For many of us, dry skin can feel like an inevitable part of life. You might work with your hands, spend a lot of time outdoors, or simply be naturally susceptible to dry skin. The fact remains that even the driest, most cracked skin may be repaired, restored, and renewed with the right skin care practices and the right moisturizing product.
Before you resign to alligator skin on your knuckles, elbows, and feet, today we will review why skin dries out, how to prevent dry skin from developing, and how specially formulated moisturizers can manage cracked, damaged skin.
What Causes Cracked, Dry Skin?
There are a litany of causes for dry skin ranging from too much time in the sun to more serious skin conditions like psoriasis. If you do not have a pre-existing skin condition, skin dryness is most likely a temporary symptom resulting from an environmental factor such as:
Exposure to low humidity: long winter months or dry desert summers can absolutely dry your skin. Our skin is the largest organ in the human body, and it is constantly exposed to the elements. Humidifiers for indoor spaces are highly recommended when possible.
High temperatures: similarly, high heat can sap your skin of its natural moisture. This is particularly true of indoor heating sources such as fireplaces, central heating systems, etc.
Excessing bathing and/or handwashing: ironically, getting your skin wet can dry your skin out as much as anything. This is due to high heat in our showers, chlorine in swimming pools, harsh chemicals in soaps, and much more.
Active lifestyle: for those who like to work hard and play hard, dry skin might come with the territory. Preventing dry skin does not have to exclude your favorite activities, but understanding what is causing your cracked, chapped hands can certainly be a place to start.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Dry Hands, Feet, and Elbows
Continuing with the above ideas, there are a few simple ways that men and women of all ages can make small lifestyle changes to reduce the likelihood of dry skin. Here are just a few lifestyle tips which can help to avoid chapped and dry hands, feet, and elbows:
- Limit showers and/or baths to 10 minutes and avoid excessive water temperature.
- Use a humidifier if your indoor environment is dry. This is particularly true for bedrooms.
- Reduce usage of soaps and other skin products which include deodorants, antibacterials, or other skin damaging ingredients. None of these ingredients are harmful in proper amounts, but excessive use can certainly cause dry skin.
- Utilize moisturizer once per day, ideally after showering.
- Avoid excessive exfoliation including using washcloths, bath sponges, etc.
- Take skin conditions seriously. If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, eczema, or other skin condition leading to dry skin, follow your doctor’s orders for best results.
How Moisturizers Repair, Restore, and Renew Cracked Skin
So how exactly do moisturizers work to repair, restore, and renew cracked skin? Lesser moisturizers rely on slathering on a protective layer and calling it a day. Yet this is only one of a possible three ways that moisturizers can help repair and hydrate your skin.
That protective outer layer is called an occlusive. A traditional occlusive would be petroleum jelly (vaseline). This layer of moisturizer essentially forms a watertight barrier, keeping your natural moisture in.
Another moisturizing tool is an emollient. Emollients work to restore skin by smoothing out gaps which naturally occur. Where occlusives remain on the skin’s surface, emollients such as an amino acid can penetrate deeper to repair your skin from within.
Finally, humectants hydrate skin by working almost as a magnet for moisture. This allows your skin to stay naturally moisturized long after applying your skin cream product.
Amino Acids for Powerful Cracked Skin Relief
Seriously dry and damaged skin calls for seriously strong ingredients. Amino acids such as glycine, prolin, arginine, lysine, glutamine, and tyrosine are all incredibly adept at repairing, restoring, and rejuvenating damaged skin.
In a nutshell, amino acids are building blocks for proteins that your body needs. There are essential amino acids which cannot be created by your body. Since your body cannot create these components, we must source them through our diet and through topical products.
Amino acids for your skin work by protecting your skin from UV rays, moisturizing skin, fighting free radicals, as an anti-aging ingredient, and more! If you are looking for a one-stop-shop product to help with your cracked skin, look for a moisturizer packed with amino acids.
HEFF Lotion for Dry, Cracked Hands, Elbows & Feet
At HEFF, we only do one thing and we do it well — provide a high quality moisturizing cream for cracked and chapped hands, feet, and elbows. If you or a loved one are dealing with dry skin from your job, an active lifestyle, or even just dry air, HEFF cream has what you need. Our formula was developed by a team of doctors, chemists and researchers to repair damaged or injured skin. Packed with amino acids and other skin-healthy ingredients, you can rest assured that HEFF has the restoring power your skin needs.
To find HEFF products, look for us in any of these major retailers, shop online, or feel free to contact us directly with any questions. For each tube of HEFF sold, we will donate a free tube to Operation Gratitude.