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A lot of us aspire to have flawless skin. Is this realistic? Perhaps not, but we can try. The skin is the largest organ and one of the first things people see, as we all know. First impressions count. A common problem is dry, dehydrated, flaky rough skin with hyperpigmentation which I can identify with as I struggle with managing troublesome Keratosis Pilaris.
Even if your skin looks amazing, who wants to feel cringeworthy rough scaly bumpy lesions on running their hands along the thigh/buttock/arms? These areas are the most touched during physical contact, so both ladies and men, please pay attention if you feel like a crocodile here, as this is a sure-fire way of sabotaging your love life.
The most effective way to change the skin is to religiously stick to a regime for at least a good three to six month period and drink a lot of water to help with hydration. Use proven good quality fool-proof products specifically targeting the problem of dry skin with hyperpigmentation. Moisturize as often as possible, applying topical moisture up to five times daily, and stick with products containing ceramides and oils, and hyaluronic acids.
Sybarites, once or twice daily moisturizing will not cut it if you have rough skin.
What is Keratosis Pilaris?
There are multiple definitions available, but the commonality is that this is a harmless skin condition usually affecting the arms, thighs, or buttocks characterized by dry skin with tiny bumps.
I wouldn’t agree with “harmless” as it sure does induce panic if you suddenly find yourself in a risque position and your skin is not ready.
Disadvantages of having rough dry skin
- Appears dull, lacking luminosity, so repels the eye. People are drawn to beauty- this includes your body skin.
- Itchy at times, which can lead to localized infection if you scratch with dirty nails
- Prone to early-onset lines and wrinkling or crepe-like consistency.
- Always in need of moisture, so it may feel like you are constantly applying products fruitlessly to not appear as if you are the victim of a volcanic eruption
- Having to guzzle a lot more water per day; a minimum of 2litres with a maximum of 4litres, which can make for an annoying almost permanency in the toilet. Seriously.
I agonizingly tried to think of any advantage to having dry skin, and crazily, I could only think of one, which to be honest is not really completely true. I found I was likely to be less prone to acne/pimples and blackheads to the back/chest region. That was it!
I am the long-suffering victim having one of the worst skin types ever. I console myself that this is not through my own fault, but that of a genetic predisposition. As such I have acknowledged this is just something I will have to persistently tackle to get soft glowing skin. If you have similar skin, you will just have to persevere and you will be flawless.
What To Do To Get Softer Clearer Body Skin
I’m going to share with you the bargain guaranteed regime I use to improve the feel and appearance of my skin. It is not yet as soft as a baby’s bottom because I can be inconsistent at times. However, when I stick with the process, this works for me like a charm. I can definitely see and feel the difference if I break or discontinue the regime, so don’t make that mistake.
Everyone is different and will more than likely get different levels of results. However, in any case, these products work but again, consistency is the key to having soft, glowing, clearer skin.
- Number one is to have a lot of water. However, I do not really like the taste of water so I tend to use lemon slices or lemon juice as an additive that doesn’t add any extra calories. Try to have ice-cold water as this burns more calories, however, if you have sensitive teeth or you just hate cold water as I do, then have room temperature filtered water.
- There are multiple benefits of drinking filtered water, which I will not be delving into today. However, some major advantages are that it helps to remove toxins including lead and chlorine. Filtered water is definitely tastier and significantly cheaper than buying mineral water.
- Dry Brush
- I’m guilty again of not sticking to this well-researched method of effectively increasing lymphatic drainage. Dry brushing has been proven to improve cellulite, exfoliate the external layer of skin and improve its overall appearance. Try to do this every day even if you are always in a rush like me. Just give yourself an extra 5-10 minutes to do this and remember to brush towards your heart.
- Shower/Bathe in lukewarm water as hot water can strip the skin of its natural moisture barrier which can lead to more inflamed itchy flaky skin. If you do use hot water, try to do so infrequently, and make sure to give yourself a blast of cold water at the end to close the pores and increase circulation.
- Use a loofah/hand glove exfoliant to apply products whilst in the shower or bath and remember to disinfect these frequently to avoid fungal infections.
