Build a daily
Using an appropriate emollient regularly can help keep your skin hydrated and healthy
Tips for a good daily skincare routine
Finding an effective emollient is key to managing your skin condition but using it regularly can be just as important. You need to find a routine that works for you – one size won’t fit all!
It might take a bit of experimentation before you find one that really helps your skin. A good skincare routine is regular and consistent.
Emollients that work for you are the foundation for a good daily skincare routine. Here are some ways you can help your skin throughout the day.
- Cool the temperature: have a warm, not hot, shower – hot water can dry your skin more
- Switch your soap: try using emollient-based washes instead of regular soaps that can dry your skin
- Make it gentle: instead of rubbing your skin, try patting it with your towel until it’s nearly dry, then use an emollient straightaway while water is still trapped in the skin for extra hydration
During the day…
- On the move: you could take a small tube or pot of emollient with you when you’re out and about
- Healthy hands: try to use emollient-based washes if you can, and keep a tube of emollient orhand cream close by, so you can top up afterwards
Night time tips…
- Avoid using an air conditioner: air conditioning can strip out moisture from the air – and irritate your skin
- Some people like to wear natural, breathable fabrics (e.g. cotton) so there’s less chance their skin gets
Tips for parents
To create a skincare routine for your child, you can follow much of the same advice shown above.
With very young children, you’ll be very involved in their skincare routine. Try building emollients into their bath-time and bedtime routines and turn it into a bonding exercise.
If you have older children, you can help them take charge of their skincare routine. This could mean explaining what’s happening to their skin, involving them in choosing their emollient, and giving them the confidence to keep to their routine. If they understand the importance of their skincare routine, they may be more likely to keep it going. It’s also a good idea to start this early if you can, so effective skincare can become part of their normal daily routine.
Supporting your child away from home
When your child’s following a complete skincare routine to treat their dry skin conditions, there may be times when they need to apply their emollient themselves – for example, when they’re at school, on trips or staying with other family members. Here are some ideas to make things easier:
- Keeping your child’s teacher informed can help them be more aware of the impact of your child’s dry skin
- There may be some small things schools can do to help – for example, letting your child keep a tube of emollient handy, helping to store their emollient, or offering soap substitutes for hand washing
- For younger children some parents might find it useful to write down notes and create a pack about their child’s routine. This can help anyone looking after their child make sure their routine is consistent. You may even want to try creating a fun instruction sheet with your child. This will help them understand their routine, and because it’s in their own words, they’ll be able to explain it to others if they need to.
The Eczema Association Australasia has lots of useful resources on their website.
Managing changes over time
Over time, our skin changes in ways that can cause it to lose moisture more easily.
- We lose more of the natural oils (lipids) between our skin cells, which weakens the protective barrier and makes it even harder for our skin to retain moisture
- We also lose natural moisturising factor (NMF) so our skin is less able to attract and retain moisture
- And the pH level of our skin naturally increases, which can weaken our skin’s natural protective barrier
The skin in infants and elderly people is thinner and more vulnerable to drying out.
There’s more to caring for our skin over time than just preventing wrinkles. Keeping it hydrated and healthy can help it work optimally. Consider choosing an effective emollient that can work with your skin to keep it hydrated.