HARTMANN in South Africa

Care of dry skin

Dry skin is a common problem. While some individuals are only affected during cold winter months, dry skin is a permanent condition for many.

Skin cleaning

Schematic diagram of dry epidermis.

However there are a number of simple measures which help prevent dry skin and care for it appropriately. Avoid frequent - daily or repeated daily - too hot bathing and showering. This also robs the skin of oil and moisture and attacks the natural protective barrier. Healthy skin usually recovers quickly. Dry skin, on the other hand, has problems restoring itself. If the protective barrier is missing, harmful substances can penetrate the skin easily.

Do not use any soaps to cleanse dry skin. Oil-restoring products which contain skin-friendly tensides, plenty of lipids and natural moisturizing factors are suitable.

These requirements are met by:

  • soap-free shower creams
  • shower and bathing oils
  • hand wash lotions

Once you have finished bathing or showering, pat your skin dry, do not rub it.

Skin care

When it‘s winter, your hands, in particular, need a lot of care.

After every shower or bath you should put cream on your skin to restore or keep the hydrolipid film and the moisture content of your skin. Use mild skin care products on water-in-oil basis, which contain rehydrating and oil-restoring substances. After water-in-oil emulsions are put on it, the skin can release water vapor and heat better. But it is still supplied sufficiently with lipids. Therefore care creams and lotions on a water-in-oil basis are excellently suited for the care of dry skin.
On the other hand products such as Vaseline, which contain hardly any water, are unsuitable. Natural moisturizing factors, such as urea, are another important additive in care products. They increase the water content of the corneal layer.

The following products are unsuitable for skin care:

  • Products that contain alcohol
  • Alcoholic liniment
  • Arnica tinctures

These only dry the skin out even more.

When it‘s winter, your hands, in particular, need a lot of care. You should cream your hands with an oily cream after all contact with water, cleaners or detergents.
In winter or during longer exposure to the cold, it may be useful to put a cold protection cream which is rich in lipids on especially vulnerable parts of the skin such as lips, nose and mouth. It does not contain any water which could freeze and thus damage the skin.

Cold protection creams prevent drying out caused by extremely dry winter air. UV rays can even increase moisture loss. In addition hands should be protected by gloves.

Further tips

  • Avoid long sunbaths because they rob also moisture from the skin and use sunscreen creams.
  • Cleansing and care products should be free from perfume and additives, as these can attack the skin additionally.
  • Make sure the air is less dry by putting more plants in your home or place a bowl of water on your radiators.
  • Get enough sleep.