Even the best moisturizers won't help your skin if you use them incorrectly. I'm asked all the time to recommend a "good moisturizer" for patients in my dermatology practice. The advice that I give my patients starts with the basics. What Causes Dry Skin? First, you need to know that you can have dry skin for a variety of reasons, including:
- Some people are born with it. (They usually have a family history of hay fever, asthma, or eczema too.)
- The older we get the less oils our skin produces. We become more prone to skin dryness with its associated chapping, eczema, and skin barrier damage.
- Repeated exposure to soaps, solvents, and hot water can cause skin to become dry because they remove the skin’s natural oils from the top layer of cells, damaging it.
- Being in harsh, dry climates with low relative humidity and/or cold winds also dries out the skin by "pulling" out water causing chapping and damage.
- Pure oils such as jojoba oil, almond oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, etc.
- Butters like shea butter or cocoa butter work too.
- High oil ointments such as Vaseline jelly, Aquaphor, and Bag Balm (contains wool lanolin).
- Bland creams such as Vanicream, Eucerin Creme (contains wool lanolin), Cetaphil Cream, and Nivea Cream.