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managing dry skin

How to manage dry skin

Are you noticing seasonal changes in your skin? If so, you are not alone! Here are a few simple adjustments to your daily skin routine to ensure skin feels smooth and soft.

Strategies for Dry Skin

Skip long hot showers and long hot baths:
Hot water has shown to strip oils from the skin quicker than warm water; hence limiting these to a single 5 or 10 minute session, once daily, will help your skin replenish its natural oils.

Use a gentle cleanser:
The cleanser you choose in fact creates the foundation of your daily skin routine. Keeping this in mind, choose a cleanser that is gentle and free of known allergens and irritants. Harsh ingredients that should be avoided include fragrances, dyes, and sulphates. Sourcing a cleanser that is ph balanced is recommended.

Avoid Harsh Scrubbing:
The notion that you need to “scrub” in order to clean your skin is wrong. Friction strips the skin while accelerating the signs of dryness.

Washing with your hands in a circular motion, or using soft facecloth are the best approach. Chantal Ward, RN, and Medical Aesthetic Industry Consultant suggests using facecloths that are indicated for infants:

“Baby facecloths are gentle, inexpensive and won’t create excessive laundry.” Ms. Ward goes on to say “Be sure to double rinse after you have cleansed to ensure all traces of your cleanser have been removed.”

Moisturize immediately after cleansing
It is best to apply moisturizer while skin is still moist. Gently pat your skin with a
towel, leaving it slightly damp. Apply a moisturizer within 3-5 minutes of washing to lock the moisture in.

Add Humidity to your living/working environment
As temperatures drop, so do humidity levels, leaving air in your space dry and ultimately, skin feeling parched.
“With the cooler weather, we see more patients coming in complaining of dry itchy skin,” says Dr. Jason K Rivers, Dermatologist, Riversol MD Founder and President of the Canadian Acne and Rosacea Society.

Installing a humidifier in your home will help keep air most and balmy. Constant humidity between 45-55% with temperatures at roughly 68-69 Degree Fahrenheit should help.

When to see a Doctor for Dry Skin

Skin professionals have a rule of thumb: Try at-home treatments such as moisturizers, humidifiers and changing-up your cleansers for two weeks. If these have not helped with dryness, its time to book an appointment.

Other signs that suggest you should see a medical professional include:

  • Sudden onset of dry skin.
  • Sudden onset of itchiness.
  • Sever cracking, swelling, bleeding or oozing.
  • Onset of dryness when you have other medical conditions like poor blood circulation or diabetes.

Ignoring skin changes can have consequences, especially for those who have long-term health conditions. A Doctor can assure you of the best treatment in these situations.

Create a Barrier before going out in the cold.
Protect hands, cheeks and forehead with gloves, hat and a scarf as wind and cold temperatures are extremely dehydrating.

For Lips, a protective balm provides a buffer between the skin and weather extremes. Most contain a moisturizing ingredient such as petroleum, shea butter or lanolin to help prevent water loss.

“Lips heal better when moist” says Chantal Ward, RN. “I suggest wearing an emollient balm or ointment rather than a waxy stick. The goal is to get the extra hydration while creating a barrier to seal cracks in the lips, avoid further irritation and possible infection.”

Camphor and menthol in medicated lip balms act as mild anesthetic and are soothing, providing a cool tingle that also feels refreshing.