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02/18/2019 00:02 EST | Updated 03/15/2019 13:21 EDT

Dry Skin: The Most Common Causes

For the millions who suffer from it, dry skin can be uncomfortable, unsightly, and even embarrassing. And addressing it can sometimes seem like an endless battle. In partnership with Eucerin Complete Repair™, we offer some solutions for relief from dry skin, or xerosis – some which you may never have thought of before!

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Cause: The wintry weather

For many people, winter weather becomes synonymous with dry, tight, itchy skin. The reason? Winter air is extremely dry and humidity levels are way down, causing skin to lose moisture. Although you may have a medicine cabinet filled with lotions or salves, you may have trouble finding one that works for your skin. Left untreated, dry skin, which can be particularly severe on elbows, knees, hands and heels, has the potential to increase the chance of infection by allowing bacteria to enter the skin. It can also lead to atopic dermatitis, or trigger eczema which can cause redness due to dryness and cracking.

Solution: Get in the habit of keeping several bottles of moisturizer around your house so that you can use it after you shower, wash hands in the bathroom or kitchen, and use it in your workplace, too. Use a moisturizer with urea that can help bind moisture in the upper layers of the skin. Eucerin Complete Repair™ with Urea enriched formula intensively moisturizes to help replenish the skin's protective barrier, and improve the condition of extremely dry, rough and tight skin.

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Cause: Hot showers or baths

It's winter, and that means for many Canadians, it's cold outside! One solution to beat those winter chills is to run a hot shower or bath. But it's not a great idea if you are suffering from dry skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, most dry skin is caused by environmental factors – which means you can take control of them! If your skin feels tight after you get out of the shower or bath, that's probably a sign that the hot water is removing your skin's naturally oily layer.

Solution: Keep baths or showers to ten minutes maximum, and ensure that water remains lukewarm to warm. A pH balanced cleanser, such as Eucerin Complete Repair™ cleanser, helps maintain the skin's optimal pH level (between 4.7 and 5.5 on the pH spectrum), and to preserve the skin's protective barrier. When finished, pat skin gently with a soft towel to dry off. Don't rub your skin! And try not to bathe more than once per day.

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Cause: Fragrances and perfumes

A somewhat surprising cause of skin irritation and dryness can be the perfumes and fragrances used in many common beauty products, from shampoos and body washes to lotions. You may not realize it, but the ingredients in things you use every day contain scents which can be hard on already dry skin.

Solution: Look for products free of fragrances when choosing face, hair and body products. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends that if products with harsh fragrances are a problem, avoid skin care products that contain alcohol, fragrance, or retinoids – all of which can exacerbate the dehydration or irritation of skin.

Take heart, there are many ways to improve dry skin. Adding Eucerin Complete Repair™, which includes a cleanser and moisturizer, to your regimen will be a great addition to your winter dry skin routine!