Dry, scaly skin can be unsightly and embarrassing -- not to mention itchy. Whether you're peeling from a sunburn, struggle with eczema or simply need a respite from cold weather, there are different ways you can seal in moisture so your skin looks fresh and feels good all day. Use a hydrating cleanser twice a day; exfoliate with gentle ingredients, and lock in moisture with a thick facial or body cream. If you stick to this hydrating routine, it'll be smooth sailing when it comes to your skin.

Cleanse the Right Way

Wash your face and body with a mild, hydrating cleanser. Look for a fragrance-free, creamy non-comedigenic cleanser. Effective hydrating cleansers include ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin, ingredients that work to plump up the skin, retain moisture and lubricate connective tissue. Make sure you always rinse your skin well with warm water and pat dry with a clean, soft towel.

Exfoliate When Necessary

You need to exfoliate your face and body if you want smooth skin, says Ole Henriksen, founder of the Ole Henriksen skin care brand. Exfoliating not only smooths and refines your skin's texture, it enhances the blood flow so your skin gives off a fresh glow. Look for a exfoliant that won't irritate your dry, flaky skin, such as one with jojoba beads. Twice a week, use your hands to gently massage the exfoliant into your skin using upward, circular motions. Rinse with warm water, and pat dry with a clean towel.

Moisturize With AHA

While your skin is still damp from the shower, apply a moisturizer that contains alpha hydroxy acid and beta hydroxy acid to your face and body, recommends the American Academy of Dermatology. These organic ingredients help rid the skin of dry flakes, but it is the alpha hydroxy acid that works at the surface to exfoliate dead skin and reveal a brighter complexion underneath. Other hydrating ingredients include shea butter, avocado, olive oil and citrus acids used to dissolve peeling.

Homemade Remedies

Make a moisturizing wash by blending together red apple slices, plain yogurt, olive oil and honey. Apply a generous amount to your skin in the shower and leave it on for two minutes. Rinse with warm water. The yogurt acts as a gentle exfoliator and the honey is a humectant that draws the moisture back into your skin. Or try soaking a washcloth in cold milk. Rub the cloth over your entire body in the shower; the lactic acid helps remove dry flakes. As a facial remedy, lay the drenched washcloth across your face for 10 minutes. The natural lipids will plump up and rehydrate your skin.

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About the Author

Lisa Finn

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.