Dermatology/Dry skin

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Question
I have dry skin, but most of the time exfoliation is sufficient. I recently started using retin a which is drying my skin out a great deal. This happens any time I use something drying which means my face is constantly dry for long periods. When I use drying products, my skin doesn't respond well to exfoliation. No matter what I use (peels, scrubs etc) my skin peels constantly, making me look horrible and incapable of applying make up.

What can I do to get rid of the dead skin if normal exfoliation (and moisturizing) is insufficient?

Answer
Never ever use soap if you have dry skin. Always use a gentle face wash, cleansing lotion or cleansing milk to clean your face. Make sure you use lukewarm water while rinsing it off, as hot water can dry the skin. Gently pat dry your face to avoid breaking the upper layer of the skin.

Use a good moisturizer even if you plan to stay home for the day. It is important to keep your skin moisturized all day long. Make it a habit to apply a night cream before going to bed. This will prevent your face from drying if you use a humidifier or air conditioner.

Never leave the house without applying sunscreen. Use one that contains SPF 15 to keep your face as well as other exposed parts of your body protected from the harmful UV rays. Make sure you wear a hat/scarf and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes. This will also help avoid the formation of nasty wrinkles.

Use makeup sparingly. Use products of reputed brands. Avoid using chemical makeup, instead go for mineral makeup as this does not make your face feel itchy and stretchy. Remember to clean your face with a cleaning lotion and then wash your face with a gentle face wash before you retire for the day. This will prevent the pores from getting clogged with the makeup you dabbed on. The skin will be able to breathe freely and remain moisturized.

A slight change in your diet can help make a huge difference. You should include milk, fruits, leafy vegetables, dry fruits, and nuts in your diet. Eat a lot of oranges, watermelons, spinach, carrots, etc. These foods contain vitamins that help keep your skin healthy and supple. Including salmon, tuna, etc. in your diet is also a good idea. They contain omega 3 fatty acids that help in retaining the lipid layer of skin. Avoid drinking more than 2 cups of coffee a day. It acts as a diuretic that sucks the moisture out of your skin.

The best way to avoid dry skin is to drink plenty of water. Consume at least 8 glasses of water a day. Water helps in flushing out harmful toxins and waste from the body and keeps the skin hydrated. This protects the body from free radicals that affect the skin.

Whenever you use exfoliants on your face always add a moisturizer like Aveno or CeraVe after you apply the exfoliant.

Dermatology

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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