In this post, I discuss why keeping dry skin happy is one of my favorite mental health hacks. Then I show you my favorite ways to do it.
Why Dry Skin is a Mental Health Foe
I am convinced that extremely dry skin is a mental health issue.
Why? Because it hurts!
It leads to bleeding knuckles for goodness sake!
Is there any symptom more motivating than blood loss, I ask you? Absolutely not.
Pain is actually a very helpful thing. It alerts us when our body is in trouble, hurting, or damaged. Therefore, painfully dry skin is actually a signal that something is wrong. A part of our brain hears something like this:
PAIN! SOMETHING IS WRONG! ALERT! DAMAGE IMPENDING! [actual transcript of my skin]
In the past when I had mega itchy skin, and these signals were flying all over, I would just ignore it. Amazingly, my body just got drier. This continued until my skin felt like it was no longer sufficient to cover my organs. Sooo painful. Yet somehow I remained mystified as to why I “felt bad.”
One day, I did something truly crazy. I hydrated my skin. Heavily. An entire bottle of olive oil may have disappeared. And you know what? It felt AH-MAY-ZING. And now I’m never going back to the land of dry cracked lips.
Keeping Skin Happy Feels Amazing Inside and Out
My vision of mental health is feeling GOOD. I want to feel peaceful, vibrant, and well. These days, nothing makes me feel all glowy and positive faster than tending to angry skin. Why? When I tend to my painfully dry skin, I prove to myself that I can overcome any assaults to my wellbeing.
When I tend to my painfully dry skin, I prove to myself that I can overcome any assaults to my wellbeing.
And it just feels great too. So not only is skin hydration some much-needed body love and kind maintenance, it is a physical signal of care and love sent to my nervous system and brain. What could be more lovely than that?
Ten Dry skin cures to improve mental health
I highly encourage you to pamper yourself this week with some skin hydration hacks. Here are my favorite ways to do it! I’ve listed these in order of craziness.
10. moisturize in the morning
9. Drink more water with each Sip
I used to take one sip, then put my glass back down. Now I go for gold! For example, I’ll take 8 small gulps at once. Each is about one ounce. Just like that there’s 8oz of fresh water in my body. Try taking on a greater challenge each time you pick up your cup. Your innards will thank you. This also works great with herbal tea and infused water!
8. only remoisturize 1-2 more times a day
Do you slather on lotion constantly? I find when I do this I am treating symptoms instead of the root cause. So I try not to treat dry hands and lips with lotion and lip balm more than 1-2 extra times a day. Instead I do it by drinking more water, and feeling the difference. Allow the dryness to be a signal to drink more water.
7. be sure to eat enough salt
Your body is constantly regulating the balance between water and salt. Use your cravings as a guide. If you just KEEP DRINKING WATER and STILL FEEL DEHYDRATED, you probably need a little salt, my friend. Trust your gut. Literally.
6. Shower with homemade body wash
If you figure out what your skin needs (maybe peppermint for dandruff or vitamin E for elasticity), you can make my own body wash with those ingredients. I do! The one I make contains Pure Castile soap from Dr. Bronner, Honey, Sesame oil, Vitamin E, and Orange essential oil. The recipe I use is here on DIY Natural.
5. Lotion your skin post-shower
This locks in moisture for days, trust me. It just feels so amazing mentally to pamper yourself this way too! Let it dry while you listen to something soothing. Then adorn pajamas for a comfy evening!
4. Stop soaping all of the time
When you shower with soap, you’re washing away your body’s natural oils, along with other things you might want to get rid of. Try not soaping your entire body every day. Try washing only your naughty bits in between showers. And dry shampoo. I’m actually in love with dry shampoo.
3. Marinate your entire body in oil
Emergency! I do this when I’m seriously in skin distress. If you’ve ever been outside on a super cold dry day, you know what I’m talking about. Grab a bottle of olive oil, coconut oil, an avocado, or a bunch of fresh aloe. Head to the bathroom and turn on the hot steamy shower. Put on some music and light a candle for ambiance: its time to rub that stuff all over your skin! It SERIOUSLY feels like my skin is drinking water when I do this. Ahhhh…. Chill out for awhile in the spa-like atmosphere, until you’re ready to rinse it off.
2. Use natural products
It is becoming greater public knowledge that many companies put additives into their products that cause a negative cycle of dependence. That is, their products contain ingredients that actually damage your body. For example, some products are intentionally designed to make your skin immediately moist, but then much DRIER after several hours. This prompts you to use the product more, and thus to need to buy another bottle. This makes me so angry I have to stop talking about it now. If I don’t know what the ingredients are in something, I honestly don’t trust it. Try organic companies who don’t advertise. I like: Nature’s Gate, local goat milk lotion (life changing!), and good ol’ coconut oil. You can also look up your products on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. It is fun and revealing!
1. Mist your skin like a movie star
BONUS: Also pee
Finally, a reminder. Don’t wait until your kidneys hurt to pee! Listen to that innate bladder signal. Peeing is good. Urination is normal. It is a badge of honor to have clear, un-smelly pee. And bonus! Peeing when needed alleviates unnecessary pain. This in turn increases mental well being (any time of year).
Go forth and pamper!
Thank you for reading! I hope these inspire you to nourish your mind and crackly skin. Healthy skin for the win!
Products in this Post
Pure Castile Soap
Essential Oil Starter Pack
Essential oil relaxation pack