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It can be overwhelming when you gaze upon the rows of lotions and moisturizers on shelves at the store. Each proclaims its ingredients as the best for ridding you of dry, itchy skin. It's tempting to buy into the hype, but there is nothing like your own experience and proven results when it comes to choosing the best lotion for your skin. Trust yourself -- and if it works, don't fix it.
There's Only One You
Skin care is an individual effort that requires you to do a little experimenting. What works great on Lady Gaga or Kate Middleton may cause you to break out in hives. The lotion your BFF swears by may just roll off your dry skin. Take a thorough inventory of your skin type before seeking your individual solution. The docs at the American Academy of Dermatology say that every skin type needs some level of UV protection in a moisturizer, so look for products with sunscreen. After that, the field is wide open.
There's no government agency that closely oversees the claims made by cosmetic manufacturers -- which is why you'll see so many outlandish promises made on products such as lotions. The really expensive brands usually aren't much better for relieving dry skin, either; they typically contain high-priced fragrances that irritate your skin. So unless you're going for a layering effect with a lotion in the same scent as your perfume, stick with the drugstore brands for relieving dry skin.
You'll know if you have combination skin, because typically your cheeks and around your eyes feel the driest while your forehead and chin may look like you slid across your slice before you ate it. Stick with medium-weight lotions after washing with a mild cleanser that doesn't rob your skin of its natural oils. Lotion that contains tretinoin helps even out your skin tone because people with combination skin often get dark splotches and fine lines on their faces.
When you've got really dry skin, it seems like you're scratching and itching soon after you've lathered your body in lotion. Your skin acts like a sponge and keeps soaking up the moisture. Lotions aren't the best solution; they contain too much water. You're better off sticking with creamy moisturizers. Start your day with a thick cream that you apply immediately after getting out of the shower. Carry a purse-size lotion with you to apply throughout the day, because you may not want to keep putting on the heavy stuff that could stain your clothes.