November 21, 2022 3 min read
Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise – rehydration is key to keeping dry skin conditions under control. But how often should you lather on the lotion? We ask Selene Daly, Registered Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Dermatology
At this time of year, when the nights draw in and the heating gets turned up in our home, office and car, skin needs a bit of extra attention to stay in tip-top condition, particularly if you are prone to dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Cold weather is not necessarily a bad thing for our skin. The crisp coldness of the Northern Hemisphere stimulates blood flow and puts a rosy glow on our faces. But cold combined with damp, as in typical Irish winter weather, sucks the moisture out of our skin and leaves it dehydrated.
Prepared for the assault of cold, damp weather over the winter season by reviewing your skincare products. They should all work together in order to provide head-to-toe protection. They should also be free of soap, fragrance, dyes, preservatives and other chemical nasties which can trigger irritant reactions.
How to minimise loss of moisture and natural skin oils
Start from the top by using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, followed by a mild body wash or gel. Your shower or bath water should be warm rather than hot, and try to keep to 10 minutes max to minimise loss of moisture and natural oils from the skin. Pat dry, apply any prescribed medications, then moisturise well with a body lotion or emollient.
Moisturise first thing in the morning, at lunchtime (if you can nip into the bathroom at work) and last thing at night. You might prefer to use a lighter moisturiser during the day and a thicker, greasier emollient to rehydrate skin overnight. Send an emollient to creche with your child if they suffer from dry skin. If your child is older, make sure they moisturise when they come in from school.
It is helpful to reduce the temperature of home heating. In the 80s the average temperature in Irish homes was 10C. When the fire went out, radiators lost heat, and we all went to bed swathed in layers of pjs and blankets. The enemies of eczema – hot water bottles and electric blankets – were hugely popular.
Today, our homes benefit from superior insulation and sustainable heating methods which means they tend to stay warmer most of the time. However, we can still adjust the thermostat to 19 or 20C, and lower at night, to help save money as well as to safeguard our skin. Wear light, cotton pjs and avoid electric blankets – lying in heat is really not good for your skin.
Pure and gentle formulations for dry, itchy skin conditions
For those who live with eczema or psoriasis, I am a big fan of Clinifast garments. This is a range of ultra-soft vests, leggings, mittens, gloves and socks which help trap moisture in overnight to minimise itching and offer a comfortable night’s sleep. They can also be worn during the day, under your regular clothes.
Elave Skincare offers a range of pure and gentle hair and body washes and moisturising formulations. Elave Derma Skin Essentials are designed to be used together for best results. Elave Sensitive Body Wash is a sulfate-free cleansing wash with camomile extract and vitamin E. Elave Sensitive Shampoo is suitable for all hair types, combining conditioning polymers and natural glycerin to provide immediate and lasting scalp comfort. Elave Sensitive Body Lotion with camomile extract is quickly absorbed to soothe and hydrate.
Elave Combined Therapy Essentials offer combined therapy for your skin in a great value pack. Formulations includeElave Sensitive Shampoo, Elave Sensitive Hair Conditioner, Elave Sensitive Shower Gel, Elave Sensitive Intensive Cream andElave Sensitive Body Oil.For deeper hydration, try Elave Intensive Ointment to protect the skin’s natural barrier and reduce flare-ups of eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and other sensitive skin conditions.
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