There are so many steps you can take to make your dry skin turn into a supple and smooth organ. Most of the time, all you need to do is make some adjustments to your daily skin care routine.

What to do when washing your dry skin:

  • Forego hot and/or long showers since they wash away the natural skin oil that keeps the skin moist.     Mildly warm or normal temperature water is good for your skin. Also, try to take a bath or a shower for just 5 to 10 minutes once a day.
  • Always apply a shower gel or gentle cleanser both with moisturizer.  Never use harsh perfumed cleansers; instead, opt for mild soap or unscented, soap-free cleansers instead.
  • To sustain the skin’s moistness apply a moisturizer while skin is still moist. Instead of rubbing the towel on your skin to dry yourself after bathing/showering, pat your skin with a towel after or wash your hands or face to keep them damp. Within 3 to 5 minutes after showering/bathing, apply a moisturizer to keep the skin moisture in.

What kind of moisturizer should you use?

There are certain ingredients you need to look for in a moisturizer if you have dry skin. These helpful ingredients can include:

  • Petrolatum (petroleum jelly), mineral oil and lanolin – These three ingredients are good in retaining the water absorbed by the skin during showering
  • Hyaluronic acid – This may include hyaluronic acid and ceramides that helps retain the water in your skin
  • Glycerin and dimethicone – Both of these ingredients draw water to the skin and help keep it there.
  • Ceramides – This ingredient soothes dry skin and retains the water in the skin. Synthetic ceramides is as good as its natural counterpart in keeping moisture in.

If you need to stay under the sun for several hours in a day, then you need to protect your skin by using sunscreen to shield your skin from the damaging effects of the sun.  Use a sunscreen having an SPF of 30 and above and one that says “broad spectrum” on the label.

Dry skin lifestyle advices

A number of lifestyle suggestions can help your dry skin to become smooth and supple:

  • Omega-3 foods – This very beneficial fatty acid can strengthen the natural oil-retaining barriers that keep the skin moist and supple. Some of the foods that contain high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acid include safflower oil, walnuts, flax, cold-water fish (sardines, halibut and salmon
  • Stay hydrated – This means keep on drinking copious amounts of water, fluids or juices
  • Wear light and comfortable natural fibers like cotton – Fabrics such as synthetics and wool can be irritating and scratchy to the skin.
  • Run a humidifier at home to maintain moisture in your skin when the air is dry especially during the winter season.

If your skin is inflamed or reddish in color you can put over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment or use a cool compress on the affected skin areas for about a week.  If both these techniques fail, then you need to consult with your doctor.

Dominic Sembello is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist and the clinical director of Health Source Acupuncture in Linwood, NJ.