4. The Rub-Down
Think you need to scrub your skin to get it clean? Toss that old notion, along with your scrubby sponge.
"Friction strips the skin and enhances the dryness," says Nanette Silverberg, MD, a dermatology professor at Columbia University.
Quick Fix: Go Soft
Use your hands or a soft washcloth instead, Silverberg suggests. They'll get you just as clean as abrasive sponges, without roughing up your skin.
5. Losing Shower Moisture
Showering bathes your skin in moisture. Scrubbing off with a towel right afterward strips that moisture away. "The surface of your skin absorbs some of the water, which will be lost if you don't seal it in," Silverberg says.
Quick Fix: Lock in Moisture
"I recommend that you towel-dry off but still leave the skin a little bit moist," Stein Gold says. Apply moisturizer to still-damp skin, she suggests.
What kind of lotion should you use? Rub on a rich cream containing ingredients such as soothing ceramide for sensitive skin, or urea, lactic acid, dimethicone, or petroleum jelly (petrolatum) for very dry skin. These products "will seal moisture into the skin and create an effective skin barrier," Silverberg says.
Your face needs different moisturizing than your body. Smooth on a noncomedogenic face lotion -- one that won't clog pores and cause breakouts. Pick a moisturizer that incorporates a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. "Moisturizer with sunscreen addresses both dryness and sun protection," Silverberg says.
As hormone levels change over the years, skin becomes thin and parched.
Quick Fix: Smooth Out the Years
You can't turn back the clock, but you can minimize aging skin changes. Start each morning with a generous rub of a rich face and body cream. To minimize wrinkles while you relieve dryness, look for ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids and retinol.
Not in the habit? Keep a bottle of lotion next to your bed so it's the first and last thing you see each day.