What I discovered in my quest to combat dry skin

Dry skin.  Where do I start?  This is my biggest struggle.  There have been times I wanted to crawl out of my skin because the cracking was so painful.  Then the itching hits.  And that’s another can of worms.  Plus walking around looking like a reptile just isn't so hot! 

Dry skin is a fairly common problem and for many it doesn’t get to the point where it’s extremely noticeable.  Yet it’s uncomfortable.  But, there’s hope and help for the problem!  The coolest thing was my personal transformation from humiliating scaly pain to well hydrated skin!  Here I’ll share some of the discoveries I made along the way.

Signs and Symptoms

The skin can look flaky, show up as painful cracks and fissures, and lack vitality.  It can show up on your face, as peeling feet, and hands (anywhere else too, really).

Potential causes can include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive processed foods and hydrogenated fats
  • Too much sun exposure
  • Dehydration
  • Soap or other chemical-based skincare
  • Insufficient fatty acids
  • Gallbladder and Liver dysfunction
  • Hormonal imbalance (particularly poor thyroid function)
  • Medical Conditions
  • Certain medications

Potential Therapies

Aggravatingly, all the prescription and topical treatments I tried out just did not work.  Or they did for a short period of time and then my skin would flare up again (sometimes even worse than before).  I would have been jumping with joy if they would have worked.  But they didn’t.  So I hunted down any remedies that would help, even if only a teeny-little bit.

Here are some at-home therapies that may support in hydrating dry, flaky skin:

  • Remove any causes from the list above that are okay and possible for you to change (please discuss any medication changes with your doc..that's not something to ever do on your own!)
  • Increase your consumption of healthy fats and oils, such as cold-pressed olive, raw flaxseed oil, fish oils, cod liver oil, and coconut oil
  • Eat whole, unprocessed foods. Like lightly cooked vegetables, (especially dark leafy greens) along with fresh fruits.
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water with a dash of sea salt or squeeze of lemon added daily.
  • Protect yourself from sunburn.
  • Use all-natural, pure hydrating skincare. Avoid any chemical-based skincare products on your skin, as these can exacerbate the dryness. 
  • Avoid using any soap on your face, instead use a gentle hydrating facial cleanser.

Note:  If you’re one of those women who has tried a moisturizer made with only natural ingredients and you still break out, try plain jojoba oil.  This the oil that matches our natural sebum the best.  Perhaps it’ll work for you?!

While implementing these home remedies all did help to some degree or another, a big factor in my personal skin dryness was underlying medical conditions.  Identifying and addressing them required the help of doctors.  If you're really struggling with dry skin and nothing seems to help, I encourage you to work with a healthcare practitioner who can help identify hormonal imbalances or other medical conditions that may be the cause.

 

Hanna is a mom of busy children and Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Hanna's love of natural skincare began with her own journey of struggle and angst with skin issues. Finally, after finding no solutions she rolled up her sleeves and spent half a decade researching ingredients and formulas until....finally...something actually worked. Most of her time is spend trying to keep up with the kids, folding something like 99 loads of laundry a day, and making sure nobody starves (they seem to do that 30 minutes after meal time). But when she's got a spare minute she loves helping other women achieve radiance, naturally!

 

A VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The contents of this email and website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.  I am not a doctor nor do I pretend to have that level of knowledge.  These posts are intended for basic informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice of any sort.

Weatherby M.D., Dicken.  Signs and Symptoms Analysis from a Functional Perspective. Nutritional Therapy Association, Inc. 2004. Print.

Burka Wild, Donna. The Skin, Tongue, and Nails Speak. Loveland, CO: Unique Perspective Press, 2012. Print.

Haas M.D., Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. New York: Ten Speed Press, 2006. Print.

June 28, 2021 — Hanna Hendrickson

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