Dry Skin - Do’s and Don’ts

Dry Skin (Skyn Stories by Dr Meenu Sethi)
Dry Skin (Skyn Stories by Dr Meenu Sethi)

Does your skin lack moisture and look terribly dry? If your skin is feeling flaking, tight, cracking or itchy, it might be due to ting-a-ling of dry skin. It occurs when skin doesn’t maintain adequate moisture. Dry skin is common and can affect anyone at any age. You can get dryness anywhere on your body, but it commonly shows up on the legs, arms, feet and hands.

Dry skin can make your wrinkles and fine lines more noticeable without a change in your skin care. When the external layers of skin lose their capability to sustain normal moisture levels, your skin becomes dry. It can be due to sun damage, genetic predisposition, nutritional deficiencies, aging or due to use of some skin care products comprising drying or irritating elements. Makeup can look blotchy on dry skin and it needs constant and regular moisturizing.

The most common symptoms of Dry Skin include-

  • Itching

  • Skin tightness, especially after bathing

  • Skin that feels rough

  • Peeling, flaking or scaling skin

  • Cracks in the skin that may bleed

If you have tried almost everything to relieve your dry skin! — cream, essential oils, lotions and body butters, etc. But yet, you get little to no relief, it is a time you make some changes in your daily care routine. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep your face damp and bright.


  • Use a cleanser that contains ceramide. It will help the skin hold in moisture and exfoliates without stripping your natural oil barrier.

  • Use a humidifier as it helps keep moisture in the air, important for your skin’s health.

  • Use a moisturizer in the morning with an SPF of at least 30 before you apply makeup. Apply moisturizer on your neck and hands as well. The best time to apply moisturizer is right after bathing while skin is still moist. This helps to lock in dampness.

  • Buy a moisturizer that is oil based. You can also opt for rich moisturizers that contain glycerine, ceramide or shea butter.

  • Apply moisturizer regularly, especially after washing your hands or face.

  • A patch test before you buy any product so that it doesn’t dry out your skin.

  • Use Vaseline before a shower to prevent skin from drying out.

  • Take 8 hours of sleep as fatigue can slow down your circulation and block delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your skin.

  • Take proper diet including fruits, vegetables, and fiber to fuel your body with important nutrients.

  • Drink lots of water.

  • Regular exercise as it will enhance the flow of blood and oxygen to the skin, which helps you giving a healthy glow.

  • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more, even in winter as sun damage is one of the main causes behind the dry skin.

  • Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion.

  • Buy emollient products that give skin additional hydration.

  • Use low-irritant detergent and rinse your laundry twice.

  • Use a soft towel to pat yourself dry after taking a bath.

  • Shave after a shower as the hair is softer and more pliable.

  • Always shave with a gel or shaving cream and shave in the direction the hair grows.

  • Buy a lip balm with an SPF of 15 to prevent dry and chapped lips.


  • Use matte and powder makeup as it will just emphasize your dry skin.

  • Use toner with high amount of alcohol.

  • Take a hot shower every day. Instead, use lukewarm water as it is less abrasive.

  • Take a bath for more than 10 minutes as long exposure to water can break down your skin’s natural oils and strips away moisture.

  • Use too much soap while bathing as chemicals in soap can cause the skin to become excessively dry.

  • Scrub your skin with a brush or harsh sponge.

  • Use the stronger body washes that you were using during the summer when humidity and sweat were a constant battle. Instead, switch to a gentler, moisturizing soap for the harsh winter months.

  • Over exfoliate as it will just irritate your skin, causing more dryness.

  • Use fabric softener as when our skin is dry, clothes and detergent can be irritating.

  • Use products that contain fragrance and other additives as they can be harsh on your skin.

  • Leave the heater on during winter, as it will dry the moisture in your home.

  • Use a razor to remove body hair as it can enhance your skin dryness. You are scraping off natural oils from your skin.

  • Overuse toners, peels, and astringent that contain alcohol.