During December we’ve been exposed to a lot of stressors that affect our skin, both through the food we eat and the beverages we drink. In addition the weather is cold and dry, and the many social events and gatherings throughout December might have caused disruption to your routine. Breaking a skincare routine leaves your skin dry and extra vulnerable to pollutants from your surroundings.
Now that the busy month of December is over, it’s time to really kick off the new year by getting your skin back to the best shape possible!
We’ll set you up for a healthy, well-protected and moisturized skin with a few beneficial steps you can implement during your day, and guide you on which products are best for you to use during the progress.
Step 1 - CleanseYour skin is exposed to pollutants on a daily basis. Allowing buildup of dirt and bacterias can cause clogging of your pores, which can lead to inflammation and worsen break-outs.
A twice-daily cleansing will relieve the skin from excess dirt and dead skin cells, whilst supporting your skin’s natural functions and proper hydration level.
Cleansing your pores will not only help the skin’s natural oils reach the outer layers, but will also allow your skin to better absorb moisturising emollients which will aid in rebalancing your skin, and lessening outbreaks.
Step 2 - Restore your skinDid you break your skincare routine during December? Make sure you get back into it by regularly using emollient therapy. If you’re a regular reader of the blog you might have noticed that we write a lot about emollients - and for good reason! Emollients are recommended by all dermatologists as part of the treatment regimen when living with chronic skin conditions. A complete emollient therapy consists of emollient soap substitutes and leave-on emollients which include creams, lotions and ointments. If you’re unsure of whether you should use an ointment or a lotion you can read a little bit about their differences in our article on dry skin.
Here’s a reminder of the best practice when using emollient therapy:
- Apply the emollient before any topical steroids and allow the skin to absorb it for at least 30min, this will ensure that you gain full effect of both products.
- Apply liberally and often for the best results. As a starting point you should apply 2-3 times a day but if you skin is very dry, you might need to increase this.
- Use the lighter emollients such as creams and lotions during the day, and apply the heavier kinds, like ointments, in the evening, as they can leave you feeling quite greasy afterwards.
- Do not rub on emollient as this can cause irritation - gently smooth it into your skin instead.
Step 3 - Sleep wellMaintaining a healthy sleep pattern is very important for your skin. The lack of sleep can lead to an increase in the body’s stress hormones which in turn can lead to flare-ups or worsen already inflamed skin. Make sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep and you skin will thank you for it! Some easy steps towards this is to avoid eating or drinking before bedtime and try to keep electronics out of the room as well.
Step 4 - Eat wellCertain foods might play a role in causing flare-ups in both psoriasis and eczema. It’s extremely hard to steer clear of dietary triggers in December, so use January to detox your skin from the inside as well.
Try to avoid consuming dairy products, foods that are high in sugar as well as high fat meals - this applies to both eczema and psoriasis.
Instead focus on building your meals around nutritious foods that will benefit your skin from within your gut such as:
- Fatty fish containing omega-3 acids
- Greens and fruits containing anti-oxidants such as kale, avocado and blueberries.
- Lean protein, seen in for example. Brown rice which helps to steady your blood sugar, thus preventing the triggering of your brain’s immune response saving you from a flare-up.
If your skin has been very problematic during Christmas, you might benefit from trying an elimination diet in order to find out whether this has been caused by what you eat. This way you can be sure to make healthy dietary choices for the future. Read about the method right in our post written by mindful nation practitioner Katie Sheen.
Step 5 - Treat yourself
Stress management is important for both your physical and mental wellbeing. Why not combine some well-deserved relaxation with a little skincare? If you have psoriasis, you’ll benefit from a relaxing bath using bath dead sea bath salts. Dead Sea salt is known for its medicinal properties and alleviates flaky and dry skin. You can also use an emollient bath oil - these are perfect for replacing a usual soap or bubble bath and er suitable for both psoriasis and eczema.
Use the right products
We know that chronic skin is sensitive, and you might think that a detox sounds like something that might harm yours. That’s why our medical team have put together a list of products that are suitable for your specific skin-condition so you can safely enter February with revived skin.
- Oh, and not to worry, we’ve made sure that all of these products are suitable for you to use alongside any steroid treatment.
Start the day off with in-shower cleansing using Hydromol Bath and Shower Emollient - it is free from preservatives and fragrances and softens your dry skin. It’s suitable for adding to your bath as well and the oils will leave your skin soft and lubricated while keeping its moisture.
As a light daily moisturizer you can use E45 Derma Protect Fast Acting 24H Spray Moisturiser - this product comes in a convenient spray form and is designed to provide intense protection sensitive skin.
Finish your daily routine with Cetraben Daily Cleansing Cream cleanser/leave on emollient cream - while cleansing away daily pollutants it’s rich emollients help restore your skin’s protective barrier, preventing moisture loss thus keeping your skin smooth and soft.
In the morning use Cetaphil RestoraDerm Skin Restoring Body Wash as body wash - it helps hold nourishing oils in, while aiding your skin in protecting itself from damage and it is suitable for use all over the body.
In the daytime use Diprobase Cream Emollient - it has a light texture and creates a protective barrier that soothes your skin and fights off irritants while trapping in moisture.
Before bedtime use Cetraben Daily Cleansing Cream cleanser/leave on emollient cream - it cleanses away dirt, and its emollients helps restore the skin’s protective barrier and preventing excessive moisture loss
Treating yourself? Use Dead Sea Spa Magik Dead Sea Bath Salts as bathsalt. You will benefit from the same beneficial properties as you’ll get from bathing in the Dead Sea, leaving your skin feeling revived and smooth.