Can’t get rid of those dry, flaky patches on your skin? We spoke to Associate professor Dr Greg Goodman from The Dermatology Institute of Victoria for his top tips on how to get soft, smooth skin.
It’s only as you shed your winter layers that you discover dry, scaly skin, especially on legs and parts of the body that have been covered up all winter. “Believe it or not, dry skin is actually skin in distress,” says professor Goodman. Did you know the outer layer of the skin is always in a state of balance with water loss tightly controlled? If extreme weather damages this layer, it will instantly lose excess water and appear dry. “Add excess sun, smoking or eczema into the mix then your skin will be on the edge and easily irritated by day to day external insults,” he adds. Here are ways you can bring the balance back for happier, healthier skin.
Less is more
Unfortunately, you can’t cure dry skin, but you can improve its condition with a little care and attention. You can temporarily normalise dry skin by moisturising in every step of your skincare. This means making sure your everyday moisturiser, sunscreen and makeup contain ingredients that not only match your skins’ natural moisturising factors, but also are specifically for dry, sensitive skin. Keep your routine simple and use a gentle cleanser like Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser, $12.99 and moisturiser like Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture Combination Skin, $13.99. This combination will keep the skin hydrated whilst controlling oil and shine throughout the day.’
Mix up your routine
You need to use products according to the season, especially if you have super dry skin. Winter really stresses your skin’s ability to cope by wreaking havoc on its water balance. “The low humidity combined with heating means that no matter how wet and drizzly it may appear outside, your skin will often be dry,” Goodman says. He recommends richer moisturisers in the cooler months like Dermalogica Intensive Moisture Balance, $88.50, then come spring and summer switch to lotions and gel-creams like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel, $24.99. This one is formulated with hyaluronic acid and olive extract to help the skin retain moisture and prevent moisture loss.
Shun the sun
“Sun damage is a key contributor to dry skin in the summer months,” says Goodman. So he recommends upping your antioxidants like vitamins B, C and E through active skincare and in your in diet. These vitamins help to mop up damage and boost moisture in the skin helping to avoid those flaky patches. Moisturisers like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel SPF 15, $24.99, and Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Night Cream, $14.99, contain these powerful skin boosters and will keep your skin supple.
Always use a sunscreen for daily protection like Neutrogena Clear Face SPF30, $16.99, and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Lotion SPF50+, $14.99. These lightweight oil-free lotions offer the highest protection without the risk of flare-ups on sensitive dry skin.
When choosing a moisturiser for the body, Goodman suggests choosing the richest formula possible without making your skin excessively greasy. The overuse of soaps on sensitive dry skin will also lead to a breakdown in the skin’s barrier so he says to avoid anything with botanical or fragrant ingredients as these will just aggravate and dry the skin out.