At this time of year, it is very common to have problems with dryness, irritation, sensitivity and peeling of the skin. The main factors for dryness are cold, wind, pollution, very hot baths, drinking little water and the effects of facial treatments (such as the famous acid treatments ).
What is dry skin?
Dry skin is quite common; It is usually not a serious problem, and is characterized by an inadequate amount of water in the epidermis , the outermost layer of the skin. Men and women are equally affected by symptoms, but the elderly are much more likely to have dry skin. This is because the production of natural oils and lubricants tends to decrease with age.
Usually the areas where the skin becomes dry are the hands, arms, and legs . Factors such as humidity, the use of hot water in bathrooms, and hot or very cold temperatures interfere with the skin’s natural moisture.
Causes for dry skin
Most cases of dry skin are linked to where the person lives and their routine, such as:
- The climate , because, in general, the skin becomes drier during the winter, when the humidity and temperature levels drop. But the same can happen in desert regions, as temperatures rise, but humidity remains low.
- Generally artificially heated places, such as fire places with wood stoves, electric or central heaters, which reduce humidity.
- The long baths and hot water also contribute. The same happens with swimmers, because they spend a long time in water and in swimming pools, which usually have chlorine.
- The use of strong, deodorant and antibacterial soaps , as well as detergents.
- Constant exposure to air conditioning .
- Some shampoos can also cause dry scalp .
- The exposure to the sun also dry and ultraviolet rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing wrinkles and sagging deep.
But, in addition, the following health conditions can lead to dry skin:
- Aging .
- Dermatitis (eczema).
- Rough skin.
- Medicines such as diuretics.
- Metabolic changes
- Hormonal factors, as occurs in menopause , hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism.
Risk factors that dry out your skin
All people can develop dry skin at some point, but you will be more prone to this symptom if:
- Accounts with more than 40 years
- You live in a dry, cold, hot and / or low humidity place
- You work with something that requires spending a lot of time in contact with water , such as stylists
- You practice water sports in a chlorinated pool regularly
Symptoms of dry skin
Although dry skin is a symptom or condition resulting from other health or lifestyle problems, it can lead to the following concomitant symptoms:
- Skin appears hardened, especially after bathing or swimming
- Peeling and cracking, which can be mild, moderate, or severe
- Fine lines or “cracks”
- Deep cracks that can bleed
When should we go to the doctor for dry skin?
Most problems can be solved with skin care at home. However, when dry skin is severe or chronic , it may be necessary for the dermatologist to evaluate to identify the presence of other problems and treat them, or to indicate products to reduce the discomfort of dry skin according to your needs. Call your doctor if:
- The skin does not improve despite all the attention and efforts
- Dry skin is accompanied by redness
- The dryness and itching interfere with the quality of sleep
- If it has caused wounds, infections or scars
Basic questions in the consultation about dry skin
Your general practitioner can give you some information on dry skin, but is more likely to direct you to see a dermatologist.
Giving a little information and answering the doctor’s questions can aid in accurate consultation, diagnosis, and treatment . Your doctor may ask:
- What is your routine lifestyle?
- Do you have other symptoms besides dry skin?
- Are the symptoms chronic or occasional?
- Is there something that makes your skin better? What?
- Is there something that makes it worse?
- What medications are you currently using or have you recently stopped taking?
- How often do you stay in contact with water? What soaps and shampoos do you use? Do you bathe with hot water?
- Do you use moisturizers? Which? How often?
Remember to always clarify all your doubts with the doctor. Take note so that nothing important is forgotten, and do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions at the time of the consultation. Some questions that can help you better understand are:
- What is probably causing my skin to dry out?
- Are there other possible causes of my symptoms? Which ones?
- Do I have to get tested?
- Do I need treatment or is the problem likely to resolve itself?
Dry skin prevention
It is possible to prevent dry skin in most cases by avoiding harsh soaps , which irritate the skin, and by using good moisturizers . These moisturizers should be chosen based on your skin type, the place where you will apply them and your lifestyle. Always look for creams with urea.
Choosing a good shower gel is essential to prevent our skin from looking dry or with other problems. Keep in mind that it is a product that you use every day when showering, so we must be more careful with it. We recommend that you use a sulfate-free gel that contains the least chemical ingredients possible, such as Dalire’s bath gel ; a brand that makes many products with the aim of caring for our health and the environment.
What happens when you do acid treatments?
