Getting to know your skin type and how it reacts to certain products can be a life-long journey of discovery. With dry skin, that journey usually begins with tight, flaky pores and ends with drowning them in all the creams, lotions and potions you can get your hands on. While finding what works for your skin will inevitably take some trial and error, there are some recommended steps you can take to quench your dry skin and keep it looking dewy and hydrated all year long.
Consider adapting your daily “cleanse, tone, moisturize” skin care routine to include a few dry skin additions that will give your skin the added moisture it needs.
· Wash your face with lukewarm water—not too hot and not too cold— to wake yourself up without drying the skin or constricting your pores.
· Cleanse your skin with a sulfate-free, non-lathering cleanser. According to Renée Rouleau, skin care expert and esthetician, Sodium or Ammonium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate are extremely drying and irritating to the skin. In addition, lathering bar soaps and strong foaming face washes strip the skin of its natural protective water and oils. Look for cleansers without these ingredients.
· Moisturize. Moisturize Moisturize. As you probably already guessed, moisturizing is key for dry skin types. Apply your moisturizer right after cleansing to lock in the water before it evaporates. Look for a moisturizer with a broad spectrum SPF to protect against the sun’s damaging rays, or layer in a sunscreen before or after your moisturizer.
· Your skin will dry out as it’s exposed to the elements throughout the day. That’s why it’s important to re-apply moisturizer whenever you notice your skin becoming dry. Carry a moisturizer in your bag so you can dab a little on whenever necessary.
· Drink water. It may seem obvious, but sipping on water throughout the day naturally keeps your body— and by extension— your skin cells, hydrated.
· At night, once again cleanse your skin of makeup and the day’s pollutants with a non-harsh, sulfate-free cleanser using lukewarm water.
· Immediately after, apply a heavier moisturizer or cream that will sink in throughout the night. Rich creams are dry skin’s best friend. Look for creams containing nourishing ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, glycerin or oils such as olive, coconut, jojoba or argan oil. While these thicker lotions are too heavy for the day, the night gives your skin plenty of time to absorb all of their hydrating properties.
Tips & tricks
In addition to your daily routine, there are some other things you should take into consideration to relieve your dry skin:
· Turn down the temperature: Hot water dries out the skin. To retain moisture, avoid taking extra hot baths or showers. Turn down the dial a few degrees to save your sensitive skin.
· Always apply moisturizer immediately after cleansing: As mentioned above, it is especially important if you have dry skin to apply moisturizer directly after cleansing your skin. Cleansers can often leave the skin dry, so while there is still moisture on your face, it is vital to lock it in with a protective covering, i.e. your moisturizer.
· Consider using a face mist: Face mists are an often overlooked tool for keeping skin hydrated. Not only are they refreshing, but they can also be used before or after to make-up, as a toner replacement or as a way to set make-up on the face. They are a good way to give your skin a boost of moisture when it’s feeling dry.
· Try using a humidifier: In the winter especially, the air is dry, drying out your already moisture-lacking skin even more. Humidifiers can add some of that moisture back into the air and create a more hospitable environment for your skin.
· Stay away from harsh, fragranced products: Skin care products that contain alcohol (especially SD Alcohol 40 and Denatured Alcohol), synthetic fragrances or “parfums”, Sodium or Ammonium Laureth/Lauryl Sulfate, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) can be especially drying and rough on dry skin. It’s a good idea to avoid these ingredients to prevent irritation and retain moisture.
While it may not immediately come to mind, dry skin can sometimes be a sign of a larger skin issue. Monitoring your skin frequently and contacting a dermatologist or doctor when you notice anything suspicious is essential for maintaining skin health. SkinVision is a tool to keep track of all of your skin’s abnormalities and help you know when it’s time to talk to a doctor.