Asian woman holding a glass of water

Being sick, such as getting the flu or a cold, can take its toll on your skin health. The most immediate and recognizable reaction is dryness. Your skin can feel a bit itchy and stripped of moisture as a side effect of medication. Your eyes and nose can look red and flaky from rubbing with tissues, too, and all these can emphasize the fatigue and lack of sleep that come with illness. This dryness and flaking can occur anywhere in the body, as well.

Often, the skin can remain dry and itchy long after the cold or fever is gone. If you’re reading this, congratulations on your recovery. Now, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Here are some rejuvenation tips to help you nurse your skin back to health, too.

Change Your Shower Habits

Since your skin is dry at the moment, consider limiting your shower time to five to ten minutes. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends those with dry skin use warm instead of hot water and a gentle cleanser instead of soap. Doing this can help preserve the remaining moisture in your skin. After showering, pat your skin dry with a towel to avoid scratching any sensitive areas.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

Regular moisturizers won’t do if you have extremely dry and dull skin. The AAD suggests switching to a product with petrolatum, lanolin, dimethicone, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter. Start with specialized dry skin soap or an intensely hydrating body wash like Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash, which cleans the skin’s surface while moisturizing it like a lotion.

To get your glow back ASAP, apply right after bathing to lock moisture in. Vaseline Gluta-Hya Serum Burst Dewy Radiance features many of the active skin repair ingredients above, plus Gluta Glow technology to speed up skin brightening. On the other hand, cracked skin can benefit from an additional layer of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.

Don’t forget your face! POND'S Watermelon Jelly Moisturizer nourishes the skin while giving it that coveted glassiness. Just apply a pea-sized amount of this hydrated facial solution to your face after cleansing and you’ll look fresh and dewy in an instant.

Load Up on Fluids

Colds and fever can increase your risk of dehydration and, consequently, . It can make your symptoms worse, as well as introduce symptoms of its own, including lightheadedness, fatigue, dry mouth, lips, and eyes, , and peeing less than four times a day. The UK National Health Services recommends drinking more fluids if you are sick and as you recover. You should be drinking enough so your pee is clear and pale in color.

If drinking regularly is not yet a habit for you, the following tricks can introduce more fluids into your diet:

  • Always pair your meals with a non-diuretic drink.
  • Practice social drinking, such as having tea or non-alcoholic cocktails at home with friends or family.
  • Consume more foods with high water content, such as melons, ice cream, leafy greens, and soups.

Get More Vitamins C and E

According to the National Institutes of Health, high levels of are found in the epidermis and dermis. It’s a favored ingredient in anti-aging products because of the huge role it plays in collagen production. Taking vitamin C can combat signs of aging, as well as increase the effectiveness of sunscreen topically applied to the skin. It’s also effective at repairing and revitalizing dry skin. Make sure you get 1,000mg of vitamin C daily, whether from your diet or doctor-approved supplements.

, meanwhile, is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin from sun damage, dark spots, and wrinkles. It also helps condition the skin, as well as prevent dryness and inflammation by counteracting decreased sebum production. You can increase your vitamin E intake by consuming more nuts and seeds, spinach, and avocados.

Improve Quality of Sleep

A study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology found that people who sleep for seven to nine hours a night have skin that is more moisturized and resilient against external aggressors.

Improve the quality of your sleep starting with your sheets. Make sure you wash them with a hypoallergenic detergent that won’t irritate your skin. You can also start using a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Finally, elevate your head with pillows for a deeper, uninterrupted sleep.

Getting sick can affect your skin health, but it doesn’t have to be a permanent condition. If you suffer from from having a cold or the flu, try the tips above to nurse your skin back to health.