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Health Tip: Keeping Skin Moist

Ways to maintain that outer glow

(HealthDay News) -- The belief that skin is the outer reflection of a person's inner being may explain why Americans spend millions of dollars on moisturizers and other cosmetics.

Ordinary dry skin, known as xerosis, usually isn't serious. But it can be uncomfortable and unsightly, turning plump cells into shriveled ones and creating fine lines and wrinkles long before you're due.

Although it may not be possible to achieve flawless skin, these suggestions from the Mayo Clinic can help keep your skin moist and healthy:

  • Limit hot showers. For most people, a once-daily bath or shower is enough to maintain good hygiene. If your skin is very dry, bathing every other day may be best. Keep in mind that the longer you're in water, the more protective skin oils you lose. So limit baths and showers to 15 minutes or less. And use warm, rather than hot, water.
  • Avoid harsh, drying soaps. If you have dry skin, it's best to use cleansing creams or gentle skin cleansers and bath or shower gels with added moisturizers. These don't have to be expensive, celebrity-endorsed brands.
  • Avoid washcloths. It's best to use your hands or a cleansing sponge on your face instead of a washcloth. Although a cloth can help remove (exfoliate) dead cells, it may be too irritating for very dry skin. After washing, pat or blot your skin until it's barely dry, then moisturize immediately to help trap water in the surface cells.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Moisturizers act as a temporary barrier, allowing damaged skin cells time to repair themselves.
Consumer News