Tips to Prevent or Relieve Dry Skin

Not only does soft, supple skin look and feel better than dry skin, it is also healthier. Learn what skin experts such as dermatologists recommend to prevent or relieve dry skin.

Dry skin is more prone to itching, flaking and cracking. Even tiny cracks in the skin, the largest organ of the body, are portals for infection. Aside from the health aspect of dry skin, dry skin can affect appearance because it is prone to wrinkling and the setting of fine lines. The methods for maintaining hydrated and supple are the same, regardless of the reason behind your efforts.

Tips to Prevent or Relieve Dry Skin

  • Limit showers or baths to 10 minutes or less, choosing warm water rather than hot water for bathing.

    Limit showers/baths to 10 minutes or less

    Limit showers/baths to 10 minutes or less.

  • Close the bathroom door prior to bathing to hold moisture in the room and prevent drafts than can dry skin.
  • Avoid deodorant or highly-highly perfumed soaps, choosing a gentle cleanser instead. Use only as much product as you need to get clean, but avoid over-lathering.
  • Blot dry with a towel rather than rubbing yourself dry. Rubbing your skin dry robs it of moisture that you’ll want to seal in with a moisturizing product.
  • Apply your moisturizing product as quickly as possible after a shower, preferably within a few minutes after blotting your skin dry.
  • Apply your moisturizing product after washing your face or your hands.
  • Wear gloves to protect your hands when going outdoors in cold weather, when having your hands in water for a prolonged time, such as when washing dishes, and when using chemicals, cleaning products, etc.
  • Avoid extra chemicals in products such as your laundry detergent. The residue in your clothing can be irritating to dry skin.
  • Add extra moisture to the air by using a humidifier either as an individual unit or as part of your central heating system. Homes with old-fashioned radiators can also provide extra moisture by placing a heat-proof vessel atop the radiator that contains water.
  • Use lip balm. Choose a product that provides the best protection for you. If a lip balm causes your lips to sting or tingle, stop using it and choose another product.

How to Choose a Moisturizer

  • Choose the type of product that is going to provide the moisturizing effect your skin needs. Keep in mind that lotions are lightest of all, with creams slightly thicker than lotions and ointments the thickest of all and providing the most complete barrier between skin and the environment.
  • Ingredients to look for in a moisturizing product: shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, urea, lactic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum.
  • Avoid products containing alcohol, fragrance/perfume, alpha-hydroxy-acid (AHA), retinoids, or other exfoliating agents.

Sources: American Academy of Dermatology

MayoClinic.org


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