The use of retinoic acid can cause sensitivity to the skin, leaving it red and thick . At the beginning of this retinoid treatment, the skin shows an increased hyper-reactive sensitivity and, over time, it becomes stronger and begins to tolerate other ingredients more.
But if these symptoms persist for several weeks or worsen, it is advisable to discontinue use and seek a specialist.
Natural solutions to hydrate the skin
To improve skin hydration , moisturizers are our allies. But industrialized moisturizers are not always effective. In this case, it is interesting to try some very effective natural treatments to ensure smooth, fresh and radiant skin.
- Eat a diet rich in foods with vitamins, minerals and proteins , especially vitamins A , C, E and the B complex;
- Make homemade masks with fruits such as banana, avocado, grape, babassu, and papaya. You prepare them by crushing them and applying them to the skin for twenty minutes;
- Take quick hot baths and use neutral or natural soaps;
- Maintain weekly exfoliation and daily hydration , and use sunscreen ;
- The aloe vera have numerous properties , including healing, antibacterial and anti – inflammatory, so it is especially useful in the treatment of acne , preventing the skin from drying products. You can also apply its gel as a hydrating mask;
- The almond oil is already well known in the cosmetic universe. Promotes hydration and nutrition;
- The coconut oil creates a barrier that retains moisture in the skin, keeping hydrated; it also protects from the sun, being a natural sunscreen, and protects the skin from the effects of sea water;
- The evening primrose oil is used for treating skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. It is great to hydrate;
- Roses are also widely used in the cosmetic industry for various purposes, but a key that can be obtained with the rosewater is regeneration and moisture retention;
- The olive oil moisturizes dry cuticles , does wonders hands and elbows, removes makeup, quiet and treats dry skin diseases such as itching all over the body. When the skin is very dry, you can rub a thin layer of organic or extra virgin olive oil before your moisturizer for an extra dose of antioxidants and good fatty acids.
Natural moisturizing recipe with coconut oil for dry skin
Nothing replaces the smoothness of homemade beauty products. They are also 100% free of harmful chemicals.
For this recipe you need:
- Coconut oil. It is very effective in hydrating the skin; it is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E that nourish the skin. Coconut oil also contains antibacterial properties and antifungal substances, which makes it a skin protection agent.
- Honey . It has nourishing and moisturizing properties.
- Lavender essential oil. The lavender essential oil is an antiseptic and healing excellent, and can be used in burns, wounds, bites, dermatitis and any inflammation of the skin. Helps soothe the skin. Learn more about essential oils .
- Ylang ylang essential oil (optional). Ylang ylang essential oil softens and hydrates the skin.
Instructions for preparation:
- First, if the coconut oil is hard, in the form of a paste, melt 2 tablespoons and mix it with 4 drops of lavender essential oil, one teaspoon of honey, and 2 drops of ylang ylang essential oil.
- Mix well and place in a small saucepan with a lid.
- Refrigerate and soon it will be ready for use. You can use this mixture on your face and body. The durability of this moisturizer is around 3 weeks.
Creams that soothe dry and sensitive skin
If you are doing any acid treatment on your skin, it is essential to use some creams that help improve sensitivity and dryness. Here are some tips:
- Thermal water : Acid treatments and laser peels leave the skin beautiful and luminous, but the recovery process is not always the easiest. A little bit of thermal water spray throughout the day helps soothe burning and redness. More information about thermal water .
- Enydrial Roc : Combines soothing natural ingredients that work to relax the skin and strengthen its natural defenses, reducing any sensation of irritation. It is indicated for the hydration of sensitive or sensitized skin by external agents, such as excessive exposure to the sun, cold and dry weather.
- Avene Eau Thermale Soothing Antirougeurs Fort : Fort Antirougeurs is a soothing moisturizer for sensitive skin. It has a complex of soothing active ingredients that soothes and protects the skin from external aggressions, providing comfort and immediate relief. It has natural extract of Ruscus aculeatus, which has a calming action.
- Rosaliac Intense Air La Roche Posay : It is a powerful plant extract rich in polyphenols to reduce the size of blood vessels and strengthen the walls. It has a soothing asset to reduce the appearance of redness; it is decongestant and anti irritant. It can be used with La Roche Posay thermal spring water. No preservatives, no alcohol, no perfume.
- Physiogel with soothing action for dry skin : It is a moisturizing cream for daily use and suitable for extremely dry, irritated and reactive skin. Enriched with nutrients, it soothes and relieves itching and redness associated with the alteration of the skin barrier, characteristic of dry skin, restoring your comfort and well-being.
Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.