What can you do to moisturize your skin?
Moisturizers are the first, but not the only ways to treat dry skin. It can also help to do the following:
- Use a humidifier in the winter. Set it to around 60%, a level that should be sufficient to moisturize your skin.
- Keep showers short. Limit yourself to one 5- to 10-minute bath or shower daily. If you bathe more than that, you may strip away much of the skin’s oily layer and cause it to lose moisture. Use lukewarm rather than hot water, which can wash away natural oils.
- Minimize your use of soaps. Consider soap-free cleansers. Steer clear of deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products, which can strip away natural oils. Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners, too.
- Be gentle to your skin. Stay away from bath sponges, scrub brushes, and rough washcloths. For the same reason, pat or blot (don’t rub) the skin when toweling dry.
- Don’t scratch. Most of the time, a moisturizer can control the itch. You can also use a cold pack or compress to relieve itchy spots.
- Prune your wardrobe. If you find that clothing containing wool, acrylics, or other fabrics irritates your skin, give those garments away.