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Dr. Schultz's Tips & Tricks

You might associate the feeling of stripped skin as a winter issue, but your skin’s tight discomfort from a lack of moisture is something that can happen at any time during the year. While cold, dry air is at the top of the list for causing dry skin, the summer sun can also contribute. In the same way the sun dries out your swimsuit, a lot of sun can also dry out your skin. Beyond just the weather, harsh cleansers and over-cleansing can also be just as damaging. If you notice you’ve got a tight frown instead of a lifted smile, it’s time to understand how your skin gets stripped and how to make sure your skin stays smooth and soft instead.

The Basics of Stripped Skin

Stripped skin is described as the dry, taught feeling one can get after over-cleansing your face. Your skin has oil glands and water glands, with the majority of oil glands being in your T-zone which is your forehead, nose, and chin. But there are fewer oil glands in your cheeks, so moisture and water aren’t retained as easily and they evaporate faster. This can result in a tight feeling in your cheeks, and at its worst will leave your skin dry and flaky. The majority of the time, people face this taut feeling in the wintertime due to the dry air and lack of moisture in the skin, but it can also happen in the summer with increased sun exposure. What you want is for your skin to feel smooth and soft to the touch (even though you shouldn’t touch often!). With the flexibility of soft, supple skin, makeup application also becomes much easier, so taking care of stripped skin is a must.

Stripped skin on different skin types often doesn’t feel the same. On combination skin, your whole face won’t feel taut all over, but only in drier areas like your cheeks. Not sure if you have combination skin? Dr. Schultz explains, “If you have dry skin and oily skin at the same time, you have combination skin.” If you have combination skin, try to focus your maximum strength products on your oily areas to avoid drying out your skin even more.

Prevent Stripped Skin By Using the Right Products For Your Skin Type

Having a skin care regimen is important, but making sure you have one that fits your skin type is crucial in avoiding stripped skin. Harsh cleansers can be the root of the problem for people with sensitive skin who are facing that tight feeling. Selecting a cleanser that works with your skin type will help relieve any tightness you feel after cleaning.

Washing Your Face With Hot Water Vs. Cold Water

When avoiding stripped skin, water temperature matters! If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s better to wash your face with hot or cold water, the answer is neither. "When you’re using your cleanser, use warm water — not hot, not cold. Hot water over dries your skin and cold water makes it difficult to get off all of the dirt and debris that the cleanser is capable of removing,” says Dr. Schultz. Hot water opens your pores to clean them, but you lose moisture in the process. After 15 minutes in a hot shower, your skin’s natural reaction to the heat is to release histamines which gives you the urge to itch. By using warm water and not over-scrubbing your skin, you can remove all the toxins in your skin without overdrying it.

Is A Bath Or A Shower Better For My Skin?

While showers might be the most convenient option for individuals with busy days, taking baths will actually help prevent and treat stripped skin. Sitting in a bath helps your skin to absorb more moisture. Lack of moisture is what causes your skin to feel dry. Make sure to never put any oil in your bath water because it will actually prevent your skin from absorbing the moisture it needs, defeating the point of your bath.

The Best Products To Help Fix Stripped Skin

The goal of products designed to relieve stripped skin is to add back the moisture you've lost. The best products to do this are light, oil-free moisturizers, which won’t clog your pores as they help you achieve maximum hydration. We recommend a moisturizer such as the Light Hydration Lotion, which works on even the most oily of skin types.

Whether you’ve been using the wrong cleanser for your skin or scrubbing just a little too hard when you wash your face, stripped skin is an easy fix. Try these helpful insights in order to regain smoother, softer skin and turn your frown upside down.

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