How to Improve Dry Skin
Dry skin, also called xerosis, can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It is often accompanied by tightness, itching, cracking and flaking. Your skin may also appear rough and dull. Dry skin occurs when protective oils evaporate from your skin and can be caused by dry heat, sun exposure and harsh chemicals. Fortunately, the Mayo Clinic states that dry skin can usually be treated at home.
Take short baths or showers. University of Iowa Health Care recommends spending only 10 minutes in the bath or shower per day. Use water that is warm, not hot, because hot water can cause the oils on your skin to evaporate and make it drier.
Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser. Look for one that is made for dry skin and does not contain fragrances or alcohol. Soaps containing harsh ingredients or the use of too much soap can dry out your skin further.
Pat your skin dry after your shower or bath. Unlike rubbing your skin with a towel, gently patting allows you to keep more moisture on your skin.
Apply a moisturizer soon after your shower to seal moisture into your skin. Use a lotion with no harsh chemicals, such as alcohol. According to the Mayo Clinic, thicker lotions are most effective. You can also use petroleum jelly as a moisturizer. Continue to apply moisturizer throughout the day whenever your skin feels dry.
Wear sunscreen daily. Even in the winter months, the sun can still dry out your skin and speed up aging, according to Skin Care Physicians. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.
Turn on a humidifier in your house or workplace. University of Iowa Health Care recommends using a humidifier to put moisture back into the air and improve dry skin. You can find units that use warm or cool mist.
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