Every day, depending on your daily activities, your skin becomes dirty, due to sweat, impurities, and so forth. Cleansing your skin is essential to remove these substances, which can cause irritations.

picto sweat


Sweat generally goes unnoticed in everyday life and becomes more pronounced when we exercise or when it’s sunny outside. Made mainly of water and mineral salts, it has a pH of 4 to 7, which can dry out and irritate the skin1. Cleansing your skin with a soap-free cleansing solution will prevent numerous cutaneous complications.

"Cleansing your skin is essential for people with dry skin rash or atopic skin because sweat commonly causes itching or stinging, or even eczema flare-ups." - Dr Jean-Benoît Montfort, France


Impurities and the bacterial microenvironment

The skin is naturally covered with impurities, dust and bacteria. Most of these bacteria are beneficial, but some are pathogenic. The weakened skin barrier of dry and atopic skin can easily let them enter the body. This phenomenon is aggravated when skin lesions become inflammatory. These problems can be avoided by gently cleansing the skin. Prevention is better than cure.

  • expert - JB Monfort
    Dr Jean-Benoît Montfort, Dermatologist.

    A fragilised skin barrier can have lesions which are an open door for bacteria and viruses. It’s important to eliminate these pathogens to prevent infections2,3.

    Dr Jean-Benoît Montfort, Dermatologist.

2. How to choose an appropriate cleanser

When you want to wash your dry and atopic skin, you need to take care to not dry it out. But not all cleansing products are the same. Some cleansing products have compositions that can compromise the skin’s physiology. Being able to identify compounds that can harm the skin is an advantage for gentle cleansing that doesn’t aggravate dry skin rash. We recommend Atoderm Shower Oil, the ultra-nourishing and anti-irritation cleansing oil.

Interview with Nathalie Guittet, Laboratoires BIODERMA Formulation Manager

In general, dermatological cleansers formulated for dry, atopy-prone skin guarantee a degree of safety thanks to several development criteria.

To be optimal, formulas should :

✓ Respect the physiological pH: unlike traditional soaps, these cleansers aim to respect the skin’s physiology and avoid stripping it of its lipids

✓ Contain cleansing agents such as gentle “surfactants” that capture dirt and are easy to rinse off to not irritate or dry out the skin

✓ Be enriched with certain ingredients such as polyols, vegetable oils or lipid-replenishing agents to supply the skin with lipids.

laboratory NAOS
  • expert - N Guittet
    Nathalie Guittet, Formulation Manager - Laboratoires BIODERMA.

    In BIODERMA's laboratory, other criteria are also central to enable us to guarantee the safety of our products.

    Ingredients are chosen based on their affinity with the skin and their ability to respect its natural balance. They are carefully and rigorously selected to ensure their safety in toxicological, regulatory, technical and traceability terms.

    The selected ingredients are then added to our formulas in “just the right amounts”, i.e. amounts that can guarantee a product’s cleansing efficacy in the interests of maximum tolerance. 

    Lastly, the sensory aspect of our products is essential: even a dermatological cosmetic product should be pleasant to apply (fragrance and texture).

    Nathalie Guittet, Formulation Manager - Laboratoires BIODERMA.


In the world of cleansers and moisturisers for dry to atopic skin, there are some “false friends”. So-called “gentle” products can irritate weakened skin. As Dr Montfort explains, these products sometimes contain allergenic substances that can potentially trigger contact allergies. These “gentle” allergens can increase the risk of allergic reactions. It is preferable to choose simple compositions containing few ingredients and no preservatives or colouring agents. The formulas of cosmetic cleansing solutions manufactured in laboratories have been specifically designed to respect the skin’s physiology. The ingredients are rigorously selected and used in amounts that meet the needs of dry to atopic skin2,4.


The skin’s pH is naturally acidic. It ranges from 5.4 to 5.9. To summarise, “this acidity is essential to maintain the epidermis’s protective functions and the adhesion properties of skin cells and promote the skin colonisation of beneficial bacteria2”, adds Dr Montfort. However, the skin’s acid-base balance is altered in people with atopic eczema. The pH of their skin increases and cleansing dry or atopic skin while limiting pH fluctuations isn’t always easy. For example, washing the skin with water and soap causes the pH to rise for at least 90 minutes. It is therefore essential to choose a cleansing product that will respect the skin’s pH and thus the cutaneous balance2.

To summarise, watch how your skin reacts. It will react when something isn’t right. You’ll quickly know which part of your environment or lifestyle needs to be changed. Science has made it possible to develop effective and respectful products that are suitable for dry and atopic skin and that meet its needs.

Rediscover the sensation of relaxed skin after showering, for your utmost pleasure.


Références :
1.  Baker LB. Physiology of sweat gland function: the roles of sweating and sweat composition in human health. Temperature (Austin) 2019;6(3):211-259
2.  Oszukowska M et al. Role of primary and secondary prevention in atopic dermatitis. Postepy Dermatol Alergol 2015;32(6):409-420
3.  Waldman A et al. Atopic dermatitis. Pediatr Rev 2018;39(4):180-193
4.  Abels C and Angelova-Fisher I. Skin care products: age-appropriate cosmetics. Curr Probl dermatol 2018;54:173-182

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