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There are many reasons why runners can suffer from dry skin. To name a few: training in dry regions, exposing our skin to harsh conditions, washing our hands and bodies often, and just not taking the time to moisturize. And at the end of the day you may find your hands, elbows, lips, feet (and elsewhere) feeling itchy, flaky, rough, or even cracked and bleeding.
Luckily, scientists, dermatologists, and cosmetologists have come a long way in developing moisturizers that both prevent and repair dry skin woes. We’ve rounded up the best products for dry skin that we think runners will love.
But first, some pro tips on how to use them.
- Moisturize right after washing your face, body, or hands (yes, every time). Having cracked skin makes it easier for bacteria and germs to get into the body, so use a hand cream after hand sanitizing as well.
- According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), creams and ointments can retain more moisture than lotions, making them more effective at curing dry skin troubles.
- For the best moisture content look for these AAD approved ingredients: Jojoba oil, dimethicone, glycerine, hyaluronic acid (HA), lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, and shea butter.
- Likewise, the AAD recommends avoiding these ingredients if moisture is your goal: Alcohol (except in hand sanitizer), fragrances (which can be irritating if your skin is dry and chapped), and retinoids.
The Best Products for Dry Skin
Best Products for Dry Hands
Aquaphor Healing Ointment | $11.99
This ointment works wonders on deeply cracked and dehydrated skin. It also works really well to just start your day with a base-layer of moisture. It is by far the thickest formula in this roundup, however, which doesn’t make it ideal for whole body coverage.
Extract Labs Face Cream with CBD | $90
Although its marketed as a face cream, we found it to be a little too thick for that. But, it really does the trick when it comes to handling painful cracked knuckles. The shea butter and jojoba base, with full spectrum CBD make this a great product to turn to after a long, hard run.
Soap & Glory Hand Food | $4
Since it’s recommended to moisturize after every hand-washing session, it’s best to keep a travel-sized option like this with you when you’re out and about. Soap & Glory’s Hand Food is made with shea butter, macadamia oil, and marshmallow and has only a light scent that doesn’t get overwhelming after you’ve been using it all day long.
Best Skin Care Products for Whole-Body Moisture
Vaseline Intensive Care Essential Healing Lotion | $9.93
This is an all-time best product for dry skin, and it’s no wonder: Vaseline was founded in 1870. That’s a century-and-a-half dedicated to healing dry skin. It’s smooth, non-greasy, and easy to apply. Plus, it is affordable, and you can find it just about anywhere.
eos 24H Moisture Body Lotion | $9.99
In this lotion, eos combines shea butter and shea oil for a very satisfying whole-body experience. If you like strong, sweet fragrances then you’ll love these (coconut waters, vanilla cashmere, jasmine peach, and pomegranate raspberry are the current options). But if fragrances irritate your skin, then this might be one to avoid.
Best Face Creams and Moisturizers
Mychelle Deep Repair Cream | $32
Facial skin is thinner and more delicate than the rest of the skin on our body, which is why you need a dedicated face cream. This antioxidant rich face cream does a good job at bringing crucial moisture back into our face.
Dr. Devgan Scientific Beauty SPF BB Cream | $145
This BB Cream is perfect for runners. It provides a lightweight moisture that doesn’t feel too heavy for a run and also provides sun protection with a 44 SPF. And the tinted BB cream blends nicely for a finishing touch. It was created by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Lara Devgan, who is also a runner.
Best Cream for Dry Feet
L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream | $29
Don’t forget about your feet. Cracked heels can be painful, so it’s best to take care of your feet before it gets to that point. But whether it’s daily use or repairing already dry and cracked skin, this shea butter infused foot cream will get the job done.
Best Balms for Dry, Chapped Lips
Avène Cold Cream Nourishing Lip Balm | $14
You don’t have to just live with parched, cracked lips. This balm retains moisture, but also has vitamin E to repair damage. So put it on before the run and reapply after and your lips will be feeling better in no time.
Alba Botanica Moisturizing Sunscreen Lip Balm | $14.90 (3-Pack)
Your lips are just as prone to sun damage as the rest of your skin, so getting a lip balm with SPF is a good idea. Alba Botanica’s Sunscreen Lip Balm does a great job with moisturizing, but also provides a 23 SPF protection. And it is truly flavorless, no weird flavors to worry about.