If you suffer with dry skin you’ll be all too familiar with the tight, itchy feeling that goes hand in hand with the condition. Doctor Sophie Shotter of the Illuminate Skin Clinic in Kent explains what to do (and not to do) if your skin is on the dry side.

How to care for dry skin

The first one is easy - moisturise your body. Dr Sophie recommends shea butter products. We love R&R’s Whipped Shea Butter , £13, and you can’t go wrong with The Body Shop’s Shea Nourishing Body Butter , from £6, either. Sophie recommends using it within five minutes of getting our of the shower or bath as your skin is most receptive then.

Dr Sophie emphasises the importance of drinking a lot of water (minimum eight to 12 glasses a day), but know that it won’t fix everything. You also need to stimulate the skin to produce more hyaluronic acid (HA) too otherwise you can’t hold the water in your skin. Add in a supplement such as Zenii's Pro Hydrate , £50, to help skin along its way.

For all the hype around hydrating the skin with hyaluronic acid , it’s also important not to overdo it on the HA. Too much can actually dehydrate the surrounding tissue. Dr Sophie recommends using products containing  ceramides  to make the most out of your HA. Ceramides decrease transepidermal water loss, so after applying your hyaluronic acid, apply your ceramide skincare to lock the moisture in and help the skin cell membranes stay nourished, firm and bouncy and lock water within the skin.

One final word of advice is don’t have very hot or long showers or baths; it can make dry skin much worse. Use warm water and after the shower pat it dry, not rub.

The best skincare for dry skin according to Dr Sophie

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 , £135
SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier , £90
Neostrata Bionic Face Cream , £33.50 
Bioderma Atoderm Shower Gel , £6.40
SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser , £35
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