Dry skin is something a lot of people struggle with, including me. It can become very hard to treat if you do not know where to start. The solution to dry skin can seem simple, like including a moisturizer in your skin care regime, but it actually goes much further than that and it has a lot to do with prevention, and what products you are currently using.
It may surprise you that a moisturizer can actually cause your skin to become more dry and irritated. The skin responds by cracking and flaking when it is deeply dehydrated. A lot of moisturizers will include synthetics and fillers, or alcohol that dries the skin. The first step in healing the skin is to look at the ingredients you are putting on your face and body.
This page is going to provide you with a specialized facial routine meant for dry skin. It will also link to relevant articles and product reviews.
Disclosure: There are some affiliate links below and we may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products we highly recommend. We won't put anything on this page that we haven't verified and/or personally used.
Ingredients to Avoid
Ingredients That are good for Dry Skin
Caring for Dry Skin
Cleansing is