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10 Tips for Combating Dry Skin

Updated on November 26, 2017
Hannah Herrera profile image

Hannah is a writer, artist, and an inspiring makeup artist. She lives in Florida with her husband, son, and two cats named Obi and Molly.


The skin is the largest organ on the body, but are we really protecting it? It is influenced by our environment, and tends to be dryer in the winter. If your skin is dry all of the time, then it may be time to step back and adjust your skincare routine.

Here are some tips to help combat pesky dry skin:

1. Know What Ingredients Are Going On Your Skin:

Some skin care products are made with certain ingredients that dry your skin out -- despite their claims to help! The ingredients to avoid are:

  • Retinoids - An ingredient used to treat acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and warts. Retinoids work well for those type of skin issues, but they have a harsh side effects of drying out and irritating the skin.
  • Benzoyl Peroxide - Good for treating acne, but the skin has a bad reaction to it. It can cause peeling, itching, irritation, itching and redness.
  • Alcohol - No, not the drink! Putting alcohol in products helps penetrate the skin, but it can damage the skin. Stick to thicker creams, and less alcohol.
  • Salicylic Acid - Although good for exfoliating, it can also be dangerous if not properly used. Consult with a dermatologist to see what percentage of it is good for your skin type.
  • Fragrances and Preservatives - These ingredients are a number one leading cause in skin allergies. If they irritate your skin, they can make your skin really dry.

Doing your research is always a good thing. Know what you are putting on your skin!

2. Bath Routines:

Yes, even how we bathe can influence the conditions of our skins. Although it feels nice to have a really hot shower for sore muscles -- it damages the skin. When your skin gets dry, make sure to:

  • Close the door to trap in the humidity (this is great for the skin and prevents drying the skin out.)
  • Limit how long you shower. 5-10minutes is usually a good range.
  • Wash with a gentle, fragrance free cleanser.
  • Use warm water instead of scalding hot.
  • Pat your face dry instead of rubbing. This irritates the skin.
  • Slather on moisturizer immediately after shower.

3. Anti-aging Products:

Anti-aging products actually dry your skin out. If you do need anti-aging make sure you use one without the following ingredients: Retinoids or AHAs. These ingredients will dry your skin out and make your skin feel stretchy!


4. Using A Great Sunscreen:

The skin is naturally prone to aging and wrinkles, but sun damage can accelerate this. This can keep your skin from drying out, and make your skin appear younger. See a dermatologist for the right SPF suggestion for your skin tone and type.

5. Laundry Soap:

If you have skin allergies then you are prone to your skin to drying out and getting irritated. The fragrances in laundry soaps can cause this. Try using an alternative laundry soap that is made for sensitive skin.

6. Using A Humidifier In Winter:

Cold and dry air is dangerous for skin. When you heat your house to stay warmer in the winter months, you are stripping the environment of moisture. Invest in a humidifier and keep it set to about 50%.

7. Use Ointments and Creams Instead of Lotions:

Lotions irritate the skin more. It is best to get ointments and creams that contain olive oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter. Here are some other ingredients that nourish the skin:

  • Lactic Acid - Alpha Hydroxy acid that removes dead skin cells. (Exfoliant)
  • Urea - Penetrates top layer of skin, and increases water retention.
  • Hyaluronic Acid - Skin healing. It targets wounds, burns, and skin ulcers.
  • Dimethicone - Hydrating skin barrier.
  • Glycerin - Moisturizer. It absorbs moisture from the air to aid the dry patches on your skin.
  • Lanolin - Hydrate skins surface. (Lanolin is made from sheep's wool)
  • Mineral Oil - Aids in dry skin
  • Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly) - Skin healing and hydration.


8. Wear Lip Balm:

Your lips also get dry. Use a lip balm that nourishes. Some lips balms can actually irritate your skin and cause it to dry out. Just be mindful of the ingredients.

9. Wear Gloves:

Hands get dried out. It is important to wear gloves when doing certain tasks, such as:

  • Going outside in the winter
  • Handling chemicals, like bleach, greases and other harmful substances
  • Washing dishes

Use creams for your hands to keep them conditioned. Cracked skin is very painful

10. See A Dermatologist:

If nothing seems to help, there may be a more serious issue -- such as eczema. Seeing a dermatologist will see what your treatment plans are for your skin issues.

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