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How Can We Best Prevent & Treat Dry Skin?

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) - Another telltale sign of a change in the season painfully happens on our hands and face. Dry skin is a problem this time of year. And before it gets worse, we wanted to know: How can we best prevent and treat dry skin? Are there natural remedies to try?

As we learned, solutions can be bound at a pharmacy or the grocery aisle.

The dry skin problem pains Dr. Mohiba Tareen, of Tareen Dermatology, to hear.

"That's one of the most common things we see as dermatologists in the winter in Minnesota," Tareen said. "People who come in with thick, dry skin, cracks and then infections that can sometimes even end them up in the hospital."

What is a good skincare routine for winter?

It starts with how your wash your face. Tareen said people should transition from gel foaming cleansers to a cream cleanser.

"You also then want to go from a light moisturizer to something thicker in a jar. So things in jars have less water in them," she said, adding that lotions from a pump bottle are better in the summer months because they're not as greasy or thick. "Jar-based in winter, pump in summer."

Is there a routine on when the apply them?

While moisturizing throughout the day is important, Tareen says it makes a greater impact a night.

"That's when our skin is regenerating," she said.

Using oils is another route people with dry skin try for relief, but some are concerned it makes their hands feel too greasy or can lead to acne breakouts.

Why would someone maybe want to try oil versus a lotion or a cream?

"It really depends on your type of skin," Tareen said. "For some people who are prone to more acne or ingrown hair, body hair, you might want to do kind of a lighter lotion, even in winter."

Byrdie, a beauty website, lauds oils as an option for people with dry skin issues. However, it also emphasized that oils work best for people with certain types of skin. Tareen added that using an oil, then a cream on top of it, is a powerful combo to tackle dryness. The layer of cream keeps the oil from evaporating.

Not all oils come from beauty shops. Some can be found at the grocery store.

"In Indian culture we love coconut oil, again not great if you're acne prone, but if you're dry skin prone that's a great one," Tareen said. "Avocado oil's a great one."

One woman we interviewed named Rebecca uses those same natural remedies for her hair.

"African American hair is more dry naturally, and so I found that in winter seasons, using those products, kind of making a paste or a conditioner out of them really helps lock in moisture for my hair," Rebecca said.

Other skin saving tips before you brave the weather include putting on moisturizer before putting on gloves and covering your face with a scarf or mask.

"And you should be wearing your sunglasses, because those lines around the eyes, you don't want those," Tareen said.

Showering with a cooler temperature can keep your skin better moisturized. Using Vaseline after you shower and before you dry off can also help.

For those who wash their hands often, Tareen recommends moisturizers that contain dimethicone.

"It is a silicone-based polymer. It helps repel water. So for somebody like me who's a doctor who's washing my hands all the time, I'll use a moisturizer with dimethicone," she said.

Hyaluronic acid is another unique moisturizer. Tareen says it works a building block for skin and helps with maintaining hydration.

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