Banish Dry Skin
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Banish Dry Skin

Unpredictable weather, outdoor heat, and indoor air conditioning can wreak havoc on skin, causing flakes and itchiness. To stop dryness in its tracks, try these 10 tips.

1. Open the windows. On days when you have the heat on, crack the window a bit to allow stale, skin-drying air to escape.

2. Opt for warm, not hot. Avoid very hot showers, since hot water actually depletes the skin's natural moisture, causing dryness. Stick to warm showers instead.

3. Get scrubbing. Use an exfoliating sponge or scrub in the shower, two to three times a week, to slough off dead, dry skin cells.

4. Moisturize. Pick a creamy body lotion that forms an occlusive barrier on your skin to prevent moisture loss.

5. Cut down on showers. Showering too often can create dry skin. Suds up once a day; use a body-freshening towelette to de-grime mid-day or after the gym.

6. Shave! It gets rid of hair, but also removes dead, scaly skin cells.

7. Skip harsh body washes. Those labeled "antibacterial" are often too drying for itch-prone skin. Look for a moisturizing wash or beauty bar.

8. Try a mask. We usually use masks on our face, but they're great for extra-dry areas of the body, too. Pick one made to soothe dry skin, with softening ingredients like glycerin.

9. Drink your H20. While eight glasses a day doesn't actually moisturize skin from the inside out, keeping your body well-hydrated allows it to function at its peak -- which means your skin can better resist drying environmental factors.

10. Keep hands and feet covered. Resist the urge to put away your gloves and socks too quickly at the end of winter. They protect skin against chilling temperatures and spring winds, both of which cause dryness.