Summer Glow: The Best Way to Combat Dry Skin

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I know I mentioned it already in one of my recent Life Lately updates, but I really can’t believe that the year is halfway over. In just about a week it will be officially summer. A part of me is excited but another part is not happy with time moving quickly. At the beginning of the year, I started a personal challenge in hopes that I would accomplish a bunch of goals by Summer and I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I haven’t made much progress. The worst part is that I only have 8 more days to get it together since summer officially starts June 20th. The goal was to “glow up” physically, emotionally, academically, spiritually, and mentally. I will say though, while I haven’t reached all of my goals, I have taken baby steps towards accomplishing them. So far, I’m closest to accomplishing one of my physical goals. Physically, I was hoping to tone a bit and shed some of the extra pounds that came about from a sedentary lifestyle of a medical student. I was also hoping to improve my skin. I’m no where near my weight loss goal but I do deserve a pat on the back for my skin improvements. Several weeks ago, I made a dermatologist appointment to get my skin in order, and I’m so glad I did. Although I haven’t accomplished everything that I wanted to before summer, I am happy to say that I was able to get my extremely dry skin under control before summer officially hit aka shorts and sundress weather. Today I’m sharing my experience at the dermatologist and some tips he shared for how to combat dry skin along with tips for keeping my skin healthy, glowing, and moisturized for seasons to come.

I don’t think I’ve shared this on the blog but I have struggled with dry skin my whole life. Over the past year it’s gotten even worse to the point that I get rashes and flakes in my driest areas. My skin is so dry that I MUST keep lotion on me at all times. I have mini lotions in all of my purses and in my car. It’s not uncommon for me to have to reapply lotion to my exposed areas during the day even if I moisturized before leaving the house. This past winter my dry skin was so bad to the point that I had small rashes on my skin. I eventually had to document them with photos for several weeks to present to my doctor. (Quick tip, take pictures of your symptoms, especially if they come and go. That way it’s easier for the doctor to see what was wrong, even if your symptoms temporarily clear up).

Recently, I have developed a skin routine that has improved my skin and I find that I don’t have to reapply my lotion as often throughout the day. My hands still get dry thanks to excessive handwashing & hand sanitizer use (#medstudentlife) but I’m less worried about looking down and having dry, ashy feet peeking out through my sandals. Honestly, I can’t take credit for this routine, it was all my dermatologist’s doing. I have been following his advice for about a month now, and I must admit that my skin has done a complete turnaround and I’m not uncomfortable showing my extensor areas (that’s med lingo for knees and elbows) and feet anymore!

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The first thing my dermatologist suggested was to try taking cooler showers. Normally, I take scorching hot showers. I usually start with medium hot temperatures, but by the end, the water is almost always at or near max hotness. I’m not sure why I enjoy hot showers so much. All I know is I hate being cold. No matter how hot it is outside, I always take scorching hot showers (and I always sleep with a comforter…. anyone else like this?!). Well recently, I’ve been trying to tone down the temperature of my showers. It has been quite an adjustment. The funny thing is that after my dermatologist appointment, my hair colorist also asked me if I take hot showers. She noticed that the hair near my crown (where the water hits directly in the shower) is much coarser and drier than the rest of my head. She also suggested I stop scalding my tressses and body with hot water. I will admit, although it’s not as comfortable as a hot shower, I have noticed a difference in moisture retention when I use cooler water on my hair and body

Another tip my dermatologist suggested is to not use a loofah. I don’t understand the exact science but basically he said that the irritation exacerbates some skin issues. He recommended that I use my hand but personally, I do not feel clean unless I use some sort of scrubbing tool. I haven’t given up my loofah yet, but next time I go shopping, I plan on buying a set of extra  soft washcloths in hopes that they’re a bit more gentle on my skin than the rough loofah.

