Is Your Skin Dry or Dehydrated? Here's How to Tell
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Dehydrated Skin: For Your Body
Shorten your showers. “Ideally, you should be in there for only ten minutes,” says Woolery-Lloyd. And as with dry skin, keep water lukewarm. Another tip: You may want to test your H2O for hardness (try a DIY kit) and invest in a water softener if necessary. “The calcium in hard water can exacerbate the drying effect of cleansers,” she adds.
Go easy on the fragrance. Yes, that pumpkin spice body wash is beckoning, but save the scent for your morning latte. Fragrance, a blanket term that encompasses a number of chemicals or ingredients used to create a product’s scent, is one of the most common irritants. Look for body washes labeled fragrance-free (1), not unscented—an important distinction. “Often ‘unscented’ products contain masking fragrances used to cover up the odor of certain base ingredients,” says Romanowski. While neither term is regulated by the FDA, fragrance-free is most likely to be just that—free of any potentially bothersome perfumes.
Load up on lotion. If your skin isn’t normally dry, you may not be using body cream on a regular basis. But if you’ve fallen into the dehydration zone, you’ve gotta moisturize and be diligent about it. Again, choose a humectant-rich formula that’s either fragrance-free (2) or lightly scented with only all-natural plant extracts (3), which should reduce the likelihood of irritation.
1. The Honest Co. Honest Shampoo + Body Wash Fragrance-Free ($10; Honest.com)
2. Cetaphil DailyAdvance Lotion Ultra Hydrating ($13; drugstores)
3. Aveeno Skin Relief Gentle Scent Lotion Nourishing Coconut ($10; drugstores)