Dry skin affects nearly everyone at some point. Dry skin is most often caused by environmental factors such as cold temperatures and low humidity, but age, genetics and a personal history of certain medical conditions can also play a role. When skin loses too much of its vital water and oils it becomes dry and may look or feel rough, flaky and tight
How to keep moisture in your skin
Your skin draws moisture from the environment, your diet and your skincare routine. The water content of the outermost layer of your skin (the epidermis) also tends to reflect the level of humidity around it, so following the same skincare routine year-round may not be working when the humidity drops. Here are a few simple ways to keep your skin hydrated and combat dry, itchy skin:
Limit time in the shower or bath
Reduce time spent in the shower or bath to 5 to 10 minutes. Use warm, not hot water and a gentle cleanser.
Moisturise immediately after washing
Moisturise while your skin is still damp. Ointments, creams and lotions work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. Keep your moisturiser near the shower or bath and use generously every time you wash.
Use a humidifier
Using a humidifier helps to add much-needed moisture to the air and helps prevent your skin from drying out.
Choose fabrics that are kind to your skin
Natural fibres, such as cotton and silk, allow your skin to breathe.
Change up your diet
Eat a diet rich in healthy fats like fish, walnuts, olive oil and avocados and drink lots of water.
Choosing a moisturiser
The best moisturisers for dry skin are those that have a combination of moisturising ingredients that hydrate the skin, lock in moisture and soothe.
Ingredients that help moisturise and soothe dry skin include colloidal oatmeal, glycerin, mineral oil and petrolatum. AVEENO® Daily Moisturising Body Lotion, formulated with Prebiotic Colloidal Oatmeal* and emollients, moisturises for a full 24 hours. Just one application leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and naturally healthy looking. It’s also non-greasy. Pair it with AVEENO® Daily Moisturising Body Wash which gently cleanses without drying and leaves the skin feeling moisturised.
*in vitro test
Try to avoid:
- Deodorant soaps and alcohol-based toners, as they can irritate dry, sensitive skin.
- Chemical exfoliants used for anti-ageing or to treat acne – retinol, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide – as they can also dry out your skin. Reducing the frequency of use and choosing a gentle cleanser generally helps.
Fortify your skin’s microbiome
Your skin has a diverse community of good and bad bacteria that make up its microbiome. Healthy-looking skin has a balanced microbiome and preserved skin barrier. The ecosystem of dry, skin is fragile, the skin barrier can be compromised, and the microbiome is more prone to becoming out of balance.
Think of your skin barrier and microbiome as a barrier wall that protects everything beneath it – letting in water and nutrients, while protecting against intruders. The wall can be weakened by external aggressors like weather, pollution and lifestyle. Itching and dryness are signs of a compromised skin barrier and an unbalanced microbiome.
Much like our gut relies on active probiotics and other gut bacteria to restore health, the biome of the skin needs to maintain certain bacteria to keep the skin looking healthy. Prebiotics are food for probiotics and the microbiome. In skincare, prebiotics like colloidal oatmeal encourage the presence of good bacteria, which can help create a healthy environment for the skin microbiome. (1), (2)
Treat your hands and feet too!
Gloves and socks can help protect your hands and feet from drying out when it’s cold. Take time to pamper them with moisturisers designed for dry skin. AVEENO® Daily Moisturising Hand Cream with Prebiotic Colloidal Oatmeal*, soothes and softens, for smooth and healthy-looking hands in just minutes.
*in vitro test
- Effects of topical lotions on the atopic dermatitis skin microbiome and associations with itch and skin barrier function. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. poster presentation at the 76th Annual Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) Meeting: April 26-29, 2017; Portland, OR, USA.
- Fermentation of colloidal oatmeal by cutaneous bacteria results in enhanced production of lactic acid and short chain fatty acids. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. poster presentation at the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, 16-20 February 2018, San Diego, California, USA.