Your skin is a natural barrier against abrasion, chemicals, and pathogens. Proper skin hygiene is the best way to keepyour skin healthy. Removing dead cells, dirt and microbes from the surface of the skin is key to good hygiene. At the same time, it is important to maintain the natural fats and oils (extracellular lipids) in the outer skin layer (stratum corneum).
Why does my skin need to be healthy?
- Skin needs both moisture (hydration) and lipids (fats and oils) to maintain the stratum corneum layer and its protective barrier function.
- Skin also needs a healthy mix of resident microbes to protect it from attack by disease-causing pathogens. Overly harsh and frequent skin cleansing can strip the resident microbes and allow disease-causing pathogens to multiply.
- Reducing your stress levels, eating a balanced healthy diet, and minimizing environmental damage (dry weather and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation) can also help maintain skin health.
How should I clean my skin?
- Remove daily dirt and grime by washing with mild soaps and cleansers. For effective hand washing, be sure to wash at least 10-15 seconds. Avoid harsh scrubbing actions.
- Choose skin cleansers that contain moisturizers and emollients with mild-surface active agents and that are not overly acidic or alkaline, such as Lubrex® Cleanser. Avoid harsh soaps and detergents because they can remove skin oils and fats, and strip protective layers.
- Use lukewarm water to wash your hands. Using hot water can overdry and damage skin.
- Be sure to rinse your skin well after washing.
- Dry your hands and skin thoroughly. Pat skin dry: Do not rub.
- Select skin care products carefully. Many over-the-counter lotions and creams have fragrances or preservatives that can irritate your skin or worsen your allergy symptoms.
How can I keep my skin moist and clean?
- Skin cleansers with moisturizers
- Alcohol rubs
- Use skin lotions and creams (such as Lubrex® Cream or U-Lactin®) to moisturize your skin and to improve its appearance and softness. Sunscreens can also help prevent skin damage from UV radiation.