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What are the Most Effective Ingredients in Extra Dry Skin Body Lotion?

What are the Most Effective Ingredients in Extra Dry Skin Body Lotion? What are the Most Effective Ingredients in Extra Dry Skin Body Lotion?

According to the Mayo Clinic, dry skin can be the result of one or more factors including weather, central heating, central air conditioning, hot baths and showers, harsh soaps and detergents, sun exposure, psoriasis and thyroid disorders. Moisturizing is the first remedy to dry skin, and not all moisturizers are created equal. Understanding the ingredients and what they do will help you select the best moisturizer to treat extra dry skin.


Humectants are substances that not only hold the moisture in the skin, but also absorb water from the air. To be effective, the Mayo Clinic notes that humectants need very high humidity levels. A humidifier can add moisture into the air to help these ingredients to work. Humectants include urea, glycerin and alpha hydroxyl acids. Humectants can also help treat thickened or scaly skin.


Emollients are substances that fill in the spaces between the skin cells. They are either water- or oil-based. Emollients include lanolin, mineral oil and petrolatum. Petrolatum is one of the best active ingredients for extra dry skin, especially when applied immediately after bathing to effectively seal in the moisture.


Though all moisturizers are generally called lotions, there are subcategories divided by their base ingredient that include ointments, creams and lotions. According to the Cleveland Clinic, ointments are defined as mixtures of water in oil. Creams are defined as oil in water. Lotions are defined as powdered crystals dissolved in water. Ointments tend to last longer than the water-based cream or lotion, but can leave a slight residue. Most over-the-counter moisturizers are water-based, but the Mayo Clinic advises using ointments for dry skin because of their staying power and ability to trap moisture in the skin.

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