Tepid, not hot

  • Published in Letters

To The Editor:

I always enjoy the “Notes from The Valley Floor” and the recent reference to “Vampire-Reptilian Skin” caught my eye and I wanted to offer some remedies for all your supporters out there.

Though we all enjoy hot showers, the hot water dissolves all the beneficial oils from the skin and the face is most susceptible due to chronic exposure to wind/sun/cold. Without those oils on the surface, water will escape leaving your skin both oil and water low. Normal healthy skin is 30 percent water. When the skin’s water content drops below 10 percent, it begins drying out which leads to discomfort characterized by redness, itchiness and flaking AKA reptilian skin. The bilayers also become impaired, lipid (oil) levels fall, setting in motion a vicious cycle that’s hard to remedy. But this can be prevented simply by cleansing with tepid water, not hot.

You also want to avoid soap and cleansers that contain sulfates; they also strip the natural oils from the surface of the skin. I see this often on the hands of clients that use sulfate dish detergent. Yes, even Seventh Generation dish detergent contains sulfates. It's a natural ingredient, but it’s no friend of the skin.

With less water and fewer lipids (oils) to lubricate and protect the skin, the natural exfoliation process of the skin decreases, resulting in excessive buildup of skin cells on the surface and in between skin layers, giving a bumpy, ashy appearance and possibly cause acne breakouts.

Post shower/bath, whisk off excess water from the skin and apply grapeseed oil, rosehip, kiwi or even hemp oil to your skin. These are all rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which the skin loves. And always moisturize your skin, day/night, especially those perimenopausals out there.

Be well.

Joanie Kavanaugh
Waitsfield