Dull complexion, flakey skin, an uncomfortable, too-tight feeling around your face: If you have dry skin, you are all too familiar with these challenges.
But dry skin isn’t an unsolvable problem. With the right skin care routine, you can repair your hydration issues and enjoy the feeling of moisturized, balanced skin.
- A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing or swimming
- Skin that feels and looks rough
- Itching (pruritus)
- Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling
- Fine lines or cracks
- Gray, ashy skin
- Deep cracks that may bleed
What causes dry skin?
Like all skin issues, dry skin can be caused by several factors including environmental, hormonal and genetic. Dry skin produces less sebum than normal skin, and sebum is a substance that helps skin retain moisture.
Without enough sebum, skin lacks the oil it needs to maintain a healthy moisture barrier. As we age, our skin also loses some of its ability to retain moisture, so it’s normal and natural to notice your skin trending to be drier as you get older.
Weather and seasonal changes can also affect your skin. Wintertime is especially harsh on dry skin because of the dry heating systems and lack of moisture in the air in many parts of the country.
You could also be unintentionally making your dry skin worse by take showers or baths that are too hot. Hot water dries out skin, so if you’re already prone to dry skin you might want to skip the steamy shower in favor of cooler temps or at least keep it short. Harsh soaps and chlorinated pools are not your skin’s friend, either.
Skin care routine for dry skin
When creating a routine for your dry skin, look for products that emphasize moisturizing and hydration and stay away from products aimed at oily or acne-prone skin, as they may inadvertently dry you out even more.
Cleanser for dry skin
A good cleanser for dry skin is one that can remove makeup while adding hydration. The key is to gently remove impurities without stripping skin of additional moisture.
Use a gentle cleanser specially formulated for dry skin, and splash your face with lukewarm water instead of hot water.
If you’re wearing a lot of makeup, resist the urge to scrub harder to get it all off — that will just irritate dry skin even more. Instead, before cleansing, use a micellar water makeup remover.
Micellar water gently lifts away makeup (even waterproof!) without needing to scrub or rub. Use it on its own or follow it up with the mousse cleanser for clean skin that’s not stripped of moisture.
Toner for dry skin
It’s especially important for sensitive, dry skin to avoid harsh toners with an overabundance of alcohol or other drying ingredients. Instead, use an alcohol-free toner that conditions and balances your skin’s microbiome. The right toner will gently condition your skin and add hydration that your moisturizer will help lock in.
Moisturizers for dry skin
You should have two moisturizers for dry skin: one with SPF for daytime, and one without for night. Dry skin already has the tendency to look dull and sun damage only accelerates that, so make sure to use a minimum SPF 30 moisturizer during the day to both hydrate and protect against further damage.
For night, incorporate a more nourishing cream moisturizer into your skin care routine. Your skin repairs itself while you’re sleeping, so give it a helping hand with an ultra-rich hydrating formula.
Dry skin doesn’t have to stay that way. With the right skin care routine and products, you can find your way to brighter, more moisturized skin in no time.