My dermatologist also recommended that I apply all of my moisturizing products and lotions immediately to wet/ damp skin instead of drying off and then applying lotion. The science behind this is that when your skin is wet, your skin cells are expanded and this provides an easy pathway for moisture to enter. I’m not going to lie, I was skeptical at first. I originally tried this with my regular lotion but it felt kind of weird. The water mixing with the lotion created a strange texture and it made it feel like I was simply watering down the lotion. I was not impressed. However, recently I discovered Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer. Basically, this is a lotion designed to be put on immediately on damp/ wet skin when you initially step out of the shower. You’re not supposed to dry off first for the same reasons that I listed above. The difference between the Wet Skin Moisturizer and traditional lotions is that the Wet Skin Moisturizer has hydrating oils to allow it to slide on smoothly. Because this product was created to be used on wet skin, I don’t get that watered down lotion feel that I get when I use traditional lotions out of the shower.

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I tried the Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer with Nourishing Monoi Oil in addition to the Jergens® Wet Skin™ Moisturizer with Restoring Argan Oil and love them both. I found mine in the lotion aisle of Walmart. It was next to all the other Jergens products. I will admit, that the Wet Skin Moisturizer with Cherry Almond Essence smelled AMAZING but unfortunately I’m allergic to cherries and almonds so I didn’t get it. (The Cherry Almond Essence is a Walmart exclusive by the way, so if you want to try it for yourself, keep in mind that you can only get it there).

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Another tip my dermatologist gave me is to stay consistent. He told me to moisturize day and night (or at least after each shower). Honestly, sometimes I just wanna throw this whole routine out the window. There are nights when I’m just so exhausted that I want to collapse in bed (fully clothed and with makeup still on) but I know that I have to stick to my routine. In the past month of following his advice, my skin has made a complete 360. I moisturize everyday (following his specific instructions) and I also use a gentle scrub once a a week to exfoliate any dry patches. It’s been great because I haven’t seen any new dry patches since starting this routine AND the old ones have gone away.

And lastly, my dermatologist suggested that I drink a lot of water. My everything is dry (skin, hair, nails, eyes, lips, etc) so I must make sure that I’m staying hydrated. Nowadays I have a full glass of water in the morning and night when I take my hair skin and nails vitamin. I also fill up a water bottle every morning and try to at least drink that throughout the day. Be sure to invest in a good water bottle with a secure locking system. I’ve had mine for years and it has never leaked. It can be thrown in my bag with my laptop and phone and I never have to worry about any spills. My goal is to get to a gallon of water per day. I’m not quite there yet and my biggest pet peeve is always having to run to the bathroom. And as someone who absolutely despises public restrooms, this is a very inconvenient consequence of increasing my water intake. But I’m working on it and hopefully my bladder gets strong enough so that I don’t have to pee every 5 seconds.

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As a medical student who has spent a bit of time in the dermatology clinics, I know that skin issues aren’t always vain. The appearance of our skin can greatly affect our quality of life and how we feel about ourselves. I still have a long way to go with my other goals (weight loss, acne improvement, spiritual goals, academic goals, etc) but I am happy to say that I was able to at least cross my goal of resolving my dry skin issues off my list. I’m extra excited because I can confidently strut into summer without worrying about my feet looking dusty and ashy or having any rashes exposed!

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Do any of you have dry skin? What are some tips that work for you? Also if you’re interested in the Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizers you can try them here: Wet Skin Moisturizer with Nourishing Monoi Oil and Wet  Skin Moisturizer with Restoring Argan Oil. Don’t forget to follow Jergens on Facebook as well!

xo, Trisha

 

P.S. As always, I’d like to remind you that I’m not a doctor (yet). As a result, this post along with all of the other content on my site should not be taken for medical advice.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. June 12, 2017 / 4:07 am

    Thanks for the tips! It’s funny that I got the Jergens wet moisturizer sample when I bought the lotion at Wal-Mart few weeks ago. I’ve been meaning to use it but thought it wouldn’t make sense to. I do have drier skin that I’d like so I just might give it a try. You always hit the nail on the head!

    • June 12, 2017 / 1:04 pm

      Thanks so much! You always leave the sweetest comments. Definitely give your samples a try! I hope it works for you! 🙂

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