Your skin takes a lot of abuse throughout the year, which can result in dry, itchy skin. Here are some tips to help you take good care of your skin.
Go easy on the bathing
Don't needlessly remove the protective substances that coat your skin:
- Don't stay in the shower or bath for more than 5 to 10 minutes, and avoid very hot water.
- Use a mild, unscented cleanser. Don't use too much of it, and don't scrub your skin for more than a few seconds.
- Only take a shower or bath if your whole body needs to be washed, for example after physical exercise. If you spend your days sitting at a desk, a shower every two days may be sufficient. On other days, you can wash only your armpits, genitals, feet, hands and face. Women should also wash the skin under their breasts.
- Use the towel to pat your skin dry (rather than wiping it roughly), then apply a moisturising cream or lotion. Choose a hypoallergenic product intended for dry skin.
Choosing and washing clothes correctly
Avoid rough fabrics, as they could cause or aggravate itchy skin. Choose soft fabrics for the layers that touch the skin. For example, wear a cotton t-shirt under a wool sweater.
Detergents and fabric softeners are a common cause of skin irritation. Use a hypoallergenic detergent for your wash, and do a second rinse cycle. Don't use a fabric softener, or choose a product that contains no chemicals, such as wool balls.
Protect your skin
Apply a moisturiser on your face before going outdoors, no matter what season it is. In the summer, protect all exposed skin with a sunscreen.
Also protect your lips with a UV-blocking lip balm, year-round.
The skin on our hands probably suffers the most abuse. Protect it by wearing gloves when you go outdoors in the winter and when you do tasks that require immersing your hands in water or touching chemicals (e.g. doing the dishes, cleaning the house). Each time you wash your hands, apply a moisturiser afterwards.
Don't hesitate to consult your pharmacist, who will be happy to help you choose a moisturising product to meet your needs.