Most people start -- or end -- the day with a nice, long shower, or even a bath if there's time. It's a great way to relax, and it washes grease and grime off your body. But as you strip away those oils, you also remove a very important protective layer that helps prevent moisture from escaping through your skin.
If you can cut out tub baths entirely, doing so will improve your dry skin. You can also help improve your skin's condition by shortening your showers to just a few minutes and cutting back on the hot water. And be aware that soap dries out your skin. Try to avoid using soap unnecessary, such as soaping and scrubbing the backs of your calves after spending a leisurely winter's day inside reading. If you haven't broken a sweat since the last time you bathed, you can skip the shower entirely.
Another way to help your skin is to look for mild cleansers without any perfumes, and skip the heavy-duty soaps and strong antibacterial rinses. The stronger soaps are for people with more skin oil than they know what to do with, and you're not one of them. By following these tips, your skin can become what you most want it to be -- something you never have to think about.
See the next page for lots more information on taking care of dry skin.
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Moisturizing and Cleansing Key to Treating Atopic Dermatitis." March 2, 2006. (Jan. 3, 2011)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/eczemanet/moisturizing_cleansing.html
- Griffin, R. Morgan. "What's Causing Your Dry Skin Problem?" Aug. 23, 2010. (Jan. 3, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/whats-causing-your-dry-skin-problem
- Lodén, Marie and Howard I. Maibach. "Dry Skin and Moisturizers: Chemistry and Function." CRC Press. 2000.
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. "Dermatitis." Dec. 8, 2009. (Jan. 3, 2011)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dermatitis-eczema/DS00339
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. "Moisturizers: Options for softer skin." Dec. 16, 2010. (Jan. 3, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/moisturizers/SN00042
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/W. "How To Stop Winter From Weathering Your Skin." ScienceDaily. Nov. 5, 2008. (Jan. 3, 2011)http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081031161836.htm
- University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. "Oil And Water Mix For Skin Care Treatment In Winter Season." ScienceDaily. Oct. 30, 2007. (Jan. 3, 2011)http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071027100558.htm
Women aren't the only ones who battle oily skin. Get skin care advice for men with oily skin.