Soothing dry skin for adults and children: Oil-based gel moisturiser protects and smoothens

Made from chamomile oil and glycerin to replenish and lock in moisture, Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel is also suitable for those with eczema, say reviewers

To ensure skin stays moisturised for longer, Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel is an oil-based gel that contains only 3 per cent water. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Dry skin is a common condition that can affect people of all ages. It is usually caused by insufficient oil production and moisture in your skin, causing the top layer to dry out and the skin to flake, itch or crack. Sometimes, this might also lead to skin inflammation.

Creams and lotions can help manage dry skin, but for some it may not be as effective as most of these products are made primarily from water.

Explains Mr Justin Letschert, skincare researcher and founder of South African skincare brand Bio-Oil: “Scientifically, our skin is hydrophobic (water-hating) and repels water. Most creams and lotions in the market contain high levels of water, around 70 per cent.”

While high levels of water create a light and fluffy texture that looks more appealing and is easier to apply compared to oils, the water evaporates once it comes into contact with the skin and ultimately has no benefit for the skin, says Mr Letschert.

“This evaporation is what causes a cold sensation when applying a cream and is why creams were originally called cold creams,” he adds.

To ensure skin stays moisturised for longer, Bio-Oil’s Dry Skin Gel is an oil-based gel that contains only 3 per cent water, 13 per cent humectants (ingredients that draw water into the skin) and 84 per cent oil. They work together to not only hydrate and lock-in moisture, but to also protect the skin from further dehydration.

Apply a small amount of Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel to your skin and massage in small circular motions until fully absorbed. PHOTO: BIO-OIL

One product, many uses

Mr Letscher shares that Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel has undergone derma testing1  and has been found to be suitable to be used on sensitive skin, particularly very dry skin caused by skin problems such as eczema, for both adults and children. 

Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel is made of active ingredients such as shea butter, essential fatty acids and vitamins A & E to nourish and moisturise the skin. This oil-based ingredient forms a barrier to retain moisture and reduce water loss from the skin.

There is also hyaluronic acid which has strong moisturising benefits and the ability to penetrate deep into the skin. Meanwhile, glycerin locks in moisture and slows down water evaporation, and urea retains water, keeping skin soft and supple, and bringing much needed relief to dry skin.

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) has also been added to this formula to support skin elasticity and create healthy skin texture. According to Mr Letschert, the long-term use of vitamin B3 can benefit the health of the epidermis – the outermost layer of your skin – to keep it hydrated and improve its tone.

The final ingredient is chamomile oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and can provide soothing and calming benefits to the skin. 

Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel is also non-comedogenic, which means it doesn’t block the pores and allows the skin to breathe and remain hydrated. Another added bonus: It does not contain parabens and preservatives that can irritate the skin. This means the gel can be used on sensitive skin and on all areas of the body, including the face. It is also suitable for use on dry and cracked heels.

Prior to trialling Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, Mary Wu, 37, a writer, had dry, peeling hands. This was further exacerbated by frequent hand-washing and using alcohol-based sanitisers during the pandemic’s peak. Ms Wu also has dry, flaking skin on her knee caps, ankle and elbows, plus the skin on her heels are also thick and dry, and prone to hairline cracks.

After nightly application of Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel just before bedtime for a week, she noticed that the patches of rough dry skin now appear smoother, and her hands, though still dry, have stopped peeling. Her heels are less dry and the cracks are healing.

“The texture is quite viscous and oily, unlike other lotions, but the heat from my hands transformed the gel into a smooth layer that was quickly absorbed by my skin but didn’t disappear completely. A small dab can easily cover a larger area as it feels very ‘spreadable’,” says Ms Wu.

To use Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, apply a small amount to dry skin as required. As the formula is quite dense, use less than you would when applying a cream and massage in small circular motions until fully absorbed.

Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel is said to be suitable for sensitive skin, and also gentle enough for children’s skin. PHOTO: BIO-OIL

Suitable for sensitive skin and eczema sufferers

For Jean Chan, 43, Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel has been a game changer in her son’s life. Ms Chan, who has a family history of eczema, spotted the first signs of the skin condition on her son, Isaac, when he was in preschool.

In the past seven years, she has tried myriad creams and lotions on the now-primary 5 pupil, the most recent being Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, which has been their go-to product for the past year.

“Isaac has to be moisturised every time he touches water, whether it’s taking a bath or going swimming. The eczema mostly affects the lower half of his body and could be literally everywhere, like his shins, knees or even back of the knees. It can be his thigh, the inside of his elbow, or even where the waistband of his PE shorts grips.

“I've been trying all sorts of creams from the normal off-the-shelf ones to the dermatological ones, to friends’ recommendations. Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel is light, not so fragrant and more easily absorbed,” says Ms Chan.

“Isaac has been having eczema since he was young and it’s a pestering issue. It pained me to see him scratch his skin vigorously every time his eczema flares up,” she adds. 

Ms Chan shares that at its peak, Isaac’s eczema breakouts looked like reddish, dry patches. When he was very young, it was very hard for him to control his scratching. However, since using Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, his eczema has been well-managed with no broken skin.

Today, not only can Issac, 11, go with periods of not having an eczema breakout, the situation is also more controlled when it arises.

“If it does ever happen, it would come out like a very faint rash, and then you would know it’s coming. Whereas last time, he would wake up with super dry and patchy skin,” adds Ms Chan.

One tub of Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel can last Isaac up to four months. He applies it to his entire body at least three times a day.

Adds Ms Chan: “The gel absorbs fast and doesn’t stain anything. You know kids, they just don’t like the feeling of a ‘layer’ on their skin, so if he’s not complaining and his eczema is well-managed, then I'm happy.”

Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel $8.90 (50ml) is available at all Guardian e-stores. Enjoy $3 off when you use the promo code BO$3OFF at checkout from now until 30 November 2022.

1 Ayton Global Research UK, Study Report - Dry Skin Product User Trial, two-week trial on 102 dry skin sufferers. 
2017. Data on file.


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