Caring for Dry Skin
Can a single bar of soap really affect the condition of your skin? You bet it can!
We use soap to clean our bodies, body scrubs to keep our skin flake-free, and lotions to keep our skin moisturized, but commercial skincare products made with a mixture of alcohols, synthetic fragrances, and other chemicals often strip our skin of its natural oils that keep it protected and are intended to defend it against becoming dry, irritated, and unhealthy.
But chemicals in commercial soaps and other skincare products aren’t the only causes of dry skin. Let’s review the main reasons your skin may be dry.
What Causes Dry, Irritated Skin?
Dry and irritated skin can be caused by some things we can control, and other things we can’t. The following are a few common causes for dry skin:
- Dry Winter Weather: When temperatures drop, so does humidity. This means that your skin can be left parched and dry from the combination of indoor heating and lack of moisture in the air.
- Hot, Steamy Showers: While standing a few extra minutes in a steamy shower can be soothing, it can be damaging to your skin. The facts are simple: the longer you enjoy a steamy shower, the more your skin dries out.
- Dehydration: If you don’t keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water, your skin will act as a constant reminder with it’s dry, lackluster appearance.
Skin Conditions: Eczema and psoriasis are just two skin conditions that cause dryness, itching, and bleeding that currently can’t be cured.
- Moisture-Robbing GMO Oils: Washing with harsh soaps, applying lotions to our skin that are packed with alcohol, and exfoliating with scrubs that use GMO oil will ultimately strip your skin of natural moisture barriers and leave it dry and itchy.
- Alcohols in Skincare Products: Ingredients from alcohols and dyes to unnatural fragrances can strip the skin of the oils it needs. If your skin is oily, it can be tempting to use alcohol-based products on your skin as they often provide an immediate oil-free finish. However, the irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from alcohol can lead to an increase in bumps and enlarged pores.
- Artificial & Synthetic Fragrance: When a soap lists “fragrance” as an ingredient, it could contain a cocktail of toxins. Often times, these fragrances contain synthetic chemicals and are laden with phthalates which can cause skin rashes and even headaches, coughing, and other respiratory irritation.
- Sulfates: These harsh chemicals make soap lather and create bubbles. Sulfates remove natural oils from the skin and increase absorption on your skin’s surface causing irritation for people with sensitive skin or eczema.
- Parabens: This ingredient mimics estrogen. When applied to the skin, it enters the bloodstream and is mistaken by your body for estrogen. Your body may naturally react to higher estrogen by storing fat, decreasing muscle mass, or causing reproductive difficulties.
- Triclosan: Often found in antibacterial soap, this chemical creates dioxin, a carcinogen that disrupts the endocrine system and affects thyroid functions.
Think about it. If you’re using skincare products with these harmful ingredients every single day, what effects could this have on your health over a lifetime?
Simple Yet Effective Steps Towards Moisturized, Healthy Skin
If you keep reapplying regular lotion to your skin without any results, it’s time to rethink your moisturizing routine. We outline more details about this in our “How to Step Up Your Moisturizer Routine” blog post, but here’s the main idea:
Step 1: Wash
For starters, it’s always a good idea to avoid super hot showers, limit your time under the water to avoid drying out your skin further, and use a high-quality soap when in the bath or shower. But don’t this this step get over complicated － opt for quality over quantity with the products you choose.And while all of the soaps we make here at Bend Soap Company are created using a limited number of high-quality ingredients (fresh goat’s milk from our own goats, olive oil, red palm oil, and coconut oil, and essential oils added to some bars for added scent), our top soap picks for getting dry, irritated skin on the fast track to being healthy include our Oatmeal & Honey Goat Milk Soap and Unscented Goat Milk Soap. There are no essential oils in these two bars which make them great options for folks who have dry skin due to allergies to essential oils. Our Lavender Blossom Goat Milk Soap is another crowd pleaser as it’s made with lavender essential oil to help calm and fight blemishes on your skin as well as real lavender buds which work to gently exfoliate the skin, leaving it super clean, calm, and smooth.
Not much of a shower person and prefer a long, luxurious soak in the tub? Or maybe you’re looking for an all-natural bubble bath replacement for your kiddos who have dry skin? Whatever the reason, our milk bath is for you. Containing shredded curls of our bars of goat milk soap, our milk bath offers all of the same benefits as our bars of goat milk soap, but is conveniently used in the bath as an all-natural bubble bath. Just like our bars of goat milk soap, our Oatmeal & Honey Milk Bath, Unscented Milk Bath, and Lavender Blossom Milk Bath are our go-to picks for dry, irritated skin.
Here’s how we suggest using our milk bath product:
- Add 1-2 handfuls of the milk bath curls to a warm bath and watch the water turn a milky white.
- Once in the bath, soak for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Gently rub your skin and allow the goat milk soap to reach all areas of your body.
- And, if you want to see something amazing, turn those jets on. Within a few moments, you will be up to your chin in suds!
No matter what scent or goat milk soap product you choose, you won’t find any chemicals, alcohols, synthetic ingredients, dyes, harsh allergens… No junk! What you will find are skincare products that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and moisturizers and leave your skin clean, soft, and supple.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Exfoliating the skin allows you to scrub away dead skin cells that have built up on the body to reveal fresher, younger looking skin. You can use a bathroom accessory (we love our All Natural Loofah Bag) or opt for a product that works double duty by exfoliating the skin AND replenishing it with rich oils (like with our non-GMO sugar scrub). The key here is to use a product that contains ingredients that are healthy for your skin to ingest.
Our collection of sugar scrubs are all made using a handful of all-natural ingredients (cane sugar, coconut oil, olive oil, honey, Vitamin E oil, and essential oils) that work with your body as it exchanges dead skin cells for nourishing oils that penetrate deep into the skin. Even more, you can use our sugar scrub over your entire body － on your arms, legs, hands, feet, even on your face － to bring new life to tired, dry skin (yes, even cracked feet!) Our sugar scrub often leaves your now hydrated skin so soft that you feel no need to use lotion after (even though we highly suggest that you don’t skip step 3 below.)
Step 3: Moisturize
Whenever you step out of the bath or shower, grab your favorite scented all-natural goat milk lotion and liberally apply it to damp skin to lock that additional hydration into your skin. Spend an extra 20 seconds during this step to ensure that the lotion is thoroughly massaged into your skin and give it a few extra minutes to dry before apply your clothes.
Folks across the US are making the switch to our goat milk lotion because it doesn’t any any chemicals, GMO oils, synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, or fillers. For many people with dry, irritated skin, find that these ingredients can cause redness, further irritation, and even breakouts. Our natural goat milk lotion is hypoallergenic, gentle, non-greasy, and will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft.And, for those who don’t shower every day, note that it’s still important to moisturize certain parts of your body on a daily basis like as your face, hands, and feet as these are typically areas that are exposed to the elements and can benefit from the added moisture. To not overuse your lotion, consider adding a lotion pump to your bottle for accurate dispensing each time you apply and consider adding a lip butter to your order to keep your lips soft, supple, and healthy.
Give it a Try!
Taking the time to deliberately implement these three steps into your skincare routine can make a world of a difference between dry, itchy skin and skin that’s soft, moisturized, and healthy. And while our goat milk soaps and other natural skincare products are not a cure for dry skin conditions, they’ve alleviated dry skin symptoms in our family as well as for hundreds of our customers, too.
Curious? Try it for yourself. We’re confident your skin will love it!