Since environmental factors contribute to dryness and other roughness-causing conditions, you can make lifestyle choices that prevent scaly skin. Here are a few to try:
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible, and load up on sunscreen each and every day. Ultraviolet radiation dries out your skin and impairs collagen and elastin, the connective tissues that keep the skin smooth and supple [source: Mayo Clinic].
- Take extra care of your skin during the winter, when humidity levels plunge and leave your skin parched. Keep the air in your home moist with a humidifier [source: Watson].
- Choose a mild, non-foaming, soap-free cleanser that doesn't contain fragrance, alcohol or antibacterial chemicals such as triclosan. Bar soaps and harsh face washes strip away the skin's natural oils [source: Wu]. They can also trigger flare-ups in people with eczema or rosacea.
- Use tepid water to wash your face, and avoid long baths and showers. Hot water breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin [source: American Skin Association].
- Make sure you're eating enough healthy fats, especially if you're dieting. The skin requires essential fatty acids to maintain hydration, and your body can't produce them on its own. [source: O'Neill]. Good (and tasty) sources include olive oil, salmon, avocadoes and nuts.
- If you're feeling stressed out, try to relax with exercise, meditation, deep breathing or massage therapy. Stress is known to aggravate psoriasis, rosacea and eczema [source: WebMD].