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Wintery dry skin is in the horizon. Here’s how to keep dry skin at bay.

Why combat dry skin?

Dry skin is uncomfortable It is a bad barrier against the elements and microbes, and will not do a good job of keeping your body from losing water to the environment. Dry skin is an  “entry” point to wrinkles, and will make the existing ones more noticeable.

How NOT to combat dry skin.

1) Don’t remove most of the epidermis with strong acid peels or dermabrasion or whatever methods is suggested to give you “glow”. The glow will be from an inflamed epidermis that has lost its capacity to do its job as skin barrier. Do you really think that a cream sold in a store can “replace”  healthy skin? No.

2) Don’t use gimmicky “home devices” that promise you young, glowy and healthy skin, “guaranteed” by the FDA. The FDA does not guarantee that a device will do the job it promises to do.  Ignore those lies. These devices deliver sound, light or heat or all three, and all they can do is heat up the skin, inflaming it and making it look tight. Yes, inflammation will make the skin look tight (and age faster, develop hyperpigmentation and wrinkles).

3) Don’t use skin “care” products that irritate your skin, telling you that your skin has to hurt before it can look better. More lies.

4) Don’t use products like this. You may be allergic to lanolin or the fragrances. The irritation will actually break your skin barrier, and then you will apply more product and you will get worse. There is no such thing as “you have to get used to it”, you will not get used to it and visits to the dermatologist will ensue.

Channoine Deep Hydrating Comfort Treatment (this is a Dutch brand that passes itself as fancy)

Water (Aqua), Caprylic/Capric Trigylceride, Mineral Oil, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Polybutene, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Jojoba Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Dimethicone, Shea Butter, Cocoglycerides, Lanolin, Phenoxyethanol, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Panthenol, Honey, Glyceryl Linolenate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Linoleate, Propylene Glycol, Fragrance, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate, Crosspolymer, Maltodextrin, Methylparaben, PEG 8, Peanut Oil, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, BHT

What can you do?

Use a creamy or oily skin cleanser instead of one that contains alcohol (actually, never use never use alcohols like ethanol or what is called denatured alcohol on your skin!). These two cleansers from Skin Actives are excellent.

If your skin feels dry, tight and uncomfortable, use every lipid serum. It will contribute valuable lipids to your skin, including essential fatty acids and other fatty acids that your skin can use to make its own barrier.

For your hands

You may need a more occlusive product, or you can add some petrolatum (get it in the supermarket for $2 for half a pound) to your fancy Skin Actives anti-age or Vitamin A cream. Your hands suffer from all that washing and disinfectant. If the dryness does not go away, check the products you are using on them for allergens. Some of the standards products use for disinfection may be allergenic and you may need an alternative.

Remember that the skin of your hands ages even faster than your face so be nice to them. And, of course, always be nice to yourself, from toes to hair.

If you are

A chef, a nurse or a doctor, work on a ship, fly a lot, etc., your skin will be dry all year long, or at least your hands will be, so be extra careful.

Let’s think outside the box

As we age, dry skin will become a more persistent problem. Is there anything that can be done about it? Yes. Yu need to prevent or at least slow down  the “natural” thinning of the skin. Please see my bog post about the subject.

Why is old skin so thin?





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