Skincare! Dans ces temps

I never imagined posting something on skincare in any forum; however, this may be quite important for many people and in the midst of our CV crisis, may have passed unnoticed.

Due to to the massive reduction in industrial activity, tap water is staying in the system for much longer, and as a consequence is more prone to biological infection (my words). In order to forestall this additional chlorine has been added to French water supplies.

I read this info online (le Monde) and immediately related it to my recently increased need to use hand moisturiser! I don’t normally use any moistureriser on my hands (its reserverved pour la visage - don’t laugh) ; however I lectured in fine art printmaking for a couple of decades a long time ago, but even then was continually aware of the need to moisturise after contact with the many toxic printmaking chemicals.

So if you’re suddenly feeling the need to moisturise, this may be why…

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A very useful post, thanks Mark! I have noticed that my skin has become noticeably drier and less elastic over the last twelve months and I never gave a thought to the possibility that it might be due to the water, as well as ageing of course. I now use a good quality skin cream on my hands, forearms and elbows which are particularly dry.

I have also reduced the number of immersion baths I take, as this seems to denature the skin, especially if bath essences and bath creams are used. My father used to take a bath about once a month, when nagged into doing so by my mother. His skin always looked like a girl’s, pale and smooth, and he only ever smelled nice.

Baths are very over-rated IMO, and hair-washing denatures my hair and scalp. :slightly_frowning_face:

Most of us bathe too much. At 56, after decades of daily bathing, I have returned to washing relevant areas at the sink and bathing only once or twice a week. A dry oil is also very useful - I was lucky enough to pick up loads of Neutrogena at Noz before the lockdown, but when washing, use aqueous cream BP or emulsifying ointment to keep the skin in good condition. Savon de Marseilles is a good shampoo if your hair is short.

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Thanks @TrishMD, I will definitely give Savon de Marseille a try as a shampoo. My coiffeuse recommended a very expensive ‘professional’ shampoo but it made no significant difference to the cuir chevelu, although it worked up a lovely lather and smelled great. At the price, it needed to! :thinking:

I think the message about over frequent bathing and showering is getting through to people. It’s just a commercial con trick IMO. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

We’ve got two separate strands of narrative here; they’re not contradictory, but it’s useful to distinguish between them: one is very specific to our present situation, the other a much broader, general suggestion.

Firstly, for two distinct reasons, one’s more likely to get unpleasantly dry skin at present: not only is there additional chlorine in tap water, but we’re also being advised to wash our hands more frequently and for longer (though thankfully at present, singing Happy Birthday twice remains optional). In addition, one may be using hand sanitiser at the supermarket.

Secondly, is the suggestion that most people wash too frequently. I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with this, but from personal observation would counter with the common trope of the usually large, late-middle-aged frenchman (probably with extravagant facial hair) who seems to be following an ancient personal hygene programme that was possibly devised by Astérix and popularised by Obélix.

Lastly, I remember the all-pervading stench of rancid lanolin during the years when my youngest
brother had very impressive, unwashed, blonde surfer - actually non-surfer’s - dreadlocks (everyone’s hair goes like that if left unwashed). OTH the chef in our excellent village créperie has waist-length dreads that don’t smell at all. When we first met I told him he’d probably got the longest dreadlocks in La Roque Bouillac (pop. about 56). Unfortunately dry humour, even if delivered in grammatically precise french, with appropriate facial expressions and gestures, sometimes fails to translate. He just looked at me as though I was an idiot who’d just stated the blindingly obvious. Nevertheless, I’ll happily recommend his crepes, his magrét de canard and his prices.


I’m glad you shared this, Mark.

I have had similar experiences, very similar indeed. Identical in fact, in everything except the precise script. But I remain undeterred, in fact it is becoming something of a cause célèbre chez moi. The French do have an excellent sense of humour, I am going to uncork it. There must be a little secret lever or switch like on those puzzle boxes. I shall find it. I know I am getting closer, and have nimble ‘mental fingers’, and a good nose for such shifty, nifty taquineries. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::upside_down_face:

Bon courage!

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