Beauty & Style
5 tips for treating dry skin
Dr. Michael Freeman, Principal Dermatologist, The Skin Centre Suite, Gold Coast share his top tips on how to keep you skin supple and healthy the natural way.
Winter is a rough time for our energy levels, our electricity bills and our skin. We unknowingly sabotage our self-care routine when the temperature drops through artificial heating, long showers and baths and wearing scratchy layers. So, when the warmer months comes around, there’s a lot of damage control to be done.
However, although the sunshine is welcomed, eczema sufferers are often afflicted by dry and flaky symptoms all year around. In fact, research has shown that more than half of people with eczema believe that their “flare ups” are worse in spring.
Here are five natural ways that you can add lasting hydration to the skin to maintain healthy, smooth skin throughout the seasons.
1. Natural products containing Manuka honey
Honey has been used in skin care, wound care and healing for centuries. Medical grade Manuka honey is produced under strictly controlled conditions and may be applied to cracked and inflamed skin such as eczema to assist with control of skin colonising bacteria associated with eczema. Manuka honey creams with soothing ingredients including aloe vera and chamomile may provide symptomatic relief of eczema.
2. Take extra precaution when bathing
People with dry skin and eczema should avoid bathing with hot water and soap as it may worsen the condition. Immersing yourself in a bath can cause the skin to react negatively to the inescapable heat so a quick shower with tepid water on the gentlest pressure setting is better. Choose special soap-free washes over ordinary soap, which may dry out the skin. Pat your skin dry using a soft towel and avoid rubbing the eczema.
3. Avoid the preservative Methylisothiazolinone (MI)
Read labels rigorously and try to use products that are free of chemical preservatives such as MI as allergies to preservatives, especially MI, often trigger flare ups. MI can be found in anything from makeup, to creams, to shampoos and body washes. If you’re confused or overwhelmed, ask a chemist or healthcare professional to help you find products free from MI.
4. Moisturise immediately after showering
Keeping your skin lubricated is important for people suffering from dry and eczema prone skin especially, try to avoid it drying out and cracking. It is advisable to moisturise immediately after showering to lock in the moisture left on the skin's surface.
5. Avoid added fragrances
Fragrances can be found in every-day products such as shampoo, soap and moisturiser. While these fragrances smell lovely, if applied topically to eczema prone skin, they can often lead to stinging and dry skin. If your skin is bleeding or weeping, opt for natural products that are fragrance free and do not contain colours and alcohol.
What time of year do you find your skin is at its best? Let us know in the comments below.