A balance of oil and moisture is crucial for healthy, attractive skin. Moisture is the water present inside the skin cells and comes to the cells through the bloodstream. It is the water in the skin cells that keeps them plumped-up, healthy, and youthful-looking. Oil and moisture work together; there must be enough moisture in the skin cells, but there must also be enough oil to act as a shield, preventing excessive evaporation of moisture from the skin’s top layers.
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Simple Dry Skin – Results from a lack of natural oils. The reasons for this lack of oil vary. This condition most often affects women under the age of 35. Complex dry skin lacks both oil and moisture and is characterized by fine lines, brown spots, and sagging skin.
Dry Skin Tends to be Dull – Looking, even scaly and flaky, and readily develops wrinkles and fine lines. It usually feels “tight” and uncomfortable after washing unless some type of moisturizer or skin cream is applied. Chapping and cracking are signs of extremely dry, dehydrated skin.
Dry skin is most common on areas of the body that are exposed to the elements, such as the face and hands, but it can be a whole-body problem as well, especially in winter. It is probably primarily a genetic condition, but it may be caused by a poor diet and by environmental factors such as exposure to sun, wind, cold, chemicals, or deficiencies, especially deficiencies of vitamin A and B, which can also contribute to dry skin.
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To care for combination skin, simply treat the dry areas as dry skin and the oily areas as oily skin.
Avoid fried foods, animal fats, and heat-processed vegetable oils such as those sold in supermarkets. Use cold-pressed oils only. Beware of any oils that have been subjected to heat, whether in processing or cooking. Heating oil’s leads to the production of free radicals, which have a destructive effect on the skin. Do take supplemental essential fatty acids (see under Nutrients, above). This may be the best supplement available for dry skin, but be patient, it may take a month or more to see results.