For those of you that don’t know, I have really dry skin and have had a few outbreaks of eczema throughout my life. I want to offer a few tips to help lock in and keep moisture in your skin, especially as winter approaches and there is less moisture in the air. (My skin, for one, has become significantly drier.) Feel free to pick and choose or comment with other suggestions.
1. Avoid hot baths and showers. As amazing as a hot shower or a long soak may feel, it will dry out your skin and you’ll have to do more things later to get that moisture back.
2. Shower less often. *gasp!* I know this might be hard for a lot of people, especially if you happen to sweat a lot during the day. To fine tune this one, if you feel you can’t completely skip a shower, use soap only on the ‘essentials’–the stinky parts. 😉
3. Stop using bar soap. If any soap you use leaves you with the ‘tight’ feeling on your skin–that’s a strong indication that your soap seriously dries out your skin. Look for a moisturizing/creamy liquid soap–your skin will appreciate it.
4. Pat dry. After a long shower, don’t scrub your skin dry. Pat dry! It will probably take longer and you might not feel completely dry, but it helps your skin keep some of the moisture from the water.
5. Use lotion. Slather yourself in lotion within 5 minutes of after your shower/bath. Within these minutes, your skin is the most receptive to the lotion and the lotion helps lock in the water from your shower (hence why it doesn’t matter if your skin is completely dry after a towel pat-down.) Of course, you can apply any time and as often as you desire. ^.^
6. Use a thicker lotion. There are some pricey lotions out there that claim to help dry skin…and they’re worthless. My best gauge is this: if it’s runny/like liquid (especially if it can ‘drip’), then it’s pointless as a lotion. Look for a body cream or butter: it might feel a bit heavy putting on, but you’ll get used to it and your skin will thank you. Try different brands until you get one that feels (and smells) good to you. A scent-free thick option is Creamy Petroleum Jelly–it feels a bit like body butter minus the smell.
7. Don’t fear petroleum jelly. I say, use this as part of a bedtime routine (especially if you’re using a heater) and you don’t care for the other steps. Most people hate the feeling of petroleum jelly, so that’s why I recommend it as a nightly routine. (If a specific body part is irksome, add a morning routine as well.) If you have dry feet, put it on your feet and then cover with socks. If you have dry legs, do the same thing, but cover with pants. For arms, wear a long sleeve shirt. Wearing an extra bit of clothing keeps the jelly close to your skin for ensured absorption and it also keeps you from wiping it all over your sheets. ^.^ –You can of course, do a two-for-one and put it on after the shower.
I hope my advice helps some of you out there! It’s certainly worked for me over the years.