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3 Tips To Banish Dry Patches On The Hands, Face & Body ASAP

Hannah Frye
Author:
December 21, 2023
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Woman putting on lotion
Image by bymuratdeniz / iStock
December 21, 2023
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Beyond a dull appearance, dry skin opens the gates for irritation, redness, unwanted texture, and even skin infections if your skin begins to crack open—thus, why it's so important to treat it upon arrival. 

If you've tried simply moisturizing without success, you may need to tap into the slightly more extensive repertoire of dry skin tactics. Below, three to consider: 

1.

For the hands: Use hand lotion + body oil before bed

For some, the hands are the first place to show signs of dryness. This can appear on the palms or the backs of the hands and look dull, wrinkly, or flaky. 

The first assignment: Find an effective hand cream that's free from potentially irritating ingredients like artificial fragrance or retinol (yes, retinol hand lotions exist). 

Once applied, go in with a layer of body oil on top. Oil's occlusive nature will help lock in the moisturizer and help prevent the hydration from evaporating into thin air. Your hands will feel slippery, so it's best to do this step at night. 

2.

For the face: Ditch the harsh cleanser

Cleansers with tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and physical exfoliant granules can sometimes be beneficial, but they will only work against you when dry skin shows up. Instead, rely on a gentle face cleanser. 

If you're concerned about makeup or sunscreen fully coming off without a harsh cleanser, employ the double-cleansing method: Use an oil cleanser before your gentle water-based cleanser.

This step works for those with oily and acne-prone skin too, even if it sounds counterintuitive. "Using an oil-based cleanser helps to balance oil within the skin by replacing sebum in clogged, dirty pores with beneficial oils that help to hydrate and maintain skin's barrier," board-certified dermatologist Kim Nichols, M.D., FAAD, of NicholsMD, told mbg. 

For the body: Embrace shorter (and cooler) showers

The occasional "everything shower" that lasts half an hour thanks to the long list of to-do's is something worth indulging in, but it doesn't need to be an everyday thing. In fact, taking a quicker rinse can help to mitigate dry body skin. 

Plus, hot water can dry the skin further. Instead, "Take lengthy showers in tepid water, staying under the water until your fingertips get wrinkled," board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD, told mbg. "This is a sign that you have tremendously rehydrated your skin." 

Once you're done, follow up with body lotion and even a layer of body oil if you really want to go the extra mile for hydrated, dewy body skin. 

The takeaway

If dry skin is getting the best of your hands, face, or body this season, consider boosting your skin care regimen. Utilize the oil-over-lotion technique, ditch harsh cleansers, and opt for cooler and shorter showers for the day-to-day. Here, more dry skin tips from dermatologists

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