The Dry Skin Blues

February 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm Leave a comment

I have had dry skin my entire life. Fighting the flakiness has been something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.  The only cleansing option available to me as a child was bar soap. When I was a preteen soap makers started making liquid soap, or body washes, that were a little more moisturizing. Still, even after making the switch from bar soap to body wash my skin was dry, dry, dry. After showering my skin is parched no matter what kind of soap I use and I need to slather myself in lotion.

A few days ago I posted on Twitter that I wanted to leave body washes behind.

Three quarters of the body wash I use ends up going down the drain and, honestly, I was starting to get annoyed with trying to recycle the containers. The detergents in soap make it difficult to get completely rinsed from inside the bottle.

Speaking of detergents: if it takes forever to rinse out a bottle of soap then think what that detergent is doing to your skin. I’ve been researching the ingredients of soaps. Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) are the main foaming agents found in commercial soaps. BTW, they’re also found in toothpaste, shampoo, and laundry detergent. SLS is a common skin irritant.

Earlier this week, I ditched all of my soaps containing SLS. My research didn’t find any SLS-free body washes  so I set out in search of bars that wouldn’t leave me itchy. I found a few and now I’m test-driving them. They were inexpensive and so far they seem to be doing a good job. I’ve still been putting on lotion afterward out of habit but I bet if I skipped this step I would be fine.

And last week I began an experiment: I stopped washing my face. Yes, even as I type that I know how icky it sounds, but I was at my wits’ end because I’ve been having big skin problems on my face like acne, dry and oily patches, and redness. I think I can trace these issues to soaps among other harsh products that I’ve been using in an attempt to make my skin look better. My solution has been to use cold cream to clean my face, followed up with a very mild moisturizer (Oil of Olay Sensitive SPF 15). That’s it. No astringents, toners, acne treatments, eye creams or anything else. My skin look looks much better: my acne is clearing up; the dry and oily patches are gone. This is the best my face has looked in a long time. I’m not saying I’ve found a miraculous cure for my face. I still have redness from old acne and I could probably use an exfoliation but I see definite improvement. I’ll post an update soon so you hear about my progress.

Thinking back on the brands of soaps and body washes I’ve used over the years I can confirm that they have all contained SLS’s. Is it any wonder that I’ve  been suffering from dry skin? I was probably having a mild allergic reaction every time I showered.


Entry filed under: Health & Beauty, Poor Me.

It’s Been a Long Time My Review of Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

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