Dry or sensitive skin is very common. It can also be treated easily. Learn how to take care of your skin if it is dry or sensitive.

Tips to care for dry or sensitive skin


  • Use gentle soap without smells. The smells in certain soaps can bother dry or sensitive skin.
  • Use soap only on your armpits, genitals (private parts) or parts of your body that are dirty. This will help your skin feel less irritated.
  • Take 1 warm bath or shower every day. Keep your bath or shower to 10 minutes or shorter. The water should be warm, but not hot. Warm water is best for dry skin.
  • Dry your skin gently by patting it dry. Do not rub or scrub your skin.
  • Follow your doctor's directions on using your prescription cream, if you have one.
  • Use cream or ointment to moisturize your skin 1-2 times a day and after you bathe or shower. Creams and ointments are thicker than lotion.
  • Think about getting a humidifier to use in the winter. A humidifier
  • Use allergy-free laundry detergent without smells. Allergy-free laundry detergent is called hypoallergenic.

Do not

  • Do not use soaps, moisturizers or laundry detergent with smells.

  • Do not use hot tubs, steam rooms or saunas.

  • Do not rub or scrub your skin to dry it.

  • Do not use dryer sheets or fabric softeners in the laundry.

Can I remove my dry skin?

Yes, but only if your doctor says it is okay. Do not pick, rub or scrub off dry skin.

Here are some creams that can help remove dry skin. These creams might sting if you have cracks in your skin:

  • AmLactin® cream
  • Aqua Glycolic® Hand and Body Lotion
  • Avene® Retrinal 0.05% or 1%
  • Glytone® overnight cream
  • SkinCeuticals® Metacell Renewal B3
  • CeraVe® with SA cream
  • Excipial® cream
  • Urea 20/40® cream

Soaps and moisturizers

Allergy-free face moisturizers Face moisturizers for sensitive skin
  • Toleriane® Soothing Protective Light Facial Fluid
  • Toleriane® Soothing Protective Facial Cream
  • CeraVe® PM Lotion
  • Cetaphil® moisturizing lotion
  • Neutrogena® Hydro Boost Gel
  • Olay® Moisturizing Lotion for sensitive skin

Allergy-free body and face soaps Gentle body and face soaps
  • Aveeno® Moisturizing Bar
  • Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser
  • Kiss My Face® Pure Olive Oil Soap
  • Neutrogena® Fragrance-Free Facial Bar
  • Vanicream® Cleansing Bar
  • Dove® fragrance-free bar soap
  • Dove® Sensitive Skin Cleanser
  • CeraVe® cleanser
  • Cetaphil® Restoraderm cleanser
  • Neutrogena® Ultra Gentle Cleanser

Allergy-free body moisturizers Body moisturizers for sensitive skin
  • Cetaphil® Restroaderm eczema calming lotion
  • Lubriderm®
  • Theraplex® HydroLotion or Emollient
  • Vanicream®
  • Aveeno® Skin Relief Moisturizing Cream
  • Cetaphil® Moisturizing Cream
  • Cetaphil® Intensive Moisturizing Cream
  • CeraVe® cream
  • Curel® Intensive Healing Cream
  • Aquaphor® ointment
  • Vaseline® ointment
  • Vaniply® ointment
  • Hydrolated petrolatum

What is the difference between lotion, cream and ointment?

Lotions, creams and ointments are all different. Creams and ointments are best for dry or sensitive skin.

  • Lotion has a thinner texture. It does not work as well for dry skin.
  • Cream is thicker. It moisturizes skin very well. Cream is good for dry skin.
  • Ointment is very thick. Sometimes, it feels sticky. Ointment is good for dry skin.