Cleanse Your Skin Without Drying
Dry Skin Care Tips
By Debbie Steele
The challenge here is to find a gentle, effective cleanser
thatís not totally boring! When I went to a dermatologist
about my chronic dry skin, she recommended Dove Beauty Bar
for sensitive skin.
[Step 2: Moisturize
I used that faithfully for a year or more. It is mild, and
reasonably priced (although a bar doesnít last long,) but it
is pretty unexciting. Happily, I have found some more
interesting options that are also acceptably gentle.
Iíve recently begun to prefer shower gels to bar soaps, and there are
some nice ones available. Hereís one thing Iíve learned: Donít
pay much attention to hefty price tags or labels claiming that
a product is moisturizing, hydrating, for very dry skin,
Step one is to read the label. Iím amazed (appalled?) that so
many start off basically the same. The first ingredient is
usually water (or de-ionized water or water infused with
various herbs, or even "aqua").
second ingredient listed is the cleanser (usually something
ending in "sulfate" such as sodium laureth sulfate or
ammonium laureth sulfate).
When I see those as the first two
ingredients, I usually donít read much further, but conclude
that Iím looking at a pretty standard cleansing gel that could
be drying to my skin.
What I look for instead are products
that list a sulfate cleanser further down the ingredient list,
or not at all. Happily, Iíve discovered several gels that meet
this criterion, including some drugstore brands.
One nice option is Aveeno Oatmeal Body Wash (12oz for
about $7.00), available fragrance-free or with a mild,
honey-like fragrance. Aveenoís ingredient list starts off with
water and glycerin, with the cleanser further down the list.
One quirk about this body wash: it has sort of a gloppy
consistency, perhaps because of its colloidal oatmeal. Aveeno
products are widely available, including online.
Another good drugstore option is Doveís Nutrium Body Wash
(12oz for about $6.50). It is available in two formulas:
Nourishing, which is pink with a fairly heavy
mass-market-baby-powder scent, and Age-Defying, with an
equally heavy mass-market-green kind of fragrance (I used the
"Age-Defying" formula on my daughters a few times; I hope it
doesnít stunt their growth).
Personally, Iíve been pretty happy with these Dove gels,
although their fragrances start to seem unimaginative pretty
quickly. Dove products are available almost everywhere.
Okay, so when youíre bored with the drugstore brands but still
want to go easy on your skin, there is hope.
First, check out
the nice shower gels from Shikai (reviewed
in an earlier article,
You Should Try Shikai).
The first ingredients in these gels are water and aloe vera gel, followed by the cleanser.
gels are available in six appealing fragrances (all of which
are pretty heavy) and, at $6.50 for 12oz, are no more
expensive than the standard drugstore brands. Definitely worth a look.
For more gentle skin care cleansing options including bar soaps and
shower gels that won't leave you high and dry, check out
Soaps for Sensitive Skin.