1. Eat well. Fatty acids help to maintain your skin’s natural oil barrier, so make sure you’re eating foods rich in omega 3s, such as flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon and sardines. If you find it difficult to include enough of these foods in your diet, consider a supplement. Evening primrose oil can also help to alleviate dry skin2. Stop smoking. Tobacco reduces the level of oestrogen in your body. Research also suggests that smoking can cause the early onset of menopause and make symptoms worse.
3. Be gentle. Some soaps can be harsh, stripping your skin of its natural oils and making it drier and itchier. Choose an unscented or lightly scented cleanser instead.
4. Use warm water. Hot water can be harsh on your skin and dry it out further. Use warm water
and don’t linger too long in the bath or shower.
5. Moisturise. Look out for skincare products with vitamins A and C, known for their antioxidant properties, and cream containing collagen, which can keep skin firm and younger-looking. Shea butter, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid can help too. Lots of brands offer free samples or inexpensive travelsize packs, so experiment to find something that works for you.
6. Use sunscreen. The Great British weather may not make it necessary at this time of year, but it’s worth investing in a good sun cream with UVA and UVB protection.
7. Hydrate your hair. If you suffer from a dry scalp, shampoos containing zinc or selenium can help to deal with dandruff. Dry hair may also benefit from a deep conditioner. Cutting down how often you wash your hair, blow-dry and use other moisture-stripping appliances like straighteners will help too.
8. Relax. Stress can reduce your oestrogen and thyroid hormone levels even further. Set aside some me-time or try something like yoga or t’ai chi, which can help you unwind.
9. Drink more water. It’s no good lathering moisturiser on your skin if you’re dehydrated inside. Simply making sure you’re drinking enough water can really help.
10. Talk to your GP. Other health issues can cause dry skin, such as thyroid problems, fungal infections and vitamin deficiencies. If you think you’re doing everything right but the problem persists, ask your doctor to run some tests.