Skin Care For Dry Skin: Tips For Building The Perfect Routine
Skin care for dry skin doesn’t have to be complicated. The key is understanding your skin, so you can properly respond to it. A few tweaks to your skin care routine might be all you need to help keep your skin hydrated and looking healthier, smoother, and younger than ever.
Read on for a deeper understanding of dry skin care, including the reasons behind dry skin types and what can be done for dry skin relief. If you’ve ever wondered about skin care strategies specific to dry and sensitive skin, this article is all you need.
What Are The Signs Of Dry Skin?
How do you know you have dry skin? When it comes to skin dehydration, there are some common and noticeable signs. Take note of the following:
- Itchy skin
- Flaky skin, or skin with deep cracks
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Skin prone to irritation on the outer skin layer
- Raw or sensitive skin1
There are many reasons why your skin can suddenly become drier than usual, and it’s common for even those with oily skin to sometimes develop dryness. But if your dry skin becomes much too uncomfortable or difficult to manage, you may want to consult a dermatologist for a more in-depth look into your skin’s condition.
Why Is My Skin So Dry And Flaky? Knowing What Causes Dry Skin
Before you begin putting together a skin care routine for dry skin, it’s best to know why your irritated skin is prone to flaking and/or redness. While slathering on a rich moisturizer may seem like the simplest and quickest fix, determining the underlying cause of dryness will pay off more in the long run.
Here are some of the more common factors affecting skin dryness.
Showering Too Often (Or With Excessively Hot Water)
Showering or bathing too long or too often with harsh bath products could be stripping your skin of natural oils. This is a huge contributor to dryness.2
And while taking a relaxing, hot shower may seem tempting, especially in the colder months — that steamy water can also strip your skin of essential moisture.
As you age, your body gradually loses its full ability to produce oils that plump skin with moisture and help keep skin supple. As a natural result, your skin texture may appear drier, rougher, or even flaky or itchy.3
In colder months, lower humidity zaps skin hydration, unlike in the summer — when higher humidity helps keep your skin cool and moisturized. This could explain why your skin feels tight and raw when the weather turns.4
Even seemingly unavoidable factors concerning skin dryness aren’t impossible to fix. You can’t control the weather, but you can help protect your skin from its effects by carefully observing some dry-skin best practices.
How Can I Hydrate My Skin Fast? Skin Care Rules For Dry Skin Types
If you’re dealing with dry skin, it’s best to evaluate your entire routine — not just switch moisturizers right off the bat. Try out a dry skin care rule or two from the list below, and see how it impacts your current skin situation.
Change The Way You Bathe
A good, natural skin care routine for dry skin begins in the bath.
Tweak your bathing habits: nix the long hot showers. Instead, adjust the water temperature, take a single 5 or 10-minute warm shower. Opt for a gentle shower gel that can lift off dirt and dead skin cells but not further irritate the skin with excessive fragrance or harmful ingredients.
Try Moisturizing Damp Skin
To give your body moisturizers a better chance at penetrating your skin barrier and hydrating your skin, slather on your cream or gel moisturizer as soon as possible after bathing and gently patting skin dry. Since these lotions or moisturizing products work by trapping needed moisture (aka help your skin hold water), applying them on damp skin could help increase their effectiveness and lock in that vital hydration.
Read Your Skincare Product Labels And Take Note Of These Ingredients
On the topic of moisturizers, choose one with ingredients that help support skin hydration. These ingredients help your skin retain moisture and help give the appearance of smooth, glowing skin.
Our favorite moisturizer ingredients:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Lactic acid
You may also find these ingredients in your gentle cleanser, toner, skin oil or serum, or in other face and body products.
Conversely, some common ingredients might undermine your skin’s natural moisture and aggravate dryness. Some are very popular anti-aging ingredients, so you may want to consult your dermatologist to see how you can balance harnessing the positive effects of these active ingredients while staving off dry skin. For example, alcohol, and some retinoids may be too harsh for already-dry skin.6
Consider Using A Humidifier To Add Moisture Into The Air
A humidifier can help balance moisture levels in your environment during colder and drier months. Keep one in range at home set to about 60%, especially during the winter.7
To help slough off flaky dry skin and support skin renewal, try a fruit enzyme-based exfoliating product rich in antioxidants and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are good for gently refining the outermost layer of skin. One-and-done treatments (like a mask or weekly scrub) may prove helpful. Just be sure to moisturize well afterwards.8
Choose Your Cleanser And Facial Moisturizer Well
If you’re experiencing dry skin on your face, examine your current basic skincare routine carefully. Try switching to a mild, non-foaming cleanser that doesn’t lather up too much (but still gets the job done). Foamy cleansers might be unnecessarily drying.9
As for moisturizer, a lightweight formula with hyaluronic acid can help your skin stay moisturized the whole day. Weather getting warmer? You can keep the active ingredients, but switch out to a different formula. If you’ve been using a cream or ointment in colder months, you can move on to a hydrating gel formula (or a water-cream formula) that absorbs quicker in the summer months.10
Does Drinking Water Help Dry Skin?
In a word: Yes.
Aside from adjusting your bathing habits and skincare routine, drinking more water can vastly help support your skin’s hydration levels. Additionally, consider adding more healthy fats to your diet to help with dry skin. After all, it’s not just what you put on your skin, but also what you feed it.11
Try Natural Skin Care For Dry Skin Relief
By adjusting your habits and eliminating harmful or irritating ingredients, you can take a natural, no-frills approach to dry skin. Try the strategies outlined above for some relief, and stay in touch with your dermatologist in case your dry skin needs special attention.