How to Prevent Dry SkinThe cooler, drier air often brings an unwelcome problem: dry skin. While there are other causes as well, it does tend to pop up more frequently in the cooler months. If this is something you find yourself dealing with, you’re probably wondering how to prevent dry skin. The good news is, you can do so naturally, without the use of any toxic products.

As Jess C. Scott, author of Clear: Treating Acne Naturally writes, “Be patient. Your skin took a while to deteriorate. Give it some time to reflect a calmer inner state.” The same advice rings true when it comes to dry skin as well. Of course, the best treatment there is is prevention. Read on to learn how to prevent dry skin naturally.

What Causes Dry Skin

It’s important to know what causes dry skin, so you can take the right approach toward preventing and treating it. Winter weather is a common culprit, due to the drier air, but there are a few other causes to look out for:

  • Harsh soaps – Many common cleansers actually strip the skin’s natural oils away, leaving it overly dry.
  • Hot showers – I love a hot shower, but the sad truth is that when the temperature is too high, it can dry our your skin.
  • Dehydration – Drinking enough water is important for both your health and the condition of your skin.
  • Lifestyle factors – Certain health habits can lead to dry skin, including a poor diet and not getting enough sleep.

If any of these are a part of your routine, preventing dry skin might just be a simple matter of addressing that issue.

Eat Well for Beautiful Skin

Your diet has a definite impact on the condition of your skin. For starters, you should ensure that you eat plenty of foods rich in essential fatty acids. Healthy fats are incredibly important for the moisture of your skin, in particular. Foods rich in fatty acids include:

  • Salmon
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Flax
  • Olive oil

You can also get essential fatty acids in supplement form – hemp seed oil and fish oil are both popular choices.

Antioxidant rich foods also help keep dry skin at bay. Berries, green tea, and leafy greens are all good sources. Finally, drinking plenty of water is essential. Dehydration is a common cause of dry skin, so ensuring that you stay hydrated puts you one step closer to beautiful skin. The amount of water you need depends on a few factors, including your weight, the climate where you live, and your activity level. About.com offers a handy calculator for determining exactly how much water you need daily.

Moisturizing Skin Care

Topical skin care treatments can also be effective for maintaining moisturized, supple skin. Since choosing natural, toxin-free products is important, you’ll be pleased to know that you don’t have to look further than your own kitchen for a natural moisturizer:

Focusing on problem areas that are more prone to dry skin is especially effective; the elbows, knees, and ankles are all common areas to experience dryness.

Even the techniques you use during your skin care routine can make a difference in the dryness of your skin. While you might think exfoliating often would be the best way to get rid of flaky skin, doing so too often can worsen skin dryness. Exfoliating skin too much strips away natural oils, which is the last thing you want to do if you’re trying to prevent or treat dry skin.

You might also consider shaving less often if dry skin is an issue. If you find that dry skin tends to appear where you shave, such as on the legs, removing the hair less often could be all you need to do to make sure your skin stays smooth and moisturized.

Now that you know how to prevent dry skin, you can take these steps to maintain beautiful skin throughout every season.