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Best Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin by Dermatologists
Dry skin affects a lot of us, especially when the weather is cooler and drier. When your skin appears ashy, flaky, or rough, you need to change how you care for it. With the right skin care routine, you can tackle dry skin and restore the true glow of your complexion. To make this easy, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you tackle dry skin effectively.
What Causes Dry Skin
On a cellular level, the cause of dry skin is a simple answer. It’s a combination of inadequate lipids or water-retaining molecules in the skin. However, there are two main reasons why someone can have dry skin: poor skin care routine and genetics.
A lot of us, especially those with sensitive skin, experience dry skin because of external sources. Changes in the weather, over-washing with harsh soaps, long showers, and wearing synthetic fabric can dry out your skin. Cool and dry weather often means dryer skin, especially if you use a heater.
If the cause of dry skin isn’t an external source, the cause may be genetic. Some inherit dry skin from their parents. For others, dry skin can reflect certain internal states such as thyroid imbalance or decline in estrogen. No matter what the cause of dry skin is, the right skin care routine can help reduce the symptoms and restore your skin’s glow.
Morning Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin
The right skin care routine for dry skin needs to have two components:
- Prevention: You need to minimize the risk of situations that strip away the moisture from the skin, or over-exfoliate.
- Protection: Consistent hydration and emollient can protect your skin barrier.
If you have dry skin, a morning skin care routine like this can help restore the hydration you need.
Step 1: Cleanse
Every skin care routine should start with a cleanse. Clean your face with a good cleanser to achieve the best results. Alternatively, if you shower in the morning, simply wash your face at the same time. Just avoid washing your face or body with hot water because hot water strips away oil from your skin.
Be gentle on your skin when you cleanse. Avoid vigorous scrubbing when you wash your face or body. If your skin feels tight or looks red after cleansing, then you’re over-stripping your face. You’ll need to step down to a gentler soap or shorten your shower time.
Step 2: Moisturize Your Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, you need to moisturize daily. It’s best to moisturize right after your shower or cleansing. (Usually when your skin is barely towel-dried.) In fact, when you apply moisturizer to damp dry skin, the water molecules get “trapped” by the humectants in the moisturizer.
The type of moisturizer you can use for dry skin matters a lot. Read the label for the ingredients in products. You’ll need to choose one that contains at least 2-3 hydrating ingredients.
For your face, Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer is a great choice for all skin types. It hydrates and repairs the skin barrier without leaving pores feeling heavy or clogged. One of its key ingredients is linoleic acid. This is an essential fatty acid that forms part of the outer layer of skin. For people with seasonal dry skin, a serum with hyaluronic acid is light and compatible with layering.
Step 3: Don’t Forget Sunscreen
Applying sunscreen is a crucial step in protecting your skin from harmful free radicals. The UV rays of the sun can be extremely harmful and damaging. Make sure you choose the right sunscreen for dry skin and make it part of your daily routine.
Evening Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin
If you truly want to tackle your dry skin, you need to spend some time on your skin every day. Ideally, you should follow these skin care tips when you wake up and before you go to bed. However, the skin care routine you do is slightly different between morning and evening.
Step 1: Remove Makeup
If you wear makeup, make sure you remove it before you go to bed. Your skin goes through regeneration throughout the night. You need unclogged pores to help it breathe. Since makeup clogs your pores, it’s best to remove it at the end of the day, especially if you have dry skin.
Step 2: Cleanse
Cleansing again helps unclog your pores and prepares your skin for the moisturizer. Just like in the morning, make sure you leave your face a little damp after cleansing. This is how you enhance the benefits of moisturizer on your dry skin.
For people with very sensitive skin, using a gentle muslin cloth as an alternative to chemical exfoliating cleansers can help to lessen irritation and dry skin.
Step 3: Moisturize Your Dry Skin
Again, choosing the right moisturizer for your night skin care routine is crucial. Typically, a thicker moisturizer is better for drier skin. Lotion may be suitable for everyday use, while cream and ointments are better for very dry patches.
For stubborn dry areas, you may even want to skip soap when cleaning. Unless you’ve been sweating or working outdoors, of course. You could also seal in the moisturizer with an additional layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor. This enhances the effectiveness of the moisturizer in extremely dry areas.
