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet, like nuts and olive oil. I have actually heard of people using straight olive oil as a moisturizer and my friend Peter once shined his boots with it. Although, I’m really only suggesting you cook with it or make a nice, balsamic vinaigrette.

It’s probably a good idea to wash with a gentle, fragrance free cleanser like Dove for sensitive skin (I am not being paid to promote this product, however, I am open to that possibility) and please feel free to visit their website: Dove. But here is the main thing to remember. DO NOT dry your skin completely before you apply the moisturizer. The same rule goes for petroleum based or oil based moisturizers as it does for water based. Apply to damp skin because it is essentially water that your skin is lacking. If you are still plagued with dryness, may I suggest the double whammy? This is what I do when my skin gets really dry: After my shower, I apply lotion to damp skin and allow it to dry. Then I apply another layer of lotion (to damp skin, once again—use a mister if it helps) and then let that dry. And if you’ve got a lot of time, three’s the charm.

Scaly, if you are looking for specific products to use, Dermatologists recommend the following: Neutrogena, Lubriderm, Curel, Eucerin, Purpose. If the problem persists, you might want to invest in a humidifier for your home. And please, do not forget the sun block!

I hope I have been helpful, Scaly. Remember, I am not a dermatologist, but I have great respect for the profession.

Best Wishes,

Lisa

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