From my article recently published in Dallas Child Magazine
1.Cool it down. A lot of us adore a long, hot shower, so this one might be tough. But Sadler says the best thing to do is to use cool or warm water, and keep your shower or bath time to under 10 minutes. Blot skin dry (rather than rubbing), and use a lot of moisturizer while your skin is still moist.
2. Lay off the lotions.Get an ointment or a cream to replace your regular lotion. Sadler points out that lotions have additives that may further irritate and dry your skin. Look for products that contain olive oil, jojoba oil and shea butter. When your skin is really, really dry, you might need something with lactic acid, urea, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, petroleum or hyaluronic acid. Your doctor can give you a recommendation.
3. Send away the scents. Scented skincare products can irritate your skin too, including deodorant soaps. Those kinds of products could have alcohol or other ingredients that will not help dry skin. “If you are using topical retinoids or alpha-hydroxy acids, hold treatment for a few days in order to allow your skin to retain its natural oils,” advises Sadler.
4. Cover up.Pick up some moisturizing gloves and socks to wear overnight to help skin retain moisture.
5. Keep the cream close. Many of us never, ever go anywhere without hand cream and lip balm, and Sadler says that’s the right idea. If you keep those items with you, you can keep your hands and lips from drying out.
6. Wash and wear your clothing with care. The way you dress and take care of your clothes matters. If your skin is dry and sensitive, consider a hypoallergenic laundry detergent. Also, a silk camisole and other silk undergarments are less likely to rub against irritated skin.
7. Fan the flame. Yes, the heater feels so good when the temperatures drop. But that won’t do your dry skin any favors. Sadler says instead, bundle up, and keep a humidifier going.
Jane Sadler MD FAAFP