Dry skin is annoying and unattractive, as most people with dry skin already know. The problem isn't figuring out that something needs to be done when dry skin is an issue, the problem is figuring out what to do. Dry, itchy skin is simply a case of your cells screaming for moisture. Inside and out, the key to healing dry skin boils down to hydration.
When you're dealing with a dry skin problem, you need to use lotion every single day, preferably after bathing. When you step out of a shower/bath, you skin is not only clean, it's softened. The warm water has opened up pores and released natural moisture. Replacing that lost moisture while your skin is so receptive really helps give deep down hydration.
To help prevent losing too much moisture when bathing, you should always stick with warm water, never hot. The higher the water's temperature, the more moisture you'll lose. Moisturizing body washes can help ease this issue, but they're never a replacement for lotion, just an extra boost.
You want to truly lavish lotion all over your dry skin. Take time to rub it in and let your thirsty skin drink up every drop. This will have the biggest impact on allowing dry skin to heal and repair, not to mention sooth any problems with itching.
If your dry skin problem is bad enough to need help, but not so severe that it requires a doctor, you need to look for some quality skin care products. If regularly moisturizing with these products isn't enough, it might be time for a super moisturizing treatment.
Try drowning your skin in a super moisture treatment overnight once a week. You'll need lotion, petroleum jelly, old sweatpants, an old sweatshirt and some thick, old socks. Start by applying your favorite lotion over the problem areas and really rubbing it in. Then, starting with your feet, smear your body with a heavy, even coat of petroleum jelly. Throw on the socks, pants and shirt. Go to bed and your skin will be soft in the morning.
Be careful when using petroleum jelly to add and retain moisture. First of all, it's oil based and can leave stains on anything your skin touches. This is part of the reason you need thick, old clothes to wear. The second issue is to keep the jelly off your face. Petroleum jelly can clog pores; while this isn't a problem with something like a foot, it can make your face break out.
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Winter time can be the hardest time for people with dry skin because the air is dryer and it tends to take away any little bit of moisture that is already in the skin. Even slathering on excessive amounts of creams and moisturizers doesn't keep the dryness at bay.