The summer countdown is officially on and with it, we’re on a mission to get our dewy, golden glow prepped for the beach. This may sound easy, but for those of us with skin on the dry side, a dry skin care routine takes more than SPF and face mist.
So, where do we start when we’re looking for a change? It’s back to basics for decoding dry skin: what it wants, what it doesn’t, and how to care for dry skin to achieve skin harmony.
What Defines Dry Skin?
Unlike other skin types that typically fall within a wide spectrum, dry skin can be obvious to spot. Within the skin, there’s a feeling of tightness, discomfort, and a lack of moisture or hydration on and within the skin. Imagine the way our skin feels after spending a few hours in the pool on a hot sunny day; that can be how dry skin types feel 24/7.
In addition to this feeling of tightness, dry skin can be more prone to cracking, splitting, irritation, rashes, burns, and reactivity. Often with dry skin types, the acid mantle on the skin needs a bit of maintenance.
Luckily for us, the acid mantle can be cared for and repaired. And since dry skin can be constant, recurring, or temporary, we’ve got a list of what to do (and what not to do) for an ideal dry skin care routine.
What Does Dry Skin Need?
Now for the good stuff. We love curating wholesome, healthful products. A healing dry skin care routine doesn’t just start with skin care, but with skin habits. Dry skin doesn’t need more of one extreme (oil and water) to balance out the dryness. Instead, it needs gentle care to be brought to a harmonious equilibrium.
We start with a few simple life tweaks. Adding a humidifier to our collection of home gadgets can do wonders for our plant babies and our skin. Take warm baths and showers and moisturize the body and face immediately after bathing for the best absorption and longest-lasting hydration.
Now for the actual dry skin care routine. Masks are joining our regular rotation of skin care products. Hydrating gel masks, sleeping masks, and sheet masks are all welcome to play. Next, we’re swapping out our bubbly face products for options with more slip, as gentle, creamy cleansers nourish the skin’s need for moisture.
Dry skin needs light layers of moisture, so for dry skin, a serum is a must. And why not more than one, when we’re feeling fancy? Then once we find the perfect moisturizer for dry skin, we seal it all in and add an SPF for daytime, or facial oil for overnight.
Our Favorite Products for Dry Skin
Let’s put our tips to the test! Here are some game-changers for taking a dry skin care routine to the next level.
This lovely serum is designed to make skin shine with the ultimate hydrating trifecta for a base: aloe, rose, and glycerin. Skin drinks up this trio, soothed by these healing and calming ingredients before soaking in all the anti-aging and beautifying florals in this lightweight formula.
The skin care sheriff, vitamin E, takes a starring role in this enriched facial oil, perfect for healing dry skin. Antioxidants from gorgeous fruits including acai and pomegranate help to smooth, plump, and restore the skin. Ultra-conditioning and silky, this oil is the perfect skin kiss goodnight.
Hello, beautiful; this perfectly balanced cream is ready to sink right into the skin. It’s healing with prickly pear and goji and hydrating with aloe and olive for a double dynamic duo of moisture and repair. This one is also perfect for dry skin patches.
Keeping it sweet and simple – just like the best dry skin care routines need – we can lather on this creamy mask for an extra drink of buttery goodness whenever the skin needs it. With just a few ingredients, it’s perfect for even the most sensitive of dry skin.
What Dry Skin Should Avoid
The simple fix for dry skin is to add more moisture (!) and as easy as that may seem, dry skin does require a bit more TLC. So rather than starting with what dry skin needs, let’s start with what dry skin types should avoid.
Changing skin care too often. Dry skin can take awhile to show changes and reactions to skin care. Rather than layering additional products to address the dryness, consistency will help to shine a light on what’s working and what isn’t.
Central heating and cooling along with extreme weather conditions, including hot baths and showers, can often lead to dehydration in the skin. Avoiding these extremes whenever possible will help the skin to better retain moisture in the long run, even if it feels refreshing in the moment.
SLS, otherwise known as sodium lauryl sulfate, can be extremely drying on any skin type. This surfactant can strip the skin of moisture and oils which dry skin desperately needs to hold onto. Dry skin types should try to avoid facial cleansers or body products containing SLS.
Frequent exfoliation may sound like a good idea, as it’s often a great way to slough off dull skin and allow the remainder of our skin care routine to better treat the skin. In reality, as dry skin can often go hand in hand with being sensitive and reactive, this process could delay healing the acid mantle. That doesn’t help preserve moisture in the skin. The occasional gentle exfoliation may be okay, but regular or frequent exfoliation is not recommended for dry skin types.
Drying ingredients including alcohol-heavy products, skin care laden with synthetics and fragrances, salicylic acid, and definitely anything described as clarifying or mattifying. In some cases, retinoids should also be avoided, or used infrequently, as these can also cause drying of the skin.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Skin
What causes dry skin?
Dry skin can result from various factors, including genetic predisposition, environmental elements like cold weather and low humidity, over-washing or using harsh soaps, aging, and certain medical conditions. It occurs when the skin doesn’t retain sufficient moisture, leading to a tight, uncomfortable feeling, and sometimes flaking.
How often should I moisturize if I have dry skin?
Moisturizing should be a daily routine. For dry skin, it’s best to moisturize immediately after bathing and hand washing, and throughout the day as needed. Using products specifically formulated for dry skin, which typically contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, can provide more effective hydration.
Can diet affect dry skin?
Yes, diet plays a crucial role in skin health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like fish, nuts, and seeds), vitamin E (like almonds and avocados), and antioxidants can help improve skin’s moisture levels and overall health. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also essential.
What type of cleanser is best for dry skin?
Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser that is free from alcohol and fragrance. Cream or lotion-based cleansers that contain moisturizing ingredients are ideal. Avoid foaming cleansers as they can strip the skin of its natural oils.
How can I protect my skin from drying out in winter?
During winter, use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, take shorter showers with lukewarm water, and apply a thicker moisturizer. Protect your skin from harsh winds and cold temperatures with appropriate clothing.
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