Dermatologist’s Tips on Relieving Dry Skin

Simple changes can soothe dry skin.

Following the same skin care routine year round may not work so well when the humidity drops. Without a change in your skin care, dry air can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. Dry skin can itch, flake, crack, and even bleed.

To help heal dry skin and prevent its return, dermatologists recommend the following.

  1. Prevent baths and showers from removing the moisture from your skin. Be sure to:
    • Close the bathroom door
    • Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes
    • Use warm rather than hot water
    • Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser
    • Apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil, but avoid using so much that you see a thick lather
    • Blot your skin gently dry with a towel
    • Slather on the moisturizer immediately after drying your skin.

2. Use different cleansers for dry skin.

Let’s talk cleansers. Finding a great cleanser that’s both gentle and acne-fighting is to look out for glycolic acid. Using a mild cleanser with a small percentage of glycolic acid chemically exfoliates the skin. Basically, you want to make sure there’s a gentle exfoliant in your cleanser, as this is what ensures skin cell turnover. 

If you’re prone to dry skin, it can be tempting to buff away the flaky surface of your skin using an exfoliating scrub. Exfoliating scrubs (particularly those with larger grains) can cause micro-cuts in your skin, and can wear down your skin’s protective lipid barrier, preventing your skin from keeping moisture locked in.

Exfoliate less during the winter to reduce dry skin!

3: Exfoliate Less!

Instead of a harsh scrub, Dr. Blatnoy recommends that you exfoliate with gentle brush. To avoid causing inflammation (and further drying out your skin), you should also avoid exfoliating more than three times per week, and should make sure to follow up with a gentle moisturizer when you do.

4: Wear Lip Balm!

Remember that your lips are extremely sensitive to changes in humidity in the air. To prevent them from getting chapped you should increase the amount of lip balm you use during the winter.