- Employ the option of adding extra oils to bath/shower products, eg olive oil after lathering with soap or soap substitutes if you are not using a shower oil.
Proven Products Which Tackle Keratosis Pilaris/Eczema/Dry Rough Skin
I have a dedicated list of ride-or-die products I know works to combat my bumpy body skin condition.
- L’Occitaine Almond Shower Oil. This smells absolutely divine and leaves the skin moisturized after coming out of the shower. I buy the large bottle as it lasts me a minimum of three months; and this is with heavy use, especially over the winter months.
- As an exfoliant, I gravitate towards Glytone body wash or the Glytone KP kit. However, it is sometimes difficult to obtain (so I’ve run out). A good alternative that I’m never without is Kojic Acid Soap as this can be bought in bulk. It is very effective for clearing the skin but can be very dehydrating on its own. If you use it in the shower, make sure to use a shower oil after, otherwise, your skin will be left dry, tight, and flaky which is of course what we are trying to avoid.
- Otherwise, I sometimes use a homemade yummy scrub with ingredients easily found in the kitchen cupboard.
Home Made Sugar Scrub
This is a homemade concoction that smells like you could virtually eat it. I was almost out of scrub hence the tiny remnants left in the jar, I usually use this as a body scrub but there is just enough for one facial application left.
Glycerol or honey,
Drops of essential oil- lemon/orange blossom- 3drops max
Sincere apologies that I don’t usually measure as I just make enough of a batch to last one or two uses. The aim is to coat the sugar into a rough paste. Mix all together and store in an airtight container for about a week.
I promise you, your skin will thank you.
Post Shower Lotions to Guarantee Soft Skin
After coming out of the shower/bath, I find the quicker you apply lotions, the longer your skin remains hydrated.
Some lotions are better than others for locking in moisture and I find that Cerave Moisturising Body Lotion provides superior longer-lasting effects on my skin without feeling tacky. Perhaps it is due to having a multitude of ceramides and hydrating hyaluronic acids.
In any case, it is highly recommended by dermatologists and works wonders for parched skin.
Amlactin is also another effective exfoliating lotion that helps to even out the skin tone with 12% lactic acid.
I find this again at times difficult to easily obtain in the UK. It is widely available in the USA so if you are from the UK it’s a good idea to stock up when traveling there.
Another stellar option is to use any lotion containing uric acid such as Eucerin Body Lotion.
Valcena Natural Rose Absolute is a very subtly scented oil that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy at all or leave those oil spots on your expensive linen.
It works well to lock in lotions. In any case, any oil containing Sweet Almond Oil is also a legitimate alternative. I use this overnight to lock in moisture so I wake up with softer skin.
Summary of Effective Products to tackle dry flaky hyperpigmented skin including Keratosis Pilaris and Eczema.
- Make sure to drink a lot of water (at least 2Litres)- preferably filtered water.
- Frequently dry brush with natural-bristle brushes prior to showers or baths, going over the area 2-3 times for at least 5 minutes to improve circulation and get softer skin.
- Avoid hot showers or baths as this strips the skin of moisture.
- Use exfoliants in the shower/bath eg kojic acid soap or Glytone body wash
- There are options of making home-made products to tackle skin complaints including a simple sugar body scrub with essential oil
- Use a bath oil or shower oil to prevent excess loss of moisture
- On getting out of the shower/bath, make sure to immediately moisturize with a lotion chock-full of vitamins, hyaluronic acid, or oil containing Sweet Almond Oil.
The products and methods I mentioned above work effectively to combat my Keratosis Pilaris and extremely dry hyperpigmented skin. However, they may not work for you as well if you do not consistently persevere for at least 3-6months as everyone’s skin reacts differently to topical products. However, there is a high possibility that if you have a similar complaint they will work for you due to the active ingredients.
Effective ingredients include, but are not limited to high concentrations of ceramides, lactic acid, and sweet almond oil. You don’t have to get the products listed above as there are so many alternatives out there, just make sure you are searching for products without parabens.
What products work for you that you think would benefit others? Please share in the comments
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