Posts Tagged ‘soap’

Combating Dry Skin

Combating Dry Skin

Dry skin can be a frustrating problem. Many times patients complain that no matter what lotion, cream or ointment they put on their skin, 10 minutes later their skin still feels dry. There are some simple things that you can do to overcome this problem. First, you need to look at the soap you are using. Soaps with harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate dry skin. Choose gentle cleansers like Cerave, Cetaphil, or Vanicream which do not contain these harsh ingredients. Also avoid very long, hot showers because this can also contribute to dry skin. Second, any moisturizer should be applied to skin right after you shower. This locks in the moisture and makes the moisturizer much more effective. If you have very dry skin, you may need an ointment like Aquaphor. This is one of my favorite products, especially in the winter.

Some people also complain of ashy skin. This gray scaly appearance of the skin is most obvious in darker skin types. If this is severe, I sometimes recommend a moisturizer that contains lactic acid (Amlactin) which is over the counter to exfoliate the scale while at the same time hydrating and improving the skin texture. Prescription strength lotions with salicylic acid also work well to smooth dry scaly skin on the body. With these tips you should finally be able to overcome dry skin and achieve what we all want-smooth, soft, and radiant skin.

Soap Suds… Do We Need Them?

Soap Suds... Do We Need Them

I, like all of you, love that clean, fresh feeling after I wash my face. I used to believe that a thick sudsy lather was needed to achieve this and to leave the skin residue free. As a dermatologist, however, I also know that lathering soaps and foams are not good for our skin. This is because most products that give that sudsy lather contain sodium lauryl sulfate which is a cleaning ingredient that can strip the skin of its natural oils. Thus, the dilemma…sudsy soaps vs soft skin. Well, now I know that you don’t need to trade one for the other. New cleansing technologies allow you to achieve that clean residue free feel without stripping your skin of its natural oils. Believe me, it took a while for me to even try those “soap free” cleansers. But when I did I was pleasantly surprised…no residue!!

For people with oily acne prone skin, you may really feel that you need harsh cleansers to get rid of the oil. Actually, while using acne treatments like retinoids (Retin A, Differin, Taxorac) and benzoyl peroxide your skin will feel softer if you use a gentle cleanser. You don’t need to have dry, flaking, peeling skin to effectively treat your acne. A gentle “soap free” cleanser may be just what you need to prevent these unwanted side effects. For those of you who are skeptical, give it a try…you will be surprised at how clean your skin feels even without the lather!