I'm not too sure if I have identified all the culprits, but there are two that I can definitely point out: hard tap water and products containing alcohol (yes, I'm looking at you, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua).
I didn't know what to do and asked for advice to my good friend Une Fille Lambda who is the resident skincare specialist in our friends group, and I followed all of her recommendations, which were:
- ban all tap water from my face cleansing routine, and use only Bioderma Micellar Water morning and night, followed by Avene Spring Thermal Water. If you don't know why Avene Water is so much more than water in a spray bottle, you can go and read the guest post I wrote on that topic over at Modesty Brown. This is really a must have in all difficult skin situations.
- stop using any active ingredients (retinol, glycolic acid etc...) and use only basic, bland moisturizer. The one I used was actually a gift from Lambda that I hadn't tried yet, it's Ünt Derma Oasis, which is a clear, frangrance-free gel meant to restore the skin barrier on very dehydrated skin.
- rule out any makeup product containing alcohol, and replace foundation by a tinted moisturizer. I started with Clinique Moisture Surge then switched to Nars Radiant Tinted Moisturizer when things started improving.
I did exfoliate slightly just once (you never want to over exfoliate sensitive skin) and started using my LRP Cicaplast Balm B5 on those areas - yes, the one that had saved my hands from dermatitis not so long ago. I applied it morning and night and after only 5 days, it had completely restored my skin.
The result, after 3 weeks:
|my naked mug|
I actually have kept on wearing tinted moisturizer, as I feel it's all I need right now - I wore Nars Sheer Glow last week-end and in comparison, it made me feel like I had a ton of makeup on!
I still feel a little bit of a tendency for my cheeks to get dry, so I'll need to keep on exfoliating gently once a week. I am probably going to start using a glycolic toner because I have a tendency to get clogged pores in the areas that I moisturize heavily - it ain't easy being dry/dehydrated AND prone to whiteheads and clogged pores. This should be gently exfoliating and keeping the pores clean.
Other than that, I am not sure yet how I'm going to re-introduce active ingredients in my routine, but I'll probably add them one at a time for a couple of weeks before adding another active.
The Ünt Derma Oasis is probably going to stay as a staple in my routine: it's just perfect under makeup and can be used as a mask at night time if you apply a thicker layer.
Do you have special Skin SOS tricks?