Moisture is an essential part of skincare. Our skin has many opportunities to lose moisture through exposure to different temperatures like the harsh, dry winter air and heaters in our homes and offices (Source: Harvard).

The effects we feel after long hot showers and saunas may at first seem like we re-emerge with a new layer of skin when in reality, our skin is being stripped of the moisture it needs.

Moisturizers generally come in two bases: water, which spreads easier and feels lighter when it’s rubbed into the skin, and oil, whose weighty, rich consistency can help make our skin silky smooth.

For soft skin that glows:

1. Rinse the day’s troubles away in lukewarm to warm water instead of hot water so your skin doesn’t dry out. Warm water cleanses better than cold, says Dr. Jeffrey Dover, a Boston dermatologist and co-director of SkinCare Physicians. “But if the water temperature is too hot, you can scald the skin, causing irritation, and dilating vessels.” Stick with shorter showers and baths in order to preserve many of the skins natural moisture and oils.

2. Read the labels on your hygiene products! The fewer the better. A smaller ingredient list usually means fewer chemicals and parabens. After carefully inspecting the ingredients, our editors like Cetaphil, CeraVe, and Aquanil excellent lines of hypoallergenic, unscented, and non comedogenic products which leave you feeling clean but without drying your skin out.

3. Scented soaps and even some products recommended for sensitive skin had a considerable irritation effect (Source: NCBI). It’s best to avoid these products.

4. Pat drying and blotting are the best way to dry and absorbs moisture after taking a shower or washing your face. Washcloths and scrubbers are often too rough and will scratch the skin, not exfoliate it.

5. Applying moisturizer right after a bath or shower when your skin is still damp or right before bed is the best way to ensure that its benefits are locked into the skin throughout the day (Source: URMC) . Our editors like: Cetaphil, CeraVe, Moisturel, or Eucerin. Essential oils will cut through even the worst dryness. Try Neutrogena Light Sesame Oil, Herma Body Oil, Alpha-Keri Oil, or Robathol.

6. Apply an SPF sunscreen to your face, ears, hands, and neck daily to prevent many harmful effects of the sun.

7. Some laundry detergents and fabric softeners can cause irritation when doing laundry. It’s best to use gloves or change detergents if you show symptoms of irritation.

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