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Dry Skin Shower Rules from a Top Dermatologist (Teach Your Kids Now!)

Got dry skin? Are you showering correctly? Seriously. And do your kids know these dry-skin shower rules?
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Looks like dry skin's worst time of year is easing up -- yay! But for some people, dry skin lasts beyond the winter months. And note: if you have kids with dry skin, teach them these dry skin shower rules from a top dermatologist NOW so they can learn ASAP how to take good care of their skin for life, ok?

SPONSORED Thanks to AVEENO® ACTIVE NATURALS®, Beautygeeks has well-known dermatologist Dr. Paul Cohen to answer some of your skincare concerns. Today we focus on his dry skin shower rules, key tips for preserving skin's natural moisture levels. Congratulations to Yvonne Cunha of Newmarket, ON, who wins a selection of AVEENO® ACTIVE NATURALS® worth more than $50 for having her question answered!

Yvonne: The skin on my body is generally dry year round, but I find in colder weather I'm exceptionally itchy and dry, almost to the point of being painful. My legs look like almost scaley, my arms are always itchy and my skin flakes so much that sometimes my black sweaters and pants are white inside (I know, gross). I'm not sure what to look for in a body wash that will quench my skin. Also, what type of after-shower moisturizer to use that will absorb quickly but still feel like it's there at the end of the day. Thank you.

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Dr. Paul Cohen: Dry, itchy skin is a very common skin problem -- especially in winter with low temperatures, low humidity and strong, harsh winds depleting skin of its natural lipid layer, which keeps skin from drying out. Dry air from furnaces and other heating sources also sucks the moisture out of skin. To keep skin soft and supple, your goal is not just to add moisture to skin, but to keep moisture in.

First things first: in the winter, you must alter your bath and shower habits. Since hot water robs skin of moisture, causing dry skin, it's best to shower in warm water. If you can't bear this rule, try to keep your showers short and try showering only once per day. Soaps, especially bar soaps can be drying. Stick with a creamy moisturizing cleanser that contains glycerin, such as AVEENO® Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, or a soapless cleanser.

Enjoy baths? Try taking a short, warm bath and make it extra hydrating by adding a bath oil or a moisturizing oatmeal bath in the water. A bath oil or moisturizing bath mix in the water creates an emulsion that sticks to skin, helping it hydrate.

The most important tip I can give is this: the moment you step out of the shower, pat skin lightly to dry off instead of rubbing with your towel before applying lotions or oils, then immediately apply any moisturizer to your slightly damp skin. Moisturizer is the key to soft, supple skin. If a regular moisturizer still leaves skin feeling dry, try a cream which has a thicker base that helps it last longer on skin, or an oil, like AVEENO® Creamy Moisturizing Oil. Ideally, to treat extra dry skin in winter, you should be applying a moisturizer twice a day.

If you're contending with eczema, click here for Dr. Cohen's skincare advice.

Do you struggle with dry skin? Only in the winter or in later months too? Will you follow Dr. Cohen's dry skin shower rules?

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