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Expert Advice, Hints & Tips from the Professionals

Florence Benech
Pharmacist
Director of Vichy Laboratories - Active Cosmetics

HYDRATION

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Dermatologist’s advice

How do I choose a daily skin care product that is appropriate for my dry skin?

Did you know?
If your skin is permanently dry, it could be because of a lack of lipids. This type of fat plays an important role in keeping skin supple and reinforcing the natural cutaneous barrier that provides protection from external aggression. Skin that has insufficient lipids becomes dry and its cutaneous barrier weakens, allowing irritants to enter. It is more vulnerable and easily damaged, and can quickly become uncomfortable.

What to do on a daily basis
Remember to hydrate yourself properly and drink at least one litre of water each day. Avoid anything that can harm your skin, such as overly intensive cleansing, and protect it with a moisturising cream that you can apply every morning and evening. Temporary dehydration can easily be regulated with proper care. However, if your skin remains dry, contact your dermatologist, who will make a more precise diagnosis.

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Dermatologist’s advice

How can I cleanse my dry skin without causing discomfort?

Did you know?
Cleansing the skin and removing make-up on a daily basis are two essential steps in caring for your skin, but you must be gentle. Some soaps are too harsh, especially those that are too acidic when compared to the skin’s natural pH level. When used with water that is too hot, they can damage the hydrolipidic barrier, causing dry skin. 
What’s more, the hard water found in some regions leaves deposits on the skin, intensifying the feeling of dryness and tightness. To avoid this, it is important to select your shower products carefully.

What to do
Use a cleansing milk, or if you prefer to cleanse your skin with water, choose a gentle pH-neutral cleansing solution. Finally, don’t forget to moisturise and protect your skin with a hydrating cream or balm.

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Dermatologist’s advice

How can I cleanse my dry skin without causing discomfort?

Did you know?
Cleansing the skin and removing make-up on a daily basis are two essential steps in caring for your skin, but you must be gentle. Some soaps are too harsh, especially those that are too acidic when compared to the skin’s natural pH level. When used with water that is too hot, they can damage the hydrolipidic barrier, causing dry skin. 
What’s more, the hard water found in some regions leaves deposits on the skin, intensifying the feeling of dryness and tightness. To avoid this, it is important to select your shower products carefully.

What to do
Use a cleansing milk, or if you prefer to cleanse your skin with water, choose a gentle pH-neutral cleansing solution. Finally, don’t forget to moisturise and protect your skin with a hydrating cream or balm.

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Dermatologist’s advice

Is it true that air conditioning can dry out the skin?

Did you know?
A lack of ambient moisture (dry climate, excessive heating, sunshine, etc.) contributes to the evaporation of water from the skin. Since it generates dry air, air conditioning can only aggravate the situation, promoting skin dryness.

What to do
If you regularly find yourself in an air-conditioned environment (at work, for example), remember to drink enough water and regularly hydrate your skin with a product that is adapted to your needs, regardless of how dry your skin is.

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Gynaecologist’s advice

During menopause, my skin seems to become drier. Why? What should I do?

Did you know?
Skin tends to become drier with age. When menopause starts, hormonal production decreases, meaning that the sebaceous glands are less active and produce fewer lipids, and the sweat glands secrete less sweat. Consequently, the hydrolipidic film doesn’t protect the skin’s surface from dehydration as well as it used to. The cells in the epidermis and the dermis are also stimulated less by hormones. The epidermis thins out and is less effective at protecting the body from moisture loss. The dermis loses its structure and its ability to retain water.

What to do on a daily basis
Don’t do anything that could damage your skin, and stay out of the sun. Drink enough water and make sure your diet is varied and balanced. Remember to protect your skin daily with a moisturising lotion or cream.  If you experience other symptoms such as hot flushes, talk to your gynaecologist, who may be able to suggest a hormone replacement therapy.

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Gynaecologist’s advice

Can my skin become drier during pregnancy?

Did you know?
Hormones are among several factors that can influence your skin’s stability. During pregnancy, hormonal changes can weaken the epidermis of future mothers and produce dehydration or skin dryness. However, don’t worry – the increase in oestrogen levels will give your complexion a rosy glow and will soften your features.

What to do on a daily basis
Protect your face from the sun. Drink a lot of water, maintain a balanced diet and moisturise your skin regularly. During the summer, wear a hat and don’t forget to apply a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen.

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Nutritionist’s advice

What foods should I favour if I have dry skin?

Did you know?
When the skin’s lipid film has insufficient fatty acids, it has difficulty retaining water and the skin becomes dehydrated. Omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids are major components of the cells found in the skin and they are essential for the formation of the lipid film. A dietary intake that has insufficient quantities of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will have negative repercussions on the stability of the lipid membrane. Since the body cannot synthesise these essential fatty acids, they must be obtained through food. They act as lubricants and protect the skin by limiting the loss of water.

What to do on a daily basis
To make sure you have enough of these essential fatty acids, eat cold-water fatty fish 2 to 3 times a week (mackerel, salmon, herring, trout, tuna, sturgeon, sardines and eel). Don’t forget to season your salads and raw vegetables. Add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil per day. For optimum results, vary your menus by using different oils – olive oil, rapeseed oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, etc. Top your salads with walnuts, pine nuts, ground hazelnuts or ground almonds. Remember to drink at least 1.5 litres of water per day and up to 2 litres if the weather is hot and humid.

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Pharmacist’s advice

Can an exfoliant give me softer skin?

Did you know?
Dry skin is often rough and flaky at the surface. Under the influence of various external or internal factors, the skin’s natural exfoliation process can be disrupted and the skin can temporarily become drier. Since the dead cells at the surface of the skin are eliminated more slowly, the skin seems rough and the complexion becomes sallow.

What to do
Once a week, exfoliate the skin with a gentle product adapted to your skin type. Using an exfoliant will visibly smooth your skin’s texture and remove the dead cells on the surface that prevent the active moisturising ingredients in your care products from penetrating the skin. Exfoliating before you apply a rich moisturiser is always an excellent idea.

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Pharmacist’s advice

My skin is dry, but I often have spots. How can I keep my skin healthy and comfortable?

Did you know?
If your skin is uncomfortable and feels tight but has imperfections (especially in the T-zone), you probably have combination skin. You should be aware of this and use skin care products that are adapted to your skin type.

What to do on a daily basis
Remember to drink at least 1.5 litres of water each day and up to 2 litres if the weather is hot and humid.

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Pharmacist’s advice

Can pollution make my skin drier?

Did you know?
Each day, our skin must deal with approximately 9 heavy metals, 4 reactive gases and 400g of dust that stick to the sebum or make-up that is on the skin’s surface, making it more vulnerable. This is partly why removing make-up is the most important step in preserving your skin’s health. Make-up removers are essential: they eliminate impurities without damaging the skin and prepare it to receive moisturising skin care.

What to do
Removing make-up is an essential step that must be done every morning and evening with gentle products adapted to your skin type. Cleansing milks are usually better for dry skin, but if you prefer a product that you can rinse with water, choose a gentle pH-neutral cleansing solution.
Don’t forget to moisturise and protect your skin with a hydrating cream or balm.

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Psychologist’s advice

Can psychological problems cause dry skin?

Did you know?
The skin and the brain are linked. While conditions like psoriasis and eczema can appear after a psychological trauma, the reactions of our body are determined by our genes. This means that it can be hard to determine whether skin conditions are a consequence – or a cause – of stress.

What to do
Help yourself feel good by pampering yourself. Get to know yourself better and avoid needless stress. Find time to take care of your skin every day – the time you spend keeping your skin healthy will contribute to your overall feeling of health and well-being. Nourish your skin with a rich, protective cream and choose a product with a texture that you like. Caring for your face and body on a regular basis will really improve the condition of your skin and help boost your mind–body harmony.

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