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Dry Skin and Cracked lips in Summers {Reader's Query}

Posted Jun 01 2011 2:30pm
Dry Skin and Cracked Lips in Summers are a very unusual occurrence and can be due to the nutritional deficiencies in the body, especially of B-complex Vitamins. So, my first advise would be bring a change in your diet. Eat a lot of Vitamin E (almonds and other dry fruits, take care while eating cashew nuts coz they are high in cholesterol too). If you are a non-vegetarian, then eating fish in huge quantities would be good because it is high in B-complex vitamins. Replace your chicken with fish and other seafood. And, for egg-eatarians, eggs are extremely healthy and rich in B-complex vitamins. Now, coming to vegetarians, don't despair. You too have a lot of choices - cereals, milk and other dairy products, pulses and vegetables.

Now, the most important part of the diet which is often over-looked. Salads. Make a colorful salad everyday and add seeds (lots and lots of them) - flax seeds (which probably are not available in India), sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, papaya seeds and all the other seeds which are available. Seeds have all kinds of minerals and vitamins and you can use them in almost everything from salads to curries and desserts. Seeds and Nuts have essential fatty acids which make the skin soft and supple from inside. So, gorge on them.

Now, let us talk a little about skin care routine. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize is something you have heard a lot about. So, use skin care products which are suitable to your skin type.Or, otherwise, you might want to go for besan + milk for a cleanser as an alternative (definitely use it at night). Another alternative is Episoft cleanser. Ask for it in the pharmacy. It is a little difficult to get but the Apollo people generally get it for you. If you are unable to get it, the next best option is Cetaphil cleanser which is available very easily. These cleansers are extremely gentle on the skin and clean it without drying it.Now, let us talk about a toner. Stay away from alcohol toners in case you are using them. Read the ingredients of your skin products and chuck out all those which have anything saying ethyl alcohol or denat alcohol. But, do not chuck out product having cetyl alcohol. Only ethyl and denat alcohol dry the skin. All others are useful for cleansing process. Or, you can simply use rose water.Moisturizer is a little tricky coz not all moisturizers suit us so I can recommend Cetaphil moisturizer. I haven't tried it but have heard rave reviews about it so you can give it a try or use something which already suits you.
Apart from the CTM routine, one thing which should not be neglected is exfoliation. Yes, you should exfoliate regularly even if your skin is dry. Twice a week with a gentle exfoliator is good idea. Natural apricot scrubs are a good option or using besan is also another good option. They are gentle and would not harm the skin. And, moisturize repeatedly. Buy a good body lotion which is thick enough like probably Nivea classic might suit you or some other intensive body lotion. Do not have a bath in extremely hot water.
Another good option is oil massage for the body using almond oil or coconut oil or sesame oil once or twice a week. That will moisturize the body very well and also simultaneously exfoliate your skin. Oil is a very good option for removing the flaky skin which is generally a reason for dry skin. Also, while massaging your body, be sure to apply oil in the belly button as it is somehow magically linked to soft lips.
Coming to cracked lips, exfoliate twice a week using the tooth brush or this lip scrub . And, always use a lip balm. Well, I would say don't go for vaseline but go for shea butter or cocoa butter based lip balms. If you are able to find them, well and good. Otherwise, a simple nightly treatment for your lips is to apply a tablet of Evion (Vitamin E) daily on your lips and massage them. Also, include your face in this treatment.
Coming to health reasons, now, you might have naturally a very dry skin for which you can actually visit a dermatologist. The doc will get a few blood tests done and probably would be able to tell you even without the blood tests what is wrong with your skin. So, in case, all the above treatments don't work, go to a dermatologist in 2-3 weeks time. Don't ignore.
And, don't forget, hot temperatures and extreme humidity can also cause dryness of the skin so always keep your skin hydrated from the inside.  
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