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5
Make the Most of Your Moisture
To Exfoliate or Not to Exfoliate?

Just because you have rough skin, doesn't mean that exfoliating won't help your cause. You just have to carefully watch how your skin reacts and then determine if exfoliating is for you. If you find that exfoliating makes your skin worse, stop immediately. Even if exfoliating helps get rid of flaky skin, be gentle, and only exfoliate once a week [source: American Academy of Dermatology].

Just as you can't count on your pull-up bar or running shoes to make you physically fit without putting in the work on your own, you can't rely on your natural oils to keep roughness at bay. You have to put in the work -- moisturizing. And your skin's natural oils and your moisturizer have to work together.

Your skin has a nice coating of lipids -- basically fatty, oily substances -- that help keep it moist. When something strips that layer of lipids away, dry skin is the result. However, you can keep your skin's moisture intact by basically gluing it to yourself with the help of a moisturizer.

Your first step is getting your hands on a moisturizer that works for you. Head to your local drugstore, where you'll find plenty of economical options. You need a moisturizer that will help your rough skin, so go with a nice thick option without added alcohol or perfumes. Check for rough-skin-friendly ingredients, such as petroleum, glycerin and lanolin [source: Northwestern Memorial Hospital].

Your second step is actually using the moisturizer. Don't be bashful! Slather it on three to four times each day, including right after you shower and when you wash your hands.

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