Almost everyone has experienced areas of dry skin. Cold or dry climates are a challenged to this delicate organ. Our skin is the largest organ of the human body. It is covers about 20 square feet! It protects us from the elements, microbes, viruses, and helps moderate body temperature.
Dry skin can be caused by a number of things. Harsh environments, certain kinds of soap, detergents, medications, and medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, diabetes and psoriasis can all cause dry skin, even that long hot shower or bath could be the culprit.
In Chinese medicine skin health is connected to the lung organ system. The lungs help produce Wei Qi and circulate it throughout the body. Wei Qi is like a protective force similar to the immune system. It provides a barrier from harmful pathogenic factors that can weaken the body and lead to disease. The lungs are also responsible for circulating nourishment to the skin. In Chinese medicine we often treat the lung organ system to help with skin issues.
5 Tips for Reducing Dry Skin:
- Learn about skin brushing which is a simple and ancient technique practiced in many cultures that helps to detoxify the body.
- Skip the hot shower
- Find the most gentle natural soap that you can. Look for ones that are olive oil based and without fragrances or chemicals. You can learn about personal care products and ingredients at Environmental Working Group Skin Deep
- Exfoliate to remove dead skin cells. There are many easy to make recipes available.
- Moisturize while damp. This helps to lock in the moisture so applying oil while your skin is moist makes the job easier. Natural oils are the best. Try almond, coconut, olive, jojoba or shea butter. Natural oils are generally better than lotions. A lotion is made of blending oils and water together which means there always needs to be some kind of preservative to keep it fresh.
- Try acupuncture especially if you have conditions such as asthma, allergies, hypothyroidism, psoriasis, or any other dermatological condition. Acupuncture can help reduce symptoms associated with these conditions and reduce your dry skin!