What Are the Best Tips for Caring for Sensitive Dry Skin?

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  • Written By: Debra Durkee
  • Edited By: Daniel Lindley
  • Last Modified Date: 25 February 2020
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Dry skin can be unattractive when it appears on the face and hands and can be uncomfortable as well. Caring for dry skin can be extremely difficult when the skin is also sensitive, which can make using most skin creams or moisturizers impossible. A variety of moisturizers are made specifically for sensitive dry skin, and some other tips, such as giving up long showers and baths, can help skin look healthier.

Prolonged exposure to water and sun will only dry out skin further, so avoiding these for a while can help skin retain moisture. Long showers or baths can be damaging, and the chemicals in swimming pools and hot tubs can make skin dry and cracked. The hotter the water, the more moisture it will take from the skin, so restricting exposure to this element will help greatly. Long periods out in the sun will also damage skin and result in a taut, dry feeling that can be avoided by wearing protective clothing and staying in the shade.

Harsher lotions and soaps can cause damage to sensitive dry skin, so checking for certain chemicals in skin products can help avoid any rashes or irritation. Glycerin helps the skin retain moisture content, and it will not generally irritate sensitive skin. Products that contain vitamins and natural ingredients such as honey and oatmeal are usually better for more delicate skin. Using shampoos suited for sensitive skin can also help.


Moisturizer should be applied more than once or twice a day. After a shower or bath, after washing hands or before going outside into the sun, a layer of moisturizer can help protect skin overnight and from the elements. Many lotions contain some kind of ultraviolet protection like that contained in sunscreen, and this can help keep sensitive dry skin from cracking further. When getting out of the shower, a person's skin is at its most supple and will easily absorb lotion.

If the air in the house is dry, skin will suffer as well. A humidifier can help raise the moisture in the air, which will then help alleviate painfully itchy and sensitive dry skin. Fabrics the skin is exposed to can be another type of environmental factor that can be detrimental to skin condition. Rough blankets, heavy coats, and clothes made out of coarse material can further damage dry skin, not only by tearing at the tiny pieces of damaged skin but also by causing the individual to scratch. Soft clothes should be worn, especially over problem areas of sensitive dry skin, and blankets and sheets should be made of soft, smooth materials.



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