Different areas of skin vary ever so slightly in biology. How you treat these areas of dry skin is best determined by answering three specific lifestyle questions.
However, the skin itself isn't any different. Your treatment approach should vary only because face and body skin is exposed to different factors throughout a typical day.
There are three questions you need to answer when deciding how to treat an area of dry skin:
- 'Do I normally cover this area of skin with clothing?'
- 'How often is this area of skin exposed to direct sunlight?'
- 'How often do I cleanse this area of skin?'
The answers for your face are likely to be different to the answers for your body. Let's answer these questions for a typical summer workday.
- Is your face covered with clothing? No.
- How often is your face exposed to direct sunshine? A couple of hours each day.
- How often is your face cleansed? Twice a day.
- Is your body mostly covered with clothing? Yes.
- How often is your body exposed to direct sunshine? Minimally, only if I'm wearing a skirt or short-sleeved shirt.
- How often is your body cleansed? Fully cleansed every other day, when I shower.
So, what difference do these answers make in the treatment of dry skin? Let's investigate each.
1. Do I normally cover this area of skin with clothing?
Covered skin is less frequently exposed to the effects of air conditioning, wind, low humidity, and sunshine. Clothing acts as a physical shield against the drying effects of these elements.
This means areas of skin covered by clothing are somewhat protected from loss of hydration. Dry skin in these areas is best maintained with lighter-weight, humectant, and vitamin-based moisturisers that improve the biology of skin over time.
We recommend the following dry-skin moisturisers for areas of skin covered by clothing:
Areas of skin constantly exposed to the elements will benefit from an emollient-rich barrier cream, best used in a nightly skincare routine. Try:
- Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
- Elizabeth Arden Original Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant
2. How often is this area of skin exposed to direct sunlight?
Dry skin is created and exacerbated by exposure to UV rays. The sun causes skin dryness in two ways:
- Sunshine evaporates water from the skin, causing acute dehydration.
- Sun damage impairs the skin's barrier function, causing chronic dehydration.
Using sun protection on areas of dry skin exposed to the sun is a must for visible, long-term improvement and relief from dryness. We recommend the following sun-protection products for daily use on exposed skin:
- mesoestetic dermatological sun protection SPF 50+
- La Roche–Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Nutritive Oil
- La Roche–Posay Anthelios XL Melt In Cream SPF 50+
Depending on the length of your exposure, reapply sun protection throughout the day to maintain the stated SPF on the product package.
3. How often do I cleanse this area of skin?
Cleansing—whether it's with face wash, shower gel, or bar soap—is the most dehydrating step of any skincare routine. The job of cleansers is to remove oil, makeup, and dirt from skin. These skincare products are not high-tech, which means they also often remove a portion of your skin's naturally hydrating oils.
Whenever you cleanse an area of skin, you should immediately follow with a hydrating moisturiser. We also recommend that you use a mild, cream-based cleanser on frequently cleansed areas, such as the face. We particularly like: