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Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize continued...

For best results, apply your preferred lotion, cream, or ointment two or three minutes after bathing. First pat skin dry with a towel (don't rub), then smooth on your moisturizer.

A word of caution: Moisturizers often contain chemicals meant to help your skin hold water, such as urea, alpha-hydroxy acids, lactic acid, or ammonium lactate, the AAD says. Some of these can cause irritation. Talk to a dermatologist before buying creams with these chemicals if you already have troubled skin.

Get Smart About How You Clean Your Skin

The bad news: Long, hot showers should be a thing of the past if you're eager to discourage dry skin.

The good news: Shorter, warm showers don't strip your skin of its natural oil barrier like piping hot showers do. Your body can retain more of the moisture your skin needs to look smooth and fresh.

Wash with non-scented, soap-free cleansers to maintain your skin’s vital oil barrier. Lather only the spots that really need cleansing, such as the armpits, groin, face, and back. A simple water-wash is all you usually need for the rest of your body.

Finally, be careful with exfoliants, which can irritate dry skin, Badreshia-Bansal says. Though they can help remove dead skin cells, exfoliants should be used sparingly if your skin is dry and during winter months. Jacob recommends exfoliators with built-in moisturizers.

Whole-Body Benefits of Dry Skin Care

Taking good care of your skin has a great side benefit: It usually means you're taking great care of the rest of your body too.

Wearing sunscreen and eating a balanced diet rich in natural antioxidants and essential fatty acids will help you stay strong, healthy, and looking good.