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How can I prevent dry skin?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
One way to prevent skin from becoming overly dry is to avoid washing it too frequently with soap, which can remove natural oils. Watch the animation to learn more about help for dry skin.


Taking good care of your skin everyday can help to prevent dryness. Dermatologists recommend the following steps:

  • Keep showers short, as more than 10 minutes can result in dry skin. The water should be warm, but not hot, as hot water removes natural oils from the skin faster than warm water. Avoid regular, deodorant soaps as they can be harsh on the skin. Try using a gentle, moisturizing beauty bar or body wash. After bathing with a gentle cleanser, gently pat yourself dry and avoid rubbing the skin.
  • Moisturize frequently. Applying moisturizer right after bathing helps to seal in much-needed hydration. Choose a moisturizer, ointment or cream formulated to help relieve dry skin.
  • Avoid anti-aging products containing retinoids or an alpha-hydroxy acid, which can irritate skin or cause dryness.
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  • Avoid wearing wool and other rough materials next to your skin.
  • Apply lip balm often. Consider using a lip balm with an SPF of at least 30. This can help reduce signs of premature aging and prevent skin cancer on the lips.
  • For hands, wear gloves outside during winter. Apply hand cream after washing your hands. Wear waterproof gloves to protect hands in wet conditions.
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher on all skin that will be exposed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.