Step 4: Apply Eye Cream
The skin around your eyes is a bit different than the rest of your face. It’s thinner, has less density of sebaceous glands, and it’s a lot more prone to dryness and irritation. Therefore, if you have dry patches around your eyes, you need to use the right kind of moisturizer for them.
The ingredients in your eye cream need to be even “purer” than in regular moisturizers. Meaning that it should contain the least amount of added fragrances, preservatives, or surfactants as possible.
Look for “fragrance-free” and “ophthalmologist tested” on the label of eye creams when you have dry or sensitive skin around your eyes.
If you do get persistent dry patches around your eyes, first try to eliminate makeup wipes or harsh cleansers. Afterward, apply fragrance-free eye cream twice a day to restore skin barrier.
Skin Care Ritual for Dry Skin
You need to make this skin care routine an everyday activity if you have dry skin. While caring for your face daily can bring you incredible results, there’s even more to a skin care ritual. For ultimate success, include these occasional steps in your routine.
Exfoliate Twice a Week
Harsh exfoliation can make your dry skin irritated and inflamed. Avoid scrubbing your face with strong AHA/BHA or physical scrubbers containing nutshells.
Take Care of Your Dry Neck
The face isn’t the only part of your body that can get dry. While using moisturizer should help in most places, you need to pay special attention to the dryness of your neck.
Similar to our eyelid skin, your neck skin is thinner. It has fewer oil glands compared to the other parts of your body, making it more susceptible to dry air, colder climates or harsh effects of cleansers.
Additionally, the friction of your clothing also wears down your skin. Unsurprisingly, sagging skin around the neck is a common sign of aging.
A neck firming cream with hydrating ingredients should be an essential part of your skincare routine to extend your youth. The easiest thing you can do is apply lotion and moisturizer to your neck at the same time as your face.
But if you really want to step up your skin care routine, use a cream designed specifically for the neck. The SkinBetter Interfuse Face/Neck cream, Sente Firming Neck cream and Alastin Restorative Neck Cream are among our favorite products that restore neck skin elasticity and help to keep our neck skin nourished and hydrated.
Restoring Dry Skin Takes Time
Be patient when you first start repairing dry skin. It will take at least 2 weeks to notice visible changes in your skin appearance and feel.
Dermatologist-Recommended Tips to Prevent Dry Skin
Your daily skin care routine is crucial in reducing the dryness of your skin. And if you keep up with your weekly skin care ritual too, you’re bound to see an improvement. But, there are other lifestyle changes you can do to make your skin less dry.
Use the Right Ingredients
Using the right ingredients is crucial in treating dry skin. Read the labels carefully before using. Look for products that are fragrance-free and formulated for sensitive skin. Avoid products with ingredients ending in “alcohol”. And remember, the best moisturizers contain at least 2-3 hydrating components.
Examples of hydrating ingredients are hyaluronic acid, squalene, ceramide, glycerin, lipids, natural oils, and sealants such as shea butter, moringa oil, dimethicone, petrolatum, and allantoin. These sealants are usually oil-based, forming a protective layer to further minimize water loss through your skin.
Wear Thin Clothing If You Have Dry Skin
The clothing you wear can make your skin dryer. And the products you wash them with even more so. That’s why it’s important to choose natural fiber clothing if you have dry skin.
Cotton and linen are great replacements for synthetic fiber. Opt for machine-washable clothing as well. The chemicals on dry-cleaned clothes can irritate your skin too.
Use a Humidifier in the Winter
The cold and dry air of winter is one of the biggest culprits behind dry skin. If you notice that your skin becomes significantly dryer during the winter months, start using a humidifier. The mist combined with the heating of your house can prevent dry skin.
Don’t Over-Exfoliate in the Summer
The warmth of summer isn’t an escape from dry skin. Continue using moisturizer to keep your skin well-hydrated. Additionally, avoid exfoliating your skin harshly if it feels tight. You may cause unnecessary irritation.
Ask a Dermatologist About Your Skin Care Routine For Dry Skin
Every skin is different. What works for one to reduce the dryness of the skin could irritate the other. The best thing you can do is ask a dermatologist about what’s right for you.
At BIALife, we provide personalized skin-care advice. We recommend the best products for you based on your skin type, lifestyle, and budget. With our help, you can effectively treat your dry skin.
To discover the skin care ritual you need for dry skin, become a BIALife member today!
With love, Janelle & Shasa