What Is The Best Treatment For Dry Skin?

Skin Care Questions
What Is The Best Moisturizer For Dry Skin?

Women often receive conflicting and confusing advice about the treatment for dry skin. You may for example have been recommended non-prescription creams and moisturizers that contain lactic acid or urea. However as new treatments come onto the market, better products may be available which others are not yet aware of. The following are some active ingredients to look for in your skin care products which may help improve symptoms of dry skin:

Glycerol: This substance helps stratum corneum cells (outer layer of skin on top of the epidermis) to break down and shed (if it doesn't shed in an appropriate manner it builds up and causes flaky skin). Glycerol also helps the fat (lipid) molecules between cells form a better protective barrier. Urea containing creams are just as effective as glycerol containing creams but appear to cause more irritation.
Hydroxy Acids and beta hydroxy acids: Both improve the shedding of dead skin cells. Lactic acid is one type of alpha hydroxy acid.
Enzymes: Enzymes called chymotrypsin and papain found in pineapple appear to help cells shed.
Vitamin C and vitamin B3 (niacinamide) have many beneficial effects for dry skin.

Related Questions

What is dry skin? Symptoms and causes.
What is my skin type? Comparing different skin types.
What ingredients are in skin creams? A to Z of additives.

What The Dermatologists Use

Best Face Creams For Dry Skin
The following are a list of simple vegetable based moisturizers recommended by most dermatologists. They can be purchased in any drug store. The creams are non-commercial preparations which means they are not owned by a large cosmetic company and are consequently much cheaper to buy.
• Oilatum cream: Provides a layer of oil on the surface of the skin. Traditionally used for those with eczema and dermatitis, it can be used by anyone with dry skin. Fragrance free, it is suitable for adults and children.
• Epaderm emollient: Soft, yellow paraffin wax that helps lock moisture into the skin. Used regularly it can help prevent eczema flare-ups.
• Hydromol ointment: Soft, yellow paraffin wax that helps lock moisture into the skin. It contains cetostearyl alcohol which may irritate some skins.
• Cetraben emollient cream: Soft, white paraffin wax. Contains methyl parahydroxybenzoate (E218) and propyl parahydroxybenzoate (E216), which can cause a delayed allergic reaction in some people.

Commercial Face Creams
• Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream: Good for hydrating the skin, contains antioxidants and peptides. Peptides are amino acids that appear to stimulate collagen production.
• Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme: Fragrance free and contains oatmeal to help heal dry, itchy skin.
• Hope In A Jar For Dry Skin: Receives good reports from women with sensitive skin. Not suitable for those with an allergy to lavender oil.
• St Ives Timeless Skin Moisturizer: Also contains elastin and collagen proteins to help fight wrinkles.
• SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex: Red colored gel that absorbs well into the skin. Also reduces appearance of age spots and dyspigmentation. Downside: Expensive.

Best Body Creams For Dry Skin
• Vaseline Intensive Rescue Body Lotion: Contains dimethicone, which locks moisture into dry skin.
• Vaseline Intensive Rescue Relief & Repair Balm: Contains glycerin to instantly relieve dryness and occlusives to fortify the skin's protective barrier.
• Aquaphor Healing Ointment: Effective ointment that can be used on all body parts, can even be put on the toes to prevent blisters when wearing high heels.
• E45 Moisturizing Lotion: Perfume free and allergy-screened, it contains Medilan, a hypoallergenic form of lanolin.

Best Shower Gels For Dry Skin
• Dermol 500: Helps prevent dry and pruritic (itchy) skin.
• Eucerin Calming Body Wash.
• E45 Emollient Shower Cream: Soap and detergent free.

Best Hand Creams For Dry Skin
• Vaseline Intensive Rescue Soothing Hand Cream: Contains glycerin.
• E45 Moisturizing Hand Cream: Non-greasy formula contains lipids.

Tips For Treating And Preventing Dry Skin

1. Shower instead of taking long baths. Baths increase the loss of natural oil in your skin.
2. Always apply a body and face moisturizer after showering or bathing.
3. Place a humidifier in your home/office or keep a bowel of water near you during the day to keep the air humid.
4. Wear a sunscreen every day, even in winter. Dermatologists recommend wearing a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher on skin that will be exposed.
5. In the winter wear gloves outdoors to protect your hands from drying out.

• Need more information? See: Skin structure and function.
• Got another question? See: Skin Care Questions

Other Related Questions
What is oily skin?: Signs, including spots and acne.
What is a wrinkle? As we age, skin dryness and wrinkles go hand in hand.
What is sensitive skin?: Why 50 percent of women think their skin is sensitive.

Best Treatment For:
What is the best treatment for cellulite? Orange-peel dimpled skin.

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