We know from first-hand experience how irritating dry skin and eczema can be. These are our favourite skincare products for dry skin
What causes dry skin?
Dry skin can be caused by a number of things such as:
Soap and detergent - the skin secretes sebum, natural oils that help to prevent your skin from drying out. When you wash your hands, these oils will also be washed off, which can cause you hands to become dry, sore or irritated. Frequent hand washing can cause contact dermatitis, which develops as a result of exposure to an irritant such as soap. When the skin is damaged like this, it can become less effective as a barrier to prevent infection so although it is important to wash your hands, it is also important to look after your hands after you've washed them.
Very hot or cold weather - hot weather can cause your skin to become dehydrated while in cold weather humidity is low which will also dry out our skin.
Hot water - just as how hot water helps to remove fat and oils from our dishes it will also strip our skin the natural lipids on its surface. These lipids are important for protecting the skin.
How can I prevent dry skin?
Use gloves when washing up - washing up liquid/dish detergent can be very harsh on the skin as it is designed to be able to remove thick layers of grease on dishes. The chemicals in washing up liquid are not designed to be used to wash hands so they can cause irritation. It is therefore important to wear gloves whilst washing up. Rubber washing up gloves should only be used for a short period of time as they are not breathable, which can cause a build-up of sweat which can cause worsen the irritation.
Use soap designed for dry hands - find a mild, fragrance-free soap. Like soap, perfumes used as a fragrance can be irritating and cause contact dermatitis so important to make sure that the hand wash you use does not contain any fragrance to reduce irritation as much as possible. It would be best if you looked for a soap designed specifically for dry hands which will include ingredients to moisturise the skin and prevent soreness.
Reduce the temperature of your shower - Taking a scorching hot shower can cause skin irritation and strip the oils from your skin.
Dry your hands thoroughly - After washing your hands or taking a shower, it is crucial to make sure you properly dry your skin. If you don't dry your skin, the water will have a drying effect as it will strip the skins natural oil when it evaporates. Leaving your skin moist can also provide a good environment for bacteria to multiply
Treating dry skin
The best way to dry hands is to use a fragrance-free moisturising cream. You should use a moisturising cream every time you wash and dry your hands. You can also carry travel size cream with you when you're out.
What moisturisers do we recommend to prevent/treat dry skin:
The Avene XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cream can restore the skin's barrier and soothe itching sensations caused by skin dryness as well as preserving the skin flora (good bacteria on the skin that can prevent bad bacteria and reduce infections). Most other moisturisers and skin care products contain preservatives which are often alcohol-based which will dry out the skin further. These can irritate dry skin and eczema. This cream does not contain any preservatives and is kept fresh by a unique nozzle that prevents air from getting inside the tube.
The CeraVe Moisturising Cream provides all-day hydration for dry skin and is specifically formulated to moisturise sensitive skin that is dry. It moisturises the protective skin barrier of the hands. It is formulated with 3 essential ceramides (lipids naturally produced by the skin) & hyaluronic acid, this cream supports the skin barrier and moisture. As with the Avene XeraCalm, the CeraVe Moisturising Cream is not formulated with fragrances so it is perfect for dry skin.
Sukin is a natural, vegan skincare brand. The Hydrating Day Cream contains a powerful blend of Rosehip Oil infused with antioxidant-rich Pomegranate to help relieve dehydrated skin. Infused with the Australian Indigenous super-fruit Kakadu Plum which is naturally rich in Vitamin C, this rich cream encourages skin radiance, while a generous blend of active botanicals help improve the texture of the skin and leaves skin feeling smooth and hydrated.
What cleansers do we recommend to prevent/treat dry skin:
Cleansing removes pollution, bacteria, dead skin cells, dirt and makeup from the surface of the skin which can make their way into the pores and cause inflammation.
A hydrating and soothing facial cleansing lotion has been specifically formulated for sensitive facial skin that is normal to dry and prone to irritation and can even be used for eczema. It will not cause irritation or dryness. The CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is soap-free which is important for dry skin as it won't strip your skins protective barrier but still gently removes dirt and oil. It also contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid which are naturally found on your skin and help keep it moisturised.
When dealing with dry skin it is important to avoid harsh, overly-stripping chemicals. The cleansing agents in this oil are selected for optimal tolerance and are soap-free, alcohol-free, and paraben-free.
Although very irritating and uncomfortable, dry skin is not usually a serious condition however, if irritation persists despite your efforts to prevent it, please see a doctor.