When my skin is left completely untreated for six hours or more, the peeling starts increasing dramatically as my skin is drying out. As it dries out, my skin tightens, making walking and movement painful. If I can get into a bathtub within 8 hours after the last time I bathed or showered, the ill effects are immediately remedied.
When I was a child, I participated in a study where I was not to bathe or moisturize for two weeks. By the time the third day passed, I was in agony just sitting. Any contact with anything - a hug, trying to move to pick up a toy or a book, hurt immensely. My mother told me to go take a bath but not to moisturize afterwards. I felt better for only an hour before I was just as dry, and I went to bed at my grandmother's (where I was to stay the weekend). My grandomther didn't have the heart to keep me from moisturizing and bathing after seeing how much I was still hurting, so she called my mother and told her I was just as bad the night before, so we eneded my participation in the experiment.
On very rare occasions I have gone 20 hours between a bath/shower, and that is usually if I am travelling, or there has been some sort of emergency situation where I needed to drop my normal routine, such as if someone has had an accident or illness and I need to go to the hospital to be with them, etc.
When my skin is at its best, it feels relatively soft, with little peeling. It is pale (for me, pale is rather pink compared to most caucasians) and somewhat supple. I still cannot abide having much pressure strike my skin - such as one feels when dribbling a basketball, or running across pavement of some sort.
I consider my skin good when there is very little visible peeling on my face and neck, when my skin does not hurt, when I have a free range of motion with my hands and legs (because the skin is not so tight I can't move all the way) and when I am pale due to not being either overheated or sunburnt. I do have to stay covered from the sun at all times as I burn in less than ten minutes, even on overcast days. The only time I don't have to cover up from the sun is when it's raining or foggy.
I bathe or shower two to three times a day, depending on my schedule and how I feel. If I feel poorly, I may bathe up to four times a day. Baths are always better than showers, I think it's because most of my skin gets immersed in water and can absorb more.
I use a scalp treament to help keep scales off my scalp at least once a week, and use a special shampoo anywhere from 1-4 times a week.
I clean out the skin flakes from my ears roughly every other day or three times a week.
As we don't have a dishwasher (other than me) I wear disposable latex gloves whenever I wash dishes to protect my hands. If my skin gets wet and I do not moisturize it with both oil and ointment, it dries out very badly and becomes painful. I use the disposable gloves instead of the reusable ones because I am very susceptible to skin infections and using gloves only once cuts down on my chances of giving myself an infection.
If I have been doing something with my hands that has exposed them to friction - like folding clothes, sewing/quilting (my hobbies) or handling a lot of paper, after I'm done with whatever I was doing, I will wet my hands, put aloe and then petroleum jelly on them and put them in gloves for at least an hour. I should do this more often than I do, probably at least once a day, but I only do it a few times a week as my hands get so hot and stinky in the gloves.
I have to clean the rims of my eyelids several times a day as I have severe ectropian. My eyes produce what I and my family call "eye goop." If I do not clean it off frequently, my eyes start to sting and my vision gets fuzzy. To clean it off, I wet either a cotton swab, washcloth, piece of toiletpaper, etc and gently rub it across my eyelid to remove the goop. If I don't wet something and the goop is dried on, my eyelid will get scratched and bleed. I am told I am fortunate in that even though I have ectroprian so severely, my tear ducts still work well enough to keep my eyes moist. My tear ducts actually have to be overactice (which they are) to keep my eyes most as the ectropian is bad enough that the tears don't stay in my eyes, often making it look like I'm crying to people who don't know me.
So that's my routine.
I am female, and was born in 1972 with Lamellar Ichthyosis.