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Dry Skin? Choose the Right Kind of Soap

By Paul Rothbart

Dry skin can be caused by a variety of issues. It may be the environment you live in, it could be the current condition of your skin. It may simply be genetic. Whatever the cause, dry skin can itch, feel irritated, and is just not healthy. How you wash is of the utmost importance. Scrubbing too hard or washing too often can strip the skin of essential oils causing it to dry out. The type of soap you use also can have an impact. Here is some information on the type of soap to use if you have dry skin.

Avoid Harsh Soaps

At one time, people made their own soap using lye. Fortunately, that practice has largely disappeared. Harsh soaps are what you want to avoid for any type of skin and especially dry. Commercial soaps don't use lye but there are some that contain an ingredient called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This chemical is added for its degreasing properties. While effective in that capacity, not everyone can use soaps that contain SLS. It can cause damage to dry skin by drying it further. Alcohol and fragrances are common additives that can also damage dry skin. Look at the labels of soaps and shampoos before buying.

Avoid Synthetic Dyes

It may look nice to have soaps of a color that matches your bathroom decor, but they do your skin no favors. Manufacturers add synthetic dyes to obtain these colors and boost sales. They are not there to help your skin. The chemicals that give the soap its color can remove skin oils. This can make your skin even drier, hard, and flaky. Plain soap may not be pretty, but it is much better for your dry skin.

Plant Oils and Glycerin

For people with dry skin, natural soaps are ideal. Look for products that are made with organic plant oils. Aloe vera and jojoba are excellent soaps for dry skin. Cocoa butter, avocado oil, and olive oil are also good choices. Glycerin-based soaps help skin retain moisture. This is exactly what you want to combat dry skin.

Hyaluronic Acid and Lanolin

Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that helps the skin take in and keep moisture. Look for this ingredient in your cleansers and soaps. Lanolin is an oil secreted by sheep through their sebaceous glands. It can moisturize and condition both skin and hair. If you have dry skin, consider soaps and shampoos with one of these substances. 

Dry skin is no picnic. It's important to be careful not to make it worse. Read labels and exercise caution when buying soap and shampoo. The wrong ingredient can damage your dry skin further.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Castro Valley, Calif.

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