Managing dry skin

Tips for taking care of dry skin

Avoid SLS

Many soaps, shampoos, body washes and laundry products contain ionic detergents and surfactants. It’s what makes them foamy. These ingredients can be highly irritant for people with problem dry skin. One of the worst culprits is SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate). SLS has been shown to strip the skin’s natural oils, making problem dry skin worse. Try to choose non-ionic products, particularly SLS-free products, most of which are clearly labelled.

Many people find their hands particularly prone to dry skin. Using a soap substitute to wash your hands – followed by an emollient – can help.


Keep a diary

Sometimes, skin conditions seem to flare up out of the blue. That’s why it’s useful to keep a skincare diary, to try to identify any common products, substances or situations that may have triggered an increase in symptoms.

Establish an emollient routine

Use emollients generously and regularly, even when skin doesn’t feel or look particularly dry. It will improve the condition of your skin and reduce itching.

Apply an emollient immediately after a bath or shower. This helps trap moisture in the skin. Remember to pat (not rub) the skin dry before applying. Rubbing can irritate dry skin conditions.

Turn down the heat…

...and stay cool


Dress for comfort

Some fibres are more irritating to the skin than others. Wool is notoriously prickly. Many synthetic fabrics are abrasive and don’t allow the skin to breathe.

Choose natural cotton clothing and bedding where possible. Wash new clothes, including coloured cotton, before wearing them. This will help to reduce any excess, irritating chemicals and dyes.

Need to know more?

For further expert advice on managing dry skin, you can visit: