Expert Tips to Tackle Dry Skin

Simple Remedies to Tackle Dry Skin

Get the information straight from the experts on how to combat dry skin.


Growing up with oily skin, I used to be jealous of women who had drier skin. But, over the years, my oily pores have morphed to combination and now, slowly, that combination skin is becoming dry, dry, dry.

These days, I'm wondering what I was jealous about! With dry skin, there's the loss of luminosity, fine cracking and the unpleasant tightness. Instead of fighting it, I've learned how to deal with my new dry skin.

Here's how you can learn to live with dry skin, too:

A Few Simple Changes Make a Big Difference:

The biggest difference in my dry skin came from one easy change.

"My favorite tip for people who suffer from year-round dry skin, especially those with chronic conditions, like eczema, is to decrease the time and temperature of their bath or shower routine. Keep those showers quick, warm, and never hot," says Dr. Tony Nakhla, a dermatologist in southern California and author of “The Skin Commandments: 10 Rules to Healthy, Beautiful Skin.”

Once out of the water, Nakhla recommends, quickly pat off and apply moisturizer immediately to help seal the moisture in to your skin.

"Leave a small amount of water on your skin so that it is still damp before applying moisturizer,” he adds. “This will help effectively lock in moisture in your skin cells.”

Use the "Three-Minute Rule": Within three minutes of being out of the shower, you should be patted dry and moisturizer applied.

"Make sure that the room humidity is not too low," says Dr. Jason Rivers, a dermatologist in Vancouver, British Columbia. Adding moisture to your environment will cut down skin-moisture loss.

You can add a humidification system to your home's heating system, use a cool mist humidifier or put a pot of water on your radiator. Concentrate on adding humidity to your bedroom first, since the majority of your time is spent in this room.

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Target Your Skin Care for Hydration:

With dry skin, you want to retain every last drop of moisture possible. Each product you use should be chosen for its ability to work without stripping away moisture.

For those with dry skin, Nakhla also recommends washing less frequently and using a wet washcloth without soap to rinse away dirt and oil.

The most hydrating moisturizers aren't necessarily the thickest, which can leave behind an unsightly sheen. The best products will work to seal moisture in the skin while drawing more moisture in throughout the day. Look for ingredients such as ceramides, dimethicone, petrolatum and mineral oil to be up high on the ingredient list. 

"The type of moisturizing ingredients really depends on where they are used on the body or face and what the individual's skin type is,” Nakhla says. “Natural emollients like jojoba, Shea and olive oil are best for the body and not the face since they are thicker and can potentially clog pores. Lighter weight emollients like cetyl alcohol work well on the face in so called 'oil-free' formulations."

Extra-Credit Strategies:

Once you've mastered the basic tips above, there are a few other strategies that might help any residual dryness.

Reapply your moisturizer throughout the day, but in particular after washing. I've found that it is easiest to leave moisturizer directly next to the sink as an easy reminder to reapply immediately.

Your grandmother's advice about eight glasses of water a day (to hydrate skin), however, is a myth to ignore. 

"Drinking a lot of water — won't help a bit!" Rivers says. Instead Rivers recommends looking to help your body retain moisture.

"I recommend supplementing Omega 3 fatty acids as well as Gamma-linoleic acid for patients with dry skin, which are important for maintaining moisture in skin cells" advises Dr. Nakhla.

There are certain problems associated with dry skin like acne, spots etc. Check out 7 home remedies to get rid of red spots on skin here at our blog.

Find more useful daily skin care tips here. 

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