How to Avoid Dry Skin

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Dry, broken skin is uncomfortable and can provide a pathway for harmful bacteria to enter the body, causing infections. As winter temperatures keep New Yorkers indoors, you may be struggling to keep your skin in tiptop shape. Luckily, there are easy, effective steps you can add to your skin care regimen to keep your skin looking its best.

What Causes Dry Skin?

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. It provides a soft yet incredibly durable layer of protection from chemicals, sun, and harmful microorganisms. Skin produces its own natural oils to keep it moisturized, but many environmental and health factors can combine to strip the skin of its moisture barrier.

How to Prevent Dry Skin

In the Shower – Give your skin its best chance of staying healthy by avoiding long, hot showers. Turn down the temperature and limit your bathing time to 10 minutes or less. Use a mild, non-scented soap and use only enough to get you clean – avoid excessive lather. Avoid antibacterial soaps, which contain harsh chemicals that strip skin of natural oils.

After the Shower – Always gently pat your skin dry with a soft, absorbent towel. Never harshly rub your skin. Use the same strategy on your face and lips. Follow up immediately by applying a thick moisturizer to your entire body. Thick creams are preferable to thin lotions, which can irritate skin. Choose a moisturizer with lanolin, glycerin, or shea butter for best results. By applying moisturizer immediately after bathing, you’ll seal in a natural moisture barrier that will help prevent skin from drying out. Other effective moisturizers include those that contain:

  • Olive oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Lactic acid
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Dimethicone
  • Petroleum jelly (mineral oil)

Protect your face with a creamy moisturizer that contains at least SPF 30 to avoid sun damage.

Outdoors – When heading out into cold temperatures, protect your lips with a thick layer of lip balm to protect against wind and cold. Wear gloves in cold weather, but also any time you’re working outdoors where your hands will get wet or come into contact with harsh chemicals or grease.

Indoors – Help your fight against dry skin by switching to a fragrance-free laundry detergent. Drink plenty of water and consider purchasing a humidifier for your bedroom to keep humidity levels around 50 percent. Keep non-greasy lotion in the bathroom and kitchen and apply it after handwashing to protect hands from drying out. Wear insulated gloves when washing dishes.

If you follow these suggestions and still suffer from dry skin or your condition is getting worse, make an appointment with one of the expert physicians at the New York Center for Aesthetic Rejuvenation. Our team will assess your condition and set up a treatment plan to restore your skin to optimal health.

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