Moisture, Skin Science

Get Healthy-Looking Skin, From Your Face to Toes

by Neutrogena

Learn what causes dry skin, and how to replenish skin's vital moisture.


Understanding Dry Skin

What makes skin feel soft and smooth? Healthy skin produces natural moisturizers, and its moisture barrier—a protective layer made up of millions of skin cells held together by lipids—helps hold this moisture in and keep skin hydrated. When the moisture barrier is damaged—as a result of cold, dry air, sun exposure, frequent hand washing and other factors—skin is unable to retain its natural moisture, causing it to feel dry, rough and itchy.

Ready to transform dry, irritated skin back into healthy-looking, supple skin? Read on to find out the factors that cause dryness and how you can replenish your skin’s vital moisture.



What Causes Dry Skin?

Several factors can cause skin to lose moisture:

  • Frequent showering or bathing with hot water: Contrary to popular belief, wetting skin doesn’t always make it more moist—over time it can cause moisture to escape from the epidermis. What’s more, the hotter the water temperature, the more it washes off protective lipids and increases the ability of irritants in your cleanser to penetrate the skin.
  • Lathering up with harsh soaps: The detergent in harsh soap can strip skin of its natural oils, and may irritate dry skin.
  • Using hand sanitizer: While the alcohol in hand sanitizers kills germs, it can be very drying to skin. Repeated use can make hands rough, dry and chapped.
  • Weather: During the winter months, cold, dry air outside and warm, dry indoor heating can deplete skin’s moisture.
  • Sun damage: Unprotected exposure to UV rays can break down skin’s natural barrier and can further reduce skin’s ability to retain moisture.
  • Aging: Skin may feel drier as natural oils decrease with age.



Relief for Dry Skin

Replenishing dry skin requires avoiding the external causes of dryness and restoring the moisture barrier’s ability to hold in moisture. Try these tips for repairing dry, rough, itchy skin:

  • Take shorter showers or baths and use warm water instead of hot.
  • Wash with a mild cleanser that gently softens and conditions—to minimize stripping skin of its natural moisture.
  • After showering, gently pat skin dry and while skin is slightly damp, apply a rich, emollient moisturizer to help “seal in” moisture. Look for products that contain nourishing ingredients like glycerin to attract and maintain moisture.
  • Use an intensive moisturizer—like a hand cream—on any area where skin is extremely dry (such as elbows, knees, even lips). Apply before bed for overnight dry skin repair.
  • Avoid over-heating your home during cold months.
  • If you use hand sanitizer, look for one with a built-in moisturizer.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen when you plan to be outdoors.
  • For a foot-softening treatment, slather on a rich foot cream and slip on cotton socks

Replenishing dry skin requires protecting it from external causes of dryness and restoring the moisture barrier’s ability to hold in moisture.

Shop the Story
  • $9.99
    Currently out of stock
  • $5.19
  • Best Seller
    $9.99 - $22.49
  • $10.99
    Currently out of stock

Moisture, Skin Science

Beauty begins with healthy skin, so we're bringing you skin science and how-to guides to help you achieve your best skin ever.

We Think You'll Love

Related Posts

From the transparent amber bar to a diverse collection of ingeniously designed skincare, Neutrogena® is founded upon genuine relationships and a passion for creating effective yet skin-friendly products that earn your trust—and dermatologists' recommendations
Shake up your acne skincare routine! Our line of uplifting pink grapefruit face masks is designed just for acne-prone skin. Now you can refresh your skin gently without worrying about breakouts. Discover the specific skin benefits of each of our masks and find the right one for you.
Learn how mineral makeup brings out your skin’s natural radiance.
Reverse the look of wrinkles and dark spots with dermatologist-recommended retinol.
Unisex cleansers and products made for women may get your face clean. However, they don't always account for factors unique to guys' skin, like shaving, larger pores and more natural oil. Men's products are specially formulated with these differences in mind, so you get a deep, thorough clean for your face.