The best products you can buy to soothe every type of itchy skin

Red Cross Hands Out Care Packages To Ft. Dix Troops
Getty Images | William Thomas Cain

Ah, summer! You’re known as the season of sun, surf and sand. And mosquito bites. Don’t forget poison ivy. What about dry skin after spending all day at the pool? Or itchy peeling skin after a particularly gnarly sunburn.

Basically, it’s the season of extreme itchiness. But what can be done about this? Do any of the home remedies really work? Spoiler alert: no!  So stop making an “X” over your mosquito bite if you’re still doing that. But here are the best products you can use for every type of itch. Now stop scratching.

Relief For Dry Skin

When it comes to dry skin, make sure you’re not making things worse. This means avoiding hot showers ( that will rinse away the natural oils on your skin. You should opt for a tepid/lukewarm shower instead. While in the shower do not use products containing alcohol. This dries your skin even further.

Then, when your skin is still damp after the shower, slather on a rich moisturizer. Try Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream—it’s free from chemical dyes, lanolin, fragrance, parabens, and formaldehyde that can further irritate your already dry skin.

Bonus itchy skin problem: the delicate skin on your face is unhappy and you don’t know how to fix it. Heavier body creams can clog pores and leave you greasy, but your skin feels tight and awful. Make sure you’re not over-washing, first of all, and then try a gentle moisturizer like CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with SPF 30 in the mornings. Also, make sure your face washes don’t contain sulfates which dry out the skin more.

Help For Chapped Lips

Yes, they happen in the summer too. Whether you’ve been out on the boat too long or just dehydrated at the beach, chapped lips can happen. Not only are they unpleasant and unattractive, they can also be difficult to smooth out. That’s where Aquaphor comes in. Yes, it’s heavy duty. But just a tiny smear of this stuff will give you baby-soft lips. And when winter rolls around, you can use it on dry elbows and knees too.

Bye-Bye Bug Bite Itch

I’m a mosquito magnet. So I can tell you right now finding the best solution to bumpy, itchy ankles has been my priority for a long time. And none of the home remedies work—not garlic, or raw onion or coconut oil. In fact, just leave these ingredients to the kitchen!

What you need is hydrocortisone.  This contains a steroid to help reduce inflammation and, therefore, itchiness. You can find hydrocortisone in a wide variety of products including Aveeno 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Relief Cream, Cortizone 10 Anti-Itch Ointment, and plenty of generic brands too.

mosquitos photo
Getty Images | FEMA

For Poison Ivy Itchy Skin

So you sat in poison ivy. Or poison oak. Or something that gave you a rash too big for a layer of cortisone. Say hello to calamine lotion, that pink, chalky stuff of your childhood. Calamine lotion is a mixture of zinc oxide and ferric oxide, and both ingredients work quite neatly to relieve itch and dry out rashes. It can also help with bug bites and bee stings (although I’ve personally found that cortisone is more effective).

You can get a bottle of the original stuff or find it in products like Caladryl Skin Protectant Lotion and generics.


Beauty, Health

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About the Author
Jessica Suss
Current high-school English teacher, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast moonlighting as a writer.

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