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Nobody likes dry skin.  There are plenty of things that can cause it: the winter, for one, takes its toll on your skin, but there are also plenty of regular habits you’re doing that could be contributing.  Dry skin, if not addressed, can be a major problem.  It can leave your skin feeling tight, rough and itchy, and can even crack, which serves as a perfect entrance for potentially harmful germs.  There are plenty of seemingly innocent habits that could cause dry skin.  Here are a couple you should watch out for:

Hot showers: Hot showers and baths are a lot more soothing and enjoyable than cold ones, but your skin would have to disagree.  If the water is too hot, then it washes away your skin’s protective oils, leaving your skin dry, tight and itchy.  Hot water breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin, causing it to lose its moisture.  Try using lukewarm or tepid water for your showers.  Also, make sure your showers are fast: the longer you stay in, the more moisture your skin will lose.  One great trick to alleviate dry and itchy skin is to try a handful of oatmeal to the water.

Harsh products: Your soap, in addition to hot water, could help dry out your skin significantly.  Antibacterial and deodorant soaps strip moisture off the skin.  To prevent dry skin, try out a moisturizing soap with ingredients such as milk, honey, oatmeal and coconut oil.

Not hydrating: Staying hydrated is an essential key to keeping your skin healthy and looking great.  Skin that’s hydrated from the inside stays healthy on the outside.  You should try and drink eight glasses of water a day.  Yet water isn’t the only part of this fix.  Try making changes in your diet, such as incorporating water-rich fruits and vegetables into your diet to keep your body feeling healthy.  Even when you aren’t feeling thirsty, you should be keeping hydrated.  

Moisturizing the wrong way: Moisturizing is one thing, but you have to make sure you’re doing it right.  To get the most out of your products, use them after you get out the shower while your skin is still damp, to help lock in moisture and replenish skin.  Make sure you moisturize after washing your hands and face as well.  But be gentle; scrubbing too aggressively can strip your skin of natural moisture, causing the skin to become dry and itchy.