Caring for my skin is something that I’ve always invested time and money into. When you have dry, sensitive skin like mine (and anyone who has extreme symptoms of their skin type) you want to ensure you’re managing it properly. I can’t count the number of times I was so embarrassed to go to class at school because from putting on my face cream and leaving the house to getting to school, my nose was so dry and flaky. It was horrible. I can hold my hand up and confirm that I’ve tried pretty much every skincare brand out there to find the perfect moisturiser. I’ve also read every ‘how to care for dry skin’ post/ article there is in search of a solution.
The older and wiser I’ve got, the more I’ve been nice to my skin. And now, I’m so invested in my skincare that it’s a habit and I go into autopilot in the mornings. I’m happy with the products I’m using now and I’m not going to change anytime soon- which is why you’ll hardly see any ‘new skin care products’ on this blog (once in a very blue moon will it happen). However, whilst I feel the routine is down to a T; there’s always room for improvement. So when I was offered an appointment at The Harley Medical Group Leeds to test out their new Dermatology clinic I jumped at the chance! Rather than opt for a facial, I took the opportunity to sit down with a professional and get all the answers I need about how to care for dry skin.
The Harley Medical Group
So on the Saturday of the Royal Wedding (I really didn’t think this one through), I took myself to Leeds City Centre and met with Dr Natalia Spierings. We went through my concerns (how my skin was feeling tight and always dry) and a brief history of skincare and what I’m doing now. Not so surprisingly, it turns out I’m a skincare junkie and she was rather impressed with my facial skincare routine (I do love it when I get an A* for my work).
What she was not impressed about was the fact I’ve been using Sanex shower gel since I was 14. This is apparently The Devil and none of us should be using it. In fact, most shower gels on the market are full of soap- the one thing I’m allergic to (even Dove! Couldn’t believe it!) What she recommended to me was Cerave, which is the nicest thing you could feed your skin when you’re in the shower. Unfortunately, I cannot find this product anywhere in my local stores. However, what I have been trying is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and I’m loving it! My skin has never felt better and I no longer come out of the shower with tight-feeling skin.
What I was most pleased about coming out of the appointment was finally having an answer to why my skin is so dry. Turns out, I have Ichthyosis, which is a genetic condition. The long and less medically worded way, a faulty gen affects the rate my skin regenerates. There’s no cure but as someone who was teased for having ‘granny hands’ at school, it’s nice to finally put a name to the reason why rather than feeling like a freak. I have also discovered that beauty expert Sali Hughes also has it, so I’m in good company. I’m a little sad that as it’s genetic, there’s a high chance I’ll pass this onto my children one day. But, at least I’ll be able to help them manage it.
How to care for dry skin
Also during the appointment, Dr Natalia Spierings also talked me through some other hints and tips on how to care for dry skin. She also broke down some myths for me. For example water intake. I always feel so guilty because as someone with dry skin, I do not drink enough water. I always feel bad as I think that if I drink more, then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
Turns out, the amount of water you drink has nothing to do with how hydrated your skin is. Whilst we should drink water to have healthy cells, there’s no proof to say it does much for the skin. In fact, the best things are any foods with lots of healthy fats in them, such as the humble avocado and smoked salmon. Unfortunately, my budget does not allow for the luxury of avos and salmon every single day. So I’ve have invested in some omega 3 tablets and have started taking this every day. I’ve not seen a huge difference yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed.
The other big myth bust was about retinol. I’ve been using one now since last October and I’ve been loving it. However, I’ve wanted to stop using it as I’ve heard it can harm your skins natural protection against the sun. Turns out it’s the opposite. Recent research has shown they can actually help with protection against the sun. You still have to use SPF, but you no longer have to give up a nighttime essential. I’ve also upped my dose of retinol, and I’m now using The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in Squalane. It’s so nice on the skin. I’m absolutely loving it.
How do you care for your dry skin?
I would 100% recommend to everyone to go to a dermatologist if you want some answers to any skincare questions you have. You get so much more information than you would at your GPs- they are experts in their area. I’ve now got a complete plan on how to care for my skin and give it a new lease of life.
Where these tips helpful for you? Read more of my beauty posts here on the blog.
The appointment at The Harley Medical Group was complimentary in exchange for a review. All thoughts & opinions are still my own.