As the most widespread skin type in the northern hemisphere, dry skin can be dull, but it is usually distinguished by its finesse and beauty. Appearing even, with no visible pores, it could almost be the ideal type if it didn’t usually feel tight and uncomfortable. Tiny dehydration lines appear in the finest areas – around the eyes, mouth and sometimes cheekbones – and the skin looks rough over the entire face. In winter, it can chap and even bleed.
Exposure to cold and sun, repeated contact with hard water, a diet that is poor in essential fatty acids, and the use of inappropriate cosmetics aggravate this dryness and its unpleasant manifestations. But there is no reason to give up. All it takes are a few simple steps to put an end to that taught, uncomfortable feeling. Here are a few tips that will help you reestablish long-lasting comfort and preserve your skin barriers.
Above all, it is important to adapt the way you bathe or shower.
Start by closing the bathroom door to benefit from the humidity in the room. Never spend more than 5 to 10 minutes in the tub or shower, to minimize contact with hard water (yes, it’s sometimes complicated when the conditioning cream has to set!). Preferably use warm water instead of hot, and mild washing products instead of alkaline soaps that can irritate the skin and alter its microbiota. Finally, dry your skin gently.
Immediately apply your moisturizer on skin that is still damp. Do the same whenever you wash your face or hands.
Opt for moisturizing milk creams or moisturizing lotions.
Always carry hand cream and your lip balm or stick and apply as often as necessary.
Wear cotton gloves under rubber gloves if you need to put your hands in water and remember to protect them from exposure to cold.
Avoid direct exposure to sources of heat, like fireplaces, for instance.
If your home has an air humidifier, set it on 60% humidity. Otherwise, bowls of water placed on your radiators will work just fine.
Shaving can irritate the skin. The best time to do it is right after a bath or shower: the hair is more supple and easier to remove. It is best to systematically use new blades and shaving cream or gel and shave hair in the direction of its growth. However, if you must reuse a blade, dip it quickly in alcohol to clean it before using.
Avoid harsh toners, exfoliating products and alcohol-based astringents. If you scrub your skin using a mechanical scrubber, do not scrub too hard or too long.
In the event of itchiness, do not scratch your skin, apply an emollient instead.
Avoid washing clothes in scented or harsh detergents.
Protect your skin from the sun with a photo-protector that is adapted to your phototype and type of sunlight.
These tips should help you preserve your skin health.