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Whether you suffer from dry spots on your face or your knees, you probably become irritated and uncomfortable from time to time. Dry skin can be a difficult problem to deal with because there are tons of products that you use every day that contain ingredients that can make the problem worse. If you suffer from dry skin, no matter where it is on your body, the following tips will help you to soothe and relieve dry skin so you feel hydrated and healthy.
Avoid Long, Hot Shower
Hot showers and baths are so tempting because they help your muscles relax and calm your body down. Taking a lengthy hot shower is particularly tempting in the winter, but the American Academy of Dermatology warns against this behavior. Hot water zaps moisture from your skin, so if you take a hot shower you can actually end up with drier skin after your shower than before you went in. Always use warm water, limit your showers to a total of five to 10 minutes and close the bathroom door when you are showering or bathing.
Pat Skin Dry
Once you are clean, you need to dry off. By keeping the bathroom door shut as you shower, you create a humid atmosphere that promotes hydrated skin. As you step out of your shower or bath, pat your skin dry as opposed to rubbing it roughly with a towel. You also want to pat your face dry after cleansing and your hands after washing, because being too rough with a towel aggravates dry skin and can lead to rough, flaky skin.
Moisturize Immediately After Cleansing
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that those who suffer from dry skin should apply moisturizers and lotions within a few minutes of bathing or showering and washing your hands and face. Lotions, creams and ointments all work to provide hydration as they trap the existing moisture on your skin. Applying these products as quickly as possible after your skin has been wet helps them to trap and keep more moisture in your skin. Look for soothing and hydrating ingredients like olive or jojoba oils, shea butter, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycerin and urea.
Many people still believe that exfoliation and dry skin should never mix, but that’s a complete fallacy. The reason that this belief is so prevalent is that using the wrong exfoliants can lead to further dryness and skin damage, but when you use the right ingredients to exfoliate, your dry skin is replaced with healthy skin. Avoid anything with harsh particles such as apricot kernels or walnut shells, because these physical exfoliants can exacerbate dryness. Select more gentle chemical exfoliants like lactic or salicylic acids to dissolve dead, dry skin and to slough it away for more radiant, hydrated skin.
Avoid Irritating Ingredients
Dry skin is not necessarily sensitive skin, but there are ingredients that can irritate and further dry out your already dry skin. Two of the most common culprits include alcohol and fragrance, both of which are in a huge range of skin and beauty products. It isn’t just your shampoo or face products that you should switch for more gentle formulas; you will also want to look for laundry detergents or dish soaps that are free from alcohol, fragrances and other harsh ingredients.
When caring for dry skin, use a gentle touch and be patient with dry areas as they can take a bit of time to fully heal. Keep your skin hydrated by using a humidifier as you sleep and by consistently using the above tips to care for your dry skin.