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Dry Skin Remedies

Find out the best ways to get relief for dry skin.


Young woman doing her beauty routine
Sofie Delauw/Cultura/Getty Images

Dry skin is more than just a cosmetic problem. It can make you extremely itchy, leading to broken skin and even rashes that can get infected if you’re not careful—and in some cases it may need signal a more serious skin condition. Read on to learn how to treat dry skin.

Moisturizer Alone Is Not Enough

Even if you’re slathering on moisturizer, you may still suffer from dry, itchy skin. Why? It’s possible you may not be using one with the right ingredients—or worse, one with the wrong ones—or not putting it on the right way.

Among the most effective ingredients are shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil. These rich emollients are readily absorbed by the skin and as the names imply, they are loaded with triglycerides (bad for your heart, good for your skin). One great new moisturizer to try is Vaseline Total Moisture Cocoa Radiant. In addition to cocoa butter, it contains glycerol quat to moisturize the top layer of skin; glycerin, for immediate and long lasting moisture; and hydroxyethyl urea, which moisturizes the deepest layer of your surface skin.

The best times to moisturize are right after your shower, while your skin is still damp. This will help lock in the water to your skin. The second best time to moisturize is before bedtime when the moisturizer has ample time to absorb deep into your skin. Avoid wearing tight or restrictive bed clothes after moisturizing.

Finally, don’t just slap the moisturizer on; spend a minute or two massaging it into your skin for more effective relief.

When the Damage Has Already Been Done

If you’re skin is already red, irritated and cracked, you’ll need a moisturizer that contains petroleum jelly. The new Aveeno Skin Relief Healing Ointment contains petroleum jelly and more. Formulated with soothing Triple Oat Complex using colloidal oatmeal for relief, oat essence to soothe, and oat oil to moisturize it glide over dry skin to nourish it and provide a barrier against further irritation.

Beat Dry Skin with These Habits

One of the easiest ways to treat dry skin is to prevent it. Follow these steps below to keep your skin healthy all winter long:

Always use a humidifier.

It will add much needed moisture back into the air—and your skin.

Keep showers short and lukewarm.

Heat and water can dry out your skin, so try your best to keep your showers to a minimum, admittedly a challenge on a cold winter morning! One strategy is to turn the shower on full heat for a minute before you get in, then turn the heat down before you step in. This will steam up the bathroom to make it nice and toasty without damaging your skin.

Pat don’t rub.

When you get out of the shower, gently pat your skin dry, don’t rub it vigorously with a towel, which can irritate damage prone skin. Apply moisturizer immediately after you get out of the shower.

Avoid added ingredients.

Moisturizers and body washes that are fragrance and dye free are better choices when your skin is dry as they can further irritate dry skin. You’ll also want to avoid anti-acne and anti-aging products as they often contain acids (salycilic, glycolic) and other ingredients that, while beneficial for healthy skin, can irritate skin that is dry or raw.

Always wear gloves.

Whether you’re doing the dishes or walking the dog, gloves will protect your hands from further irritation. The chemicals in cleaning products can be particularly detrimental to hands, so be sure to wear cotton lined gloves when doing chores.
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