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July 09, 2020

Here at VitaminsOnly, we have seen a surge in orders for creams, oils and supplements to help with dry skin ever since COVID-19 made its presence known. We can only imagine that this is because people are washing their hands more frequently to keep the virus at bay.

To be clear, we commend this behaviour. Washing your hands, wearing a mask, and socially distancing are among the best ways to safeguard your health. But what do you do if all of the handwashing is leaving your hands feeling as rough as sandpaper? Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to replenish natural moisture in your skin.

Before we talk specifics, though, let’s discuss skin. It’s the body’s largest organ and a critical barrier for keeping bad things (like germs) out of your body. It can dry out, though, causing discomfort and even pain.

Why is my skin so dry?

Here are some factors that may be responsible for your dehydrated skin:

  • Genetics. If your parents had dry skin, you might have inherited it, and that means you may have to work harder than the average guy (or gal) to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Frequent bathing or handwashing. As we’ve seen with frequent handwashing triggered by the pandemic, when you’re constantly exposing your skin to water, it dries out. That’s because water can strip the natural, protective oils from your skin. Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, can cause a film to form on your skin that prevents the absorption of moisture.
  • Harsh soaps. Like water, strong soaps can deplete your skin of its natural oils and dry it out.
  • Cold weather. When it’s cold outside, the humidity in the air is lower, and the water content in the top layer of your skin (your epidermis) reflects this.
  • Medications. A side effect of certain medications, including acne medications, is that they dry out your skin by loosening the connection between cells in the epidermis.
  • Medical conditions. Eczema and psoriasis make the skin more prone to dryness. Other conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and kidney failure can also lead to dry skin. You should talk to your doctor if you experience heavy inflammation, intense itching or scaly patches on your skin.

What products can help my skin?

  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps build healthy cells throughout your body, including in your skin. It has also been linked to reducing inflammation, which is helpful if you are prone to eczema or psoriasis. To get more vitamin D, you can eat foods such as salmon and tuna, which are rich in this important vitamin. You can also eat foods that are fortified with vitamin D, such as breakfast cereals and orange juice. The sun stimulates vitamin D production in your skin, so you can spend 10 minutes per day outside (wearing protective sunscreen to block out the harmful rays, of course). Depending on the climate where you live, this may not be possible for you. The truth is that many people are low in Vitamin D and could benefit from taking it in supplement form.

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  • Vitamin E. This vitamin is a potent antioxidant that helps protect the skin against sun damage. When applied to the skin, it can absorb UV light that can damage the skin. Natural Vitamin E has been associated with preventing dark spots and wrinkles. Vitamin E can also help improve your skin’s elasticity and keep it moister and softer.

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  • Flaxseed Oil. This oil can be taken in liquid and capsule form. It is a natural source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which keep your skin smooth and hydrated. It also contains “lignans” which help repair broken blood vessels and skin cells. And finally, it is packed with antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals and the sun’s harmful UV rays.

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  • Collagen/Collagen Builder. Collagen helps support muscle growth and skin health, and It’s also considered a great bone supplement. It is made up of amino acids enhanced by vitamin C. The body naturally builds collagen, but as we age, we may no longer absorb enough of the nutrients that support natural collagen production. Collagen can be a helpful supplement for giving the body the fuel that it needs to produce the proteins that keep skin smooth and elastic.

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In addition to taking skin-supporting supplements, make sure to do the following:

  • Moisturize. Make sure to use high quality skin creams with natural oils and vitamins and avoid those that have water as a leading ingredient. Good moisturizers rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and lock in moisture. Make sure to apply the moisturizer directly after washing your hands or body as this will allow it to absorb better.
  • Avoid UV rays. Minimize contact with the sun’s ultraviolet rays and wear plenty of sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Take short baths or showers. Try limiting your showers (or baths) to 5 to 10 minutes, and keep the water lukewarm—not scalding hot.
  • Use a humidifier. This is most applicable in winter or in places that have low humidity. Use a humidifier to keep the moisture in the air at about 60%.
  • Avoid harsh soaps and laundry detergent. Choose soothing products that are free of dyes and perfumes and contain soothing natural oils.

If your skin is feeling depleted, whether due to excessive hand washing or some other reason, remember that dry skin doesn’t have to be an “end state.” With helpful supplements, creams, and good habits, you can reclaim softer, smoother, younger-looking skin.

Disclaimer: The vitamin health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.


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