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What to Do About Dry Skin: Seven Things to Try

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Did you know that 3 out of 4 Americans suffer from dry skin in the winter?

Unfortunately for a lot of people, the condition isn’t just isolated to the colder seasons, either. Although cold weather and heating definitely make it worse, moisture levels of the skin can go up and down throughout the year.

So, whether you live in a cooler climate or not, if you’re suffering from dry, flaky skin, you’re not alone! Luckily, there’s plenty you can do about it and most of the solutions are pretty simple.

Take a look at this guide if you’re wondering what to do about dry skin for all the tips and tricks you need.

1. Things That Dry Out Skin

If you’re wondering how to cure dry skin, the first thing you need to look at is why your skin is so dry. There are generally two routes to go down here; genetics and irritants.

If your lack of moisture is down to genetics, it might be that your skin’s natural barrier just isn’t quite as good at retaining moisture. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to make it better, but it does unfortunately mean there’s no easy way to cure it.

If your dry skin is down to irritants, it means something you’re doing is causing it. There are a lot of different factors that could be at play here, including:

  • Using the wrong products on your skin
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Using detergents that are drying your skin out
  • Blasting your AC or heating
  • Taking showers that are too hot

If you think one of those could be the cause, cut it out of your life and see what happens. If nothing changes, move on to these tips for helping quench your skin.

2. Reduce Fragrances and Nasty Chemicals in Your Products

When it comes to how to avoid dry skin, the first step is to look at the products you’re using. Shampoos, shower gels, and even moisturizers can be full of ingredients that are actively drying out your skin as you use them!

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Key things to look out for in your products include synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate, and alcohol (other than cetyl alcohol, which isn’t drying or an irritant).

3. Exfoliate Your Skin Properly

It might sound crazy to add exfoliation to a list of tips on how to avoid dry skin, but there is a method to the madness! Exfoliation is going to get rid of all that dry, dead skin that’s causing you to have a more dull complexion and feel itchy. It’s also going to help the moisturizer you use to penetrate the epidermis of the skin, getting deep below the surface to provide some real thirst-quenching goodness.

But, pick your exfoliant wisely. For the face, choose a gentler chemical exfoliant. A lactic acid-based exfoliant is usually a good choice and it’s one of the least irritating that still works well.

The skin on your body is tougher than that of your face, so it can handle exfoliating scrubs. Choose something with a moisturizing base, like coconut oil or cocoa butter, to really tackle dry skin.

4. What to Do About Dry Skin From Showering

You’ve probably been showering for as long as you can remember, but you might not be doing it in the best way for your skin. Here are some tips to reduce how drying cleaning can be:

  • Close the bathroom door to retain air humidity
  • Limit how long you’re in the shower to 10 minutes maximum
  • Switch to warm rather than hot water
  • Pat dry your skin rather than scrubbing it

5. Add a Hydrating Serum

If you’re wondering how to hydrate properly, you might want to think about adding an extra step before your moisturizer. As soon as you’ve washed, use a hydrating serum on your skin, especially on your face, or any dry patches of your body. As serums generally come in small bottles, you might not want to use them over your entire body.

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Great moisturizing serums include those containing hyaluronic acid, squalane, and vitamin C. You’re looking for high concentrations of these ingredients, so make sure they’re high up on the ingredients list or it contains a 100% concentration.

6. Choose Your Moisturizer Wisely

Not all moisturizers are made equal! You need to choose yours carefully if you want to keep your skin moisturized. Rather than focusing on the claims the brand makes for their product, look at the actual ingredients.

If a moisturizer has any of the nasty ingredients mentioned earlier, steer clear. Those products aren’t designed for dry skin, and do nothing to combat dry skin in the long term.

Choose something instead with ingredients known for moisturizing. Glycerin is a top one to look out for and should be high up on the ingredients list. A good company will also list what their ingredients do, helping you understand how the products will work.

If you’re confused by ingredient lists, read more into what’s good and what isn’t, and you’ll soon get the hang of it.

7. Lock In Moisture With an Oil

If you have super dry skin, consider adding oil after you’ve moisturized. This is going to help lock water into your skin and help build up your skin barrier over time. Natural oils like coconut, sunflower, and almond oil are all great choices and will be free of nasty irritants.

Keep Your Skin Looking Its Best

Learning what to do about dry skin isn’t a quick process, and what may work for someone else might cause irritation for you! These tips are designed with a universal approach in mind that shouldn’t make dry flare-ups worse. But, it’s still wise to test out different methods, and if something makes your dry skin drier, stop straight away.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out more on our website! We write across a range of topics, including healthcare and lifestyle.

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