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In This Article:

Your Dry Skin Daily Routine

Ingredient Triggers to Avoid

Recommended Products

Best Ingredients & Products for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin that is very dry is a double challenge, since dry skin and sensitive skin both have their own problems. Redness, itching, stinging, tightness and just an uncomfortable feel are not unusual to both these skin conditions. Dermatologists agree your skin becomes drier with age and during winter months.

If your skin feels very dry and uncomfortable, you're not alone. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sensitive skin symptoms affect 56% of us and gets worse with age. If your skin can't keep moisture in, it becomes easily irritated, weak and unhealthy in appearance. Learning which products to use and which ingredients to avoid, is vital towards hydration of your skin. Learn about the causes of dry, sensitive skin below, and some helpful dry skin tips to help you overcome it.

Your Dry Sensitive Skin Daily Routine

  • Because dry, sensitive skin, by its nature, is hypersensitive, you need special care. Start and end your day with a gentle hypoallergenic lotion cleanser made for sensitive skin.

  • Wash, shower or bathe in warm water only, never hot.

  • Very dry skin should not be washed too frequently, since this too, removes your natural skin oils. Shower or bathe for no more than 10 minutes, once per day for shower, and every other day for bathing.

  • Stay away from exfoliators, unless they are gentle. Don't exfoliate more than once a week at the most.

  • Be very gentle with your skin. Never scrub, and pat dry only with a soft towel for no more than 20 seconds.

  • Apply a moisturizer within 3 minutes of washing. A rich moisturizer with shea butter is calming and non-comedogenic (won't clog pores). Use emu oil on very dry areas, such as your heels, elbows and nail beds. Oils and creams are better to soothe your skin, rather than a water-based lotion.

  • At night, apply a richer, thicker night cream moisturizer that is oil-based.

  • A humidifier in your home or office can help adjust dry air that contributes to dry skin. Keep the portable humidifier clean to ward off fungal or bacterial growth.

  • Protect your skin from over exposure to sun, heat, cold and wind. Wear gloves during winter and sunscreen all year round.

  • Wear clothing made of cotton and silk. These natural fibers help your skin ward off water evaporation.

  • If your skin gets very irritated, apply a cool compress.

  • Apply a rich lotion after washing your hands. Carry a small tube with you during the day to use as needed.

Ingredient Triggers to Avoids

There are harsh ingredients that can further rob your skin of natural oils, and even irritate it. These harsh ingredients can cause problems for dry sensitive skin.

  • Fragrance. All forms of fragrance are irritating. These include scented lotions, creams, and synthetic perfumes. Fragrances tend to cause inflammation and damage the inner layers of your skin. There really is no need for fragrance in skin care or cosmetics, even your shampoo and other hair products. Always opt for a fragrance-free product.

  • Benzoyl peroxide. It can result in peeling, itching and other irritations when applied to dry sensitive skin.

  • Retinoids. They help with wrinkles and other skin conditions. However, dermatologists agree retinoids are irritating and lead to problems for dry skin.

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate. Sulfates in general have been shown to be irritating. They're found in shampoo, soaps, face wash, and toothpaste. It's reported sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) may cause itching scalp, skin rashes, and canker sores from your toothpaste. The better option for products is to choose sulfate-free ones, specially free of SLS.

  • Sunscreen chemicals. Sunblock ingredients such as avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenxone are effective, but can cause irritation to sensitive skin. There are two types of sunblock ingredients: chemical and physical. The physical type consist of the mineral zinc oxide. The Food & Drug Administration rates zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the safest and most effective of sunblocks. With sunscreen, it's best to opt for the physical (mineral) formula.

  • Salicylic acid. Many acne treatments include this commonly found aspirin ingredient. Salicylic acid helps control inflammation, but it's also very irritating. By taking care of your skin with proper routine and gentle sensitive skin products, you can better control breakouts.

  • Alcohol. Toners and mouthwash typically contain alcohol, which is used as an antiseptic and for a quick dry effect. In mouthwash, alcohol also causes dry mouth, which is not good for a healthy mouth. In toners and skin care, it robs your skin from hydration and natural skin emollients, which are crucial for anti-aging. Always opt for alcohol free.

  • Harsh preservatives. Not all preservatives are bad, but some have been shown to be of concern. The results are not totally in as far as research, but then again, we didn't know how toxic tobacco was until years later. Parabens have been shown to be of concern and should be off your list.

  • Plant extracts, essential oils. For very sensitive skin, avoid products with botanicals, such as plant extracts or essential oils. These types of ingredients, although called "natural" can be very irritating to dry sensitive skin.

Cleure Sensitive Skin Gentle Cleanser.

Sensitive Skin Gentle Cleanser
Gluten-Free, SLS Free Glycerin Bar Soap for Face and Body

Face & Body Bar with Oatmeal
100% Shea Butter Body Lotion

Shea Butter Body Lotion
Emu Oil for Sensitive Skin

Emu Oil

Best Ingredients & Products for Dry Sensitive Skin

There are certain ingredients you should look for to help you choose the right products:

  • Dimethicone and glycerin help keep water in your skin.

  • Shea butter helps protect the skin's natural oils, and therefore, excellent for dry sensitive skin.

  • Use sunscreen with active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients are non-irritating and effective.

  • Oatmeal has a calming affect and is a good choice for dry sensitive skin products.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, halibut, flax, and walnuts, help your skin's oil-retaining barriers.

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