Dr. Perry's Guide to Caring for Dry Skin


TURNING INTO A FLAKE?
A Guide to Caring for Dry Skin

When the ash monster comes to visit, you know you need to get busy moisturizing. Dry skin is not only uncomfortable and unappealing; it indicates a lack of attention to your personal well being. We’re all busy these days, but caring for your dry skin can make you feel better and proud that you care enough about yourself to do something special . . . just for you. The following tips can also be used to show your love and concern for someone special. I remember when my late maternal grandmother was in her last days. I bonded with her by massaging her frail, dry hands with thick, fragrant creams. She loved it and did I. Her hands had baked many a cake and wiped many a tear. They deserved all the TLC they could get. So do you!

As the seasons change, so must our skin and hair care regimen. In warmer weather, lighter moisturizers are needed to effectively moisturize without occluding the pores and creating a heat rash. In cooler, dryer weather, more intense moisturizing treatment is required to reduce the irritating effects of dry skin.

Managing dry skin involves three basic steps:

1. Cleansing with mild, nondrying cleansers
2. Gentle exfoliation with body scrubs and a pumice stone for your dry feet (1-2 times per
week)
3. Moisturizing, moisturizing, moisturizing!!

Body washes which contain emollients are a wonderful way to clean dry skin. There are so many products available for this process. Many companies offer products which contain a line of three items for each step. Lucky us!

Exfoliating requires applying a nice body scrub and using a loofah to gently massage away the dead skin cells which cause scaliness. A pumice stone can be used to exfoliate the thick skin which builds up on the soles of your feet.

There are three levels of moisturizing:
  1. Intense- Ointment based products trap moisture onto the skin surface most effectively. These products should be applied to soaking wet skin and massaged in. The extra water on the surface of the skin should be lightly towel dried. You may feel a bit sticky for a few hours until your skin absorbs the moisture. Using an ointment based product on hands and feet then covering with cotton socks overnight provides an intense moisturizing treatment for hard-to-treat areas of dryness.
  2. Moderate- Cream and butter based products are moderately effective in maintaining skin moisture. They can be applied to towel dried skin or during other times of the day. During winter months, it is a good idea to apply a cream based product after hand washing to keep hands soft and supple.
  3. Mild- Lotions and oils are the least effective in maintaining skin moisture; however they are the easiest to apply. These products are better reserved for warmer weather, as they do not tend to occlude the pores as easily as ointments and creams.
If your skin is very sensitive, be careful of using products that have heavy fragrance, as doing so may cause irritation.

Some recommended products:

Dove Body Wash

Neutrogena Sugar Scrub

Archipelago

Pomegranate Body Butter

Pomegranate Sugar Scrub

Pomegranate Polish

For ALL of you strictly natural ladies:

Maile Kawai- - Great body scrubs and emollients in flavors like Lilikon lemongrass, Coffee Macadamia Nut, Sugar Cane Ginger

Pure Fiji- - Sugar scrubs in yummy flavors (Coconut Milk and Honey, Pineapple, White Ginger Lily, and Mango). You can coordinate with the Hydrating lotion, Shower gel, Nourishing oil, and Room mist!

Kai- - Body polish, Body butter and lotion, and Body wash.

Hope this information helps you stay smooth and sleek!



Until next time . . .

Take care of yourself, so you can care for others. Do your best to be your best. The better you are, the brighter the world gets.




Disclaimer: This information does not serve as a substitute for individual medical care by a physician. This article is an informative guide to point you in the right direction. All product recommendations and advice are suggestions which may or may not work for your individual needs. Specific medical issues and concerns should be addressed by your health care provider. Patricia Perry, M.D. is a dermatologist in private practice in Southern California who can be reached for consultation at 2625 W. Alameda Ave., Suite 504, Burbank, CA 91505. Phone: (818)559- SKIN (7546).

8 Weigh in!:
mothereartha said...

this winter has been so tough on my skin. nothing works! i'm going to try the neutrogena scrub and dove body wash; i use the bar. even my cetaphil creme which usually does the trick is non-effective. dr. perry do you have any drugstore recommendations for ointments and cremes. thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

I also suffer from dry skin during the winter yet without that disturbing itch. I apply CD's Almond Cookie Souffle as soon as I get out the shower but towards the end of my work day my skin looks scaly.

I also have oily, acne-prone facial skin and would like to know if you can recommend a gentle cleanser during this time of year. I currently use the generic brand of Neutrogena's foaming face wash but it dries my skin. It's probably the SLS. How do you feel about black soap? My dermatologist told me it's too harsh.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ladies:
In response to your questions:

Some recommended products (all of these can be purchased at the pharmacy and some grocery stores:

1. Ointments: Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, Aquaphor ointment. I realize that this would be a very sticky treatment, but IT WORKS when used as described in my article. I personally used an ointment twice a week during the winter months. I alternated it with a cream based product on the other days.

2.Cream/Butter: Cetaphil Cream, Elta Cream, Eucerin cream, Shea butter



3.Lotions/Oils: Aveeno, Neutrogena Swedish Formula, 100% Virgin Coconut oil

to hamptonsfnst: Please see my recommended products and skin care instructions in my article on acne prone skin.

HTH Dr. Perry

Anonymous said...

This is the first year that I've actually seen my hair and skin be affected by the weather. I'm gradually trying to wean myself from the sulfates and mineral oil from my body products. I was 'fixing' my shower gels and lotions at the beginning of winter. The shower gels came out great; very moisturizing. I added glycerin, aloe, honey, a mixture of oils, rose water, and distilled water with no set amounts. My skin was extremely soft and stayed pretty moisturized for most of the day with the exception of some problem areas. One area that I notice that really changed for the better were my elbows; extra soft!

Now that I've used all of my regular bodywash I purchased 3 sample sizes of Dr. Bonner's castile soap. The first sample I added to the rest of the bodywash I had in the shower which had my 'fix' to it. I'm noticing that my skin isn't as wonderful as before. Oh also, I had a broken piece of Chagrin Valley soap that I added as well. I don't know if its the Chagrin Valley or the Castile. I'm going to try just the Castile soap by itself.

Lastly, I've been applying a mix of oils for dry skin while I'm still wet out of the shower. For the most part this is great, but I think I'm going to try to incorporate shea, coco, and/or mango butter...SisterBoyd

Anonymous said...

Any tips for chronic dry chapped lips? My child's lips looked really cracked and peeled this time of year. What's the best way to get rid of the loose dead skin? We use lip balm, but not sure if that's helping or hurting the dryness problem. And he is so young (6) he doesn't think to add more moisture to his own lips during the day while he's at school.

Queenofthe4s said...

To Anonymous 10:11 - - My 5 year old son has the same problem..very dry lips and the area around his lips become red and irritated. I have found that using the oil cleansing method works really well for him. I rub his whole face with olive oil, and let him sit with warm towels over his face right before bed. (he loves this by the way..LOL)

Then I rub olive oil all over and around his lips before bed and first thing in the morning after he brushes his teeth and washes his face.

HTH

Anonymous said...

I have eczema and highly sensitive skin. Do you know of any products that can help? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Try Canendula cream by California baby. Awesome results.

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