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Dry to Very Dry Skin

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To learn more about dry to very dry skin, explore responses from dermatologists and allergists to questions submitted by internet users during chat sessions organised by Bioderma.

An internet user’s question

Does cold weather aggravate dry skin?

Cold and dry weather causes skin dryness and a loss of the protective surface oils. Therefore, avoid stripping the epidermis by washing too often or by using harsh products, and use a regular emollient.

An internet user’s question

Does diet play a role in skin dryness?

I think that diet is extremely important for the skin like for the rest of the body. Simply give it everything it needs: water, vitamins, trace elements, minerals, proteins, essential fatty acids, etc. All this can be found in a healthy and balanced diet. There is no need to supplement a balanced diet. It could even be dangerous to give a normally fed body too many vitamins. However, in the winter, when the skin is dry, the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as omega-3 and -6 fatty acids improves the skin’s quality.

An internet user’s question

How can I prevent cracked heels?

Use a very rich cream every night and use a pumice stone after each bath.

An internet user’s question

How can I prevent cracked heels?

Use a very rich cream every night and use a pumice stone after each bath.

An internet user’s question

How should I treat very, very dry feet?

That’s an everyday battle, because it’s a genetic predisposition! Pumice them once or twice a week and moisturise them once or twice a day with specific foot moisturising and stripping products made with urea. Wearing socks right after applying the cream increases its efficacy. Avoid walking with bare feet – it intensifies the dryness. To avoid calluses, which cause painful heel cracks, pumice and moisturise your feet!

When you use professional colouring products, you should put on gloves as often as possible. If you are allergic to latex, use vinyl gloves (surgical gloves). In addition, moisturise your hands with a very rich cream every two hours whenever not at work.

It all depends on the skin type. In general, if you have dry skin, cleanse with a mild product in the morning and evening (either a cleansing cream, a milk or a micellar solution). Apply a moisturising cream in the morning and evening and possibly sun protection, if you are exposed to the sun. Moisture and sun protection are the bases of skin care.

The use of water alone dries rather than moisturises the skin. You can mist water onto your skin but you then need to quickly apply a hydrolipidic cream to retain the water in the horny layer. Otherwise, it will increase the evaporation of water and you will obtain the opposite effect of what you were looking for.

To cleanse your skin, use liquid or solid syndets or cleansing oils. Moisturise your body once or twice a day with ultra-rich moisturising lotions or balms. Don’t hesitate to use products for atopic skin. These products are perfectly suitable for children, except for those with high urea concentrations, but the product’s packaging will indicate this. For itching sensations, some milks contain vitamin PP or Nicotinamide which has a calming effect on the skin (for example, Atoderm PP Baume).

Cleansing isn’t enough. You need to moisturise your skin once or twice a day. Pharmacies and health and beauty stores sell enriched moisturising lotions that are extremely well formulated for your skin type. It will certainly be more cosmetic than paraffin oil. If you like thick products, use “water in oil” solutions, which are oilier and will remind you of paraffin.

There aren’t many solutions, but I can give you some advice. Don’t wash your hands too often. Moisturise them as often as possible with specific creams and, at night, if you are not planning to touch anything else, apply a thick layer of an ultra-rich healing cream, for example in front of TV or in bed. Wear soft gloves during the day and protective gloves when doing dishes. Just common sense.

Water alone will not moisturise the skin. You also need to consume fats of plant or animal origin (preferably fish) that contain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Prefer plant products such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, canola oils, olive oils and fish oils. Water is an essential element and I recommend that you drink at least one litre of water per day.

An internet user’s question

Is soap harsh on dry skin?

Soap is indeed aggressive for dry skin. Soap is an aggressive detergent because it has an alkaline pH while the skin has an acid pH. It will destroy the surface hydrolipidic film and cause dry skin. Cleansing agents need to respect the skin’s pH which is 5.5 on average. So, you should choose soap-free, solid (syndet) or liquid (gel) soaps, cleansing oils, cleansing lotions and micellar solutions. Dermo-cosmetic laboratories make all kinds of cleansers tailored to all needs. To find out if the cleansing product you use is tailored to dry skin, simply listen to your skin. If it doesn’t feel tight after cleansing, then it’s fine!

Dry skin is often thin, rough, coarse, desquamating and covered with small wrinkles. These signs worsen with the cold and wind. Dry skin and some oily skin can be sensitive. Sensitive skin causes sensations of tightness and stinging with frequent redness. These are skin types that are not very tolerant and that quickly become inflamed.

If you itch it is because you have not been treating your skin properly, which is why it is now rebelling. Try to wash a little less often and more quickly, using a mild soap. Also, moisturise your legs with a rich cream morning and night.

There are several types of moisturisers but the ideal composition is a combination of lipids: ceramide, cholesterol and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The moisturising products for dry skin sold by major dermo-cosmetic laboratories all contain this winning trio and each add other optional moisturising and anti-irritating agents.

Some neutral products enriched with moisturising agents that are sold in supermarkets are quite good. Listen to the way your skin feels after you take a shower. If your skin doesn’t feel tight after you wash it, then the product is good for you!

If a cream stings, stop using it. Don’t hesitate to change products and ask your pharmacist for a neutral, fragrance-free moisturising cream. The more active substances a cream contains, the greater the risk of it stinging. Stick to creams with an alkaline pH. Don’t necessarily use organic creams since they sometimes contain essential oils and plant oils etc. and can sting more.

Indeed, the pores are tighter when it is cold out and the sweat glands secrete less than when it is hot. The skin has heat sensors that enable it to adapt sweat and sebaceous secretions to the temperature.

First of all because cold weather is irritating. Secondly, maybe you are extremely sensitive to the cold, which causes itching. Try to moisturise your skin once or twice a day. In the summer, it all depends on the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. The more humid and hotter it is outside, the more moisturised the skin will be. But when the weather is hot and dry, a lot of water in the skin evaporates and the skin is dry.