Finding the best moisturizer for dry skin and when to use it

If you have dry skin, you may be tempted to reach for the nearest available moisturizer and get straight to work – after all, dry flaky skin is not the most attractive thing in the world. But there are a few things you should be aware of.

Be gentle – whether you think you have sensitive skin or not, be gentle when applying moisturizer. Use light pressure, preferably moving up from your neck to your forehead. Using heavier pressure can damage your skin rather than improve it, and be extra careful where your skin is thinnest – around your eyes.

Trap that moisture in there – if you’ve just washed your face or showered, apply moisturizer as soon as you can.

More is better – or at least, more applications is better. Once a day is good, twice a day is better, but if you end up applying moisturizer at night make sure it has been absorbed before lying down, as you don’t want to be moisturizing your pillow.

Check your skin type – finding the best moisturizer for dry skin is one thing, but it isn’t useful if you don’t actually have dry skin. Check your t-zone (around your eyebrows and down your nose) at the end of the day and see if it appears dry, oily or normal – that should give you a clue as to your skin type.

Dry skin is often moisturized best with a cream moisturizer, which will contain more oil than a lotion or ointment. Furthermore, people with dry skin are often more likely to have allergic reactions, so it is worth taking it easy if you are trying out a new moisturizer. Try it somewhere less sensitive first, like your arm, and give it a few days to see if you develop a reaction – better it is on your arm than in the middle of your face!

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