Dryness can result from any number of things that remove water from the skin. Skin care products, weather and bathing habits are some of the most common causes of dry skin. Cool, dry weather causes the skin to lose moisture and to chap or crack. Alcohol and astringents found in toners, aftershaves and other products can also dry and irritate the skin. Hot water and prolonged bathing can lead to increased water loss and dryness. Scrubbing brushes, granular soaps, and antibacterial or deodorant soaps may also aggravate dry skin.
Limiting bath/showers to 5-10 minutes and using lukewarm water, apply a heavy cream or ointments during winter months and lighter lotions in the summer.
While you are thinking about moisturizing your skin, do not forget to add moisture to your environment. If your home is dry, use a room humidifier to increase the moisture content of the air surrounding your skin. More water is lost by evaporation in dry air than in moist air.
Dry Skin Do’s and Don’ts:
Bathe or shower in warm water
Limit bathing time to 5 minutes per shower or bath
Add bath oil after your skin has soaked up some of the water
Put on moisturizer right after bathing; use lotion after washing your hands
Ask your doctor to recommend a non-comedogenic moisturizer (one the won’t make acne worse)
Pat dry when you get out of the bath
Rinse off chlorine and salt water
Humidify your home in the winter or year round if you live in a dry climate
Take hot showers or baths
Take long showers or baths
Put bath oil in the tub while it is filling
Leave the bathroom without applying moisturizer
Wash with a granular soap
Use astringents or alcohol-based products
Air dry after bathing or swimming
Forget to shower after swimming
Stay in dry air for 24 hours a day