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What ingredients should I look for if I have dry skin?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology

If you have a dry skin, you need to look for the following ingredients in your skin care product:

Cleanser:

  • Polysorbate 85 or 60
  • Cocmidopropyl Betaine

Cleanser and Moisturizer:

Emollients such as:

  • Shea or cocoa butter
  • Lanolin
  • Petrolatum
  • Paraffin
  • Beeswax
  • Squalene
  • Coconut, jojoba, sesame, almond, and other plant oils
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Olive oil (oleic acid)
  • Triethylhexanoin

Humectants such as:

  • Glycerin
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sorbitol
  • Sodium PCA
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Allantoin
  • Urea

Moisturizing additives (in the delivery system):

  • Stearic acid
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Caprylic triglyceride
  • Butylene glycol
Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

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Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...
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If your skin is dry, a moisturizer that contains petrolatum or lanolin should help; these ingredients help trap moisture in the skin. If your skin is very dry, look for moisturizers containing urea or lactic acid. These ingredients help the skin retain water. Ask your dermatologist whether an ointment, cream, lotion or oil is better for you. Be sure to use the product several times throughout the day.

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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.