Dealing with dry skin

health

If you have overly dry skin (known as xerosis in the medical world), it’s probably more of a problem for you when the weather is cold and the humidity is low. This occurs most often in the winter months in northern climates. In Western societies, our modern lifestyles also emphasize overbathing, which only serves to worsen the dryness. On top of that, we often live and work in overheated spaces.

If your skin is dry, keep it moist by using only mild soaps or soap substitutes. You could also consider moving to a more humid climate — think rain forest. If you’re already using a mild soap, apply moisturizers regularly, particularly when your skin is still damp. Finding the right moisturizer for your skin may involve trial and error. Look for those that are labeled as noncomedogenic. I happen to recommend Oil of Olay, but many other excellent products are available. Go ahead and use a moisturizer that contains a sunscreen if you think you need one. You can also use room humidifiers to help hydrate your skin.

If you have acne and dry skin, you probably know that acne treatments can make your dry skin worse. Using moisturizers over your topical acne medicine can make these symptoms more tolerable. If you wear makeup, you can apply it over the moisturizer.

Some common recommendations for dry skin are of questionable or no value, including the following:

  • Ingesting copious amounts of water
  • Taking lots of vitamins

These “remedies” won’t hurt you, but don’t look to them to cure your dry skin. Instead, treat your acne and dry skin with TLC and the gentlest of cleansing methods.

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