If you have dry skin soap is not your friend. You may have noticed how many kinds of soap, especially ordinary bath soaps, dry out your skin, making it itchy, red, flaky, and sometimes even painful. And yet, you want to maintain good hygiene, right? Sometimes you need to use soap. So what are you supposed to do?
We’ll tell you about the best soap for dry skin that we’ve been able to find and we’ll also give you some tips for caring for dry skin and practicing good hygiene without making your skin condition worse. First, though, let’s look at why soap often makes dry skin worse.
Normal, healthy skin naturally produces oils. If your skin produces too much oil, you’ll have oily skin. Your skin will feel greasy and you may be prone to acne, blackheads and other skin blemishes. If your skin doesn’t produce enough oil, or if too much of your skin’s natural oil is removed in some way, you’ll have dry skin. If your skin is light-colored, it may appear reddened. If you have dark skin, it may appear ashy or gray in color. The skin may be flaky and it’s likely to itch. If you scratch too much – and it can be hard to resist the urge to scratch very dry, itchy skin – you may break the skin, causing scabs or even an infection to develop.
So how does soap make dry skin worse? Soap is meant to remove dirt, oil and debris from your skin. You want soap to remove dirt and debris, as well as excess oil, in order to clean your skin. Many types of soap can remove too much oil, though, especially if your skin is on the dry side to begin with, sometimes causing extreme dryness. In fact, some types of soap can have this effect even if you start out with oily skin.
Using a soap that is specially formulated for dry skin can help. Soaps made for dry skin typically contain moisturizers that soothe and soften skin and usually don’t contain harsh ingredients that dry out skin.
It’s important to note that prolonged exposure to water, especially hot water, is also drying to the skin. Take short baths or showers and use warm, but not hot, water along with a good soap to prevent excessively dry skin.
If you have dry skin, we recommend using a soap that is specially formulated for your skin type. In fact, no matter what type of skin you have, we recommend using a gentle soap that won’t strip away the natural oils your skin is meant to have. The Mayo Clinic recommends looking for soaps or cleaners that contain added oils or fats, which help moisturize and nourish dry skin. Look for soap without any dyes or perfumes, as well as a soap that is alcohol-free (alcohol is very drying to the skin). Soaps designed for people with sensitive skin are often good for dry skin.
Even with the best soap, experts recommend using it only in moderation. Wash your face and any dry areas no more than twice a day. Washing too frequently, even with a good soap, can dry out your skin by stripping away the natural oils. If your skin is particularly dry, try washing with plain water if your skin isn’t actually dirty. Apply a good moisturizer after washing your face and after bathing, to help prevent moisture from evaporating from the skin and to prevent dryness.
In addition to using a good soap for dry skin, follow these tips to care for dry skin for the best results. Note that if you have combination skin, meaning some areas are dry while other areas are normal or oily, experts generally recommend treating each area with products specially formulated for that skin type.
The best dry skin soap we’ve found is Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash. Eucerin makes a number of skin care products specially formulated for dry skin, and like all of their other products, this body wash is fragrance-free and soothing to dry, irritated skin. It contains omega oils and other natural lipids, as recommended by the Mayo Clinic website (and in fact, the Mayo Clinic website recommends Eucerin products for dry skin). It’s gentle and suitable for use on your whole body and it calms dry, itchy, irritated skin. To learn more about Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash and see why we like it so much, just follow the link.
Mayo Clinic: Dry Skin