When it comes to dry, flaking skin, it can sometimes feel as if nothing will help. And in this great Age of the Internet, it’s often hard to find exactly what you need for your skin type. Luckily, we are skincare zealots here at eCosmetics, and we’ve found exactly what you need to relieve that tight, stripped skin feeling and relax into a calm and comforted complexion.
Also, you can check out our routines for oily and combination skin for more suggestions, or our routine for normal skin if nothing else seems to work.
What is dry skin?
It can be difficult to determine someone’s skin type, especially during harsh seasons or in different climates; dry skin may go unnoticed in humidity, while oily skin may be underactive in the winter.
One telltale sign of a dry skin type is the pore size. Dry skin types tend to have smaller pores than those with normal or oily skin, due to the underproduction of natural oils.
Another easy way to determine if you have dry skin is how it feels after it’s been washed, but not yet moisturized. An hour after cleansing the face, if your skin feels tight or stripped of moisture, or if you notice flaking or pronounced fine, dry, white lines, it’s likely you have dry skin.
What does dry skin need?
Dry skin underproduces oils for the face, so the most important thing it can get is moisture and protection. As well as sticking with products that trap hydration in the skin, it’s important to avoid products that strip away any of that moisture, and then protect it from further moisture-stripping environmental forces like harsh weather, overly hot water, or UV rays.
It’s also important to hydrate the skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of water.
When picking products, avoid harsh ingredients like drying alcohol, irritating fragrances, rough physical exfoliators, and strong chemical exfoliants. Sticking with gentle, natural products with lots of hydrating ingredients will keep your face looking and feeling its best, especially if you suffer from sensitivity like most people with dry skin.
Saying “dry skin needs moisture” isn’t revolutionary, but how do you implement all of that other information into your day-to-day life? Following a skincare routine designed for your skin type is important, but it takes some time to find products and a system that works best for you. We’ve taken out some of that stress by compiling some of our best recommendations for your daily skincare.
It’s important to wash with a gentle and non-foaming cleanser that won’t disrupt the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Look for cleansing lotions and face washes with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and oils like argan or jojoba.
In the morning, try CeraVe’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser or Clinique’s Extra Mild Liquid Facial Soap to refresh your face without over-stripping.
At night, if you wear makeup, it’s also important to do a double cleanse. Makeup wipes tend to scrub at and irritate the skin, so melt your makeup with Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, their waterproof makeup removing formula, Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, or with Banila Co’s multi-tasking Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm. Then follow this with the same cleanser from the morning, or try Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple Cleanser for a touchable and smooth skin texture.
Most toning products contain alcohol, which drastically dries out the skin. It’s important to find a product that doesn’t use drying ingredients, which is why we like to follow our cleansers with Fresh’s Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner or Eminence’s Stone Crop Hydrating Mist in the morning and at night.
It’s easy to give your skin some needed TLC with an extra hydrating treatment. We like to follow our toner with La Mer’s The Revitalizing Hydrating Serum, Too Faced’s Hangover Good in Bed Hydrating Serum, or SkinCeuticals’ C E Ferulic. On laid-back days when we’re not in a rush—and in the evenings—we also like to treat ourselves with Peter Thomas Roth’s Cucumber Gel Mask.
We also recommend either Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream or Tatcha’s The Silk Peony Melting Eye Cream at night to hydrate the under-eye area and prevent skin-aging fine lines.
Moisturizers are one of the most important steps for dry skin. This is what helps draw in and maintain hydration, which prevents that typical tight feeling and skin flaking. We love the now cult-favorite CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, but in the hotter, more humid months we also love to reach for Tatcha’s more lightweight moisturizer, The Water Cream. Lightweight and gel-based moisturizers keep dry skin hydrated in the summer without making it feel sticky or weighed down.
When our body needs a little love, Sol De Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream leaves us feeling nourished and smelling amazing.
In the evening, we also like to leave CeraVe’s PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion on as we sleep.
While moisturizers are important, sunscreen is the most important step to any skincare routine. If the skin isn’t protected, no amount of creams or serums can undo the damage done to it.
Even if you skip everything else, make sure you wear sunscreen every morning before going out. When we want protection as well as a little coverage at the pool or beach, SunBum’s Mineral Sunscreen Face Tint SPF 30 is our go-to.
For ultimate protection that also keeps our skin hydrated, we also love to reach for EltaMD’s UV Sport or Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ during our day-to-day.
But of course, the best sunscreen is going to be the one that you actually wear every day, so check out all of our face sunscreen options if these aren’t what you’re looking for.
It can be discouraging when your skin isn’t cooperating day-to-day as you’re establishing a skincare routine. Luckily, there are plenty of products that can help give an extra boost of exactly what your skin needs at any moment.
When our dry is looking and feeling a little extra dry and tight, we reach for hydrating facial sprays. PUR’s Miracle Mist Hydrating Spray, for example, hydrates the skin and sets makeup while Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Miracle Hydrating Mist and Derma E’s Hydrating Mist are perfect for a boost of moisture throughout the day.
For questions, concerns, or article ideas, feel free to reach out to our eCosmetics Beauty Editor directly at [email protected]