Skin health articles

Top tips for dry skin

There are many causes of dry skin, and it can vary in severity.

For many, dry skin may simply be caused by normal ageing and/or external factors such as hot, dry environments, harsh soaps, over exfoliation, itchy clothing, misusing moisturiser, and long, hot showers.

For others, some medications and medical conditions can also cause dry skin. Skin may be mildly dry through to severely dry. For mild to moderately dry skin the following remedies may help:

  • Avoid bathing or showering with water that is too hot, or staying in the water too long.
  • Dry skin may be more prone to becoming irritated, so it may be beneficial to avoid using fragranced products.
  • Soap-free cleansers and body washes may be less harsh and less drying as they don’t disrupt the skin’s natural barrier as much as alkaline, soap-based cleansers. 
  • Apply a moisturiser straight after washing, while your skin is still slightly damp. Apply moisturisers to the body in strokes following the direction of hairs, to avoid blocking hair follicles.

 

Dry skin can also be uncomfortable and itchy; moisturising can help improve comfort. You can re-apply as often as needed.

  • Ointments and creams may be more moisturising than lotions because they contain higher levels of oils (grease) to help retain moisture in your skin, however oilier products may be less acceptable, so try some out and use the type of moisturiser that best suits your needs.
  • Avoid exfoliating your skin too often, especially with scrubs and abrasives. This can weaken the skin’s natural barrier and increase moisture loss and dryness.
  • It can also be helpful to ensure you are getting enough Omega 3 in your diet, as well as ensuring you drink enough water to maintain normal hydration levels.
  • Wear gloves. Our hands are often the first place we notice dry skin. You can reduce dry, raw skin by wearing gloves before you:
    • Go outdoors in winter
    • Perform tasks that require you to get your hands wet
    • Get chemicals, greases, and other substances on your hands

If your skin is severely dry or your dry skin worsens, you should seek advice from a healthcare professional.

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