Dry skin? 3 essential pieces of advice you should know
Pulling sensations, lack of suppleness, flaking, «snakeskin» effect… Having dry to very dry skin can result in quite a lot of inconvenient consequences in your daily life. Why is that? Poorly nourished, the skin is not acting as an effective barrier anymore, and it more easily loses its hydration.
Discover our 3 essential pieces of advice you need to know in order to better understand your dry skin and how to properly address the discomfort associated with it!
1. Why do we have dry skin?
Healthy skin is naturally protected by the hydrolipidic film, mostly made of water and lipids (sebum). Waterproof, the film protects the skin of external aggression and limits water loss.
However, when the superior layer of the skin is not properly balanced in water and lipids, it can no longer efficiently play its role, and therefore loses its hydration and can become uncomfortable at various degrees.
Several factors can cause dry skin:
- The cold and the wind
- Being in contact with irritating products
- Tobacco smoking
- The over-consumption of alcohol
- Showers or baths too long/ too hot
- Certain types of medicine
2. Who is concerned by this?
Some people are born with dry skin, which is part of their genetic heritage, for others, having dry skin can be caused by external factors such as the environment, the climate, or allergies, as stated above.
However it is important to know that your skin changes as you get older! For instance, children typically have drier skin, the skin becomes oilier during puberty, and dries out as you get older (sebaceous and sweat glands become less functional). As a result, it is completely normal to observe your skin getting dryer as you get older!
3. I have dry skin, what should I do?
A continuous discomfort must make you go and see your GP or pharmacist, who will be able to clinically diagnose dry or dehydrated skin. If your skin suddenly becomes dry, then you should maybe ask yourself what the triggering factor was: a change in the environment (different places of work, an activity that may dry out the skin such as swimming in a pool, or the use of a different soap for instance), a disease, a medical treatment, etc. If there is a responsible factor, you should try and correct it corrected as efficiently as possible.
The daily life
Besides the discomfort, a dry skin facilitates the penetration of irritating agents or allergens. That is why it is so important to keep your skin as hydrated as you can!
A few tips to keep your skin hydrated:
- Apply a hydrating cream or moisturizer every day, ideally twice a day, which should be as nourishing as the skin is dry
- Drink enough water (1.5L a day)
- Carefully choose your hygiene and care products, so that they’re not aggressive to your skin
- Try and avoid overheated, contained places.
Wash your face once or twice a day with a gentle cleanser that will not alter the cutaneous barrier. Then, dry your skin by gently patting it, without rubbing.
Morning and evening, on clean dry skin, gently apply a hydrating cream to soothe pulling sensations and protect the skin from external aggression. Eventually, remember to properly nourish your face and body with adapted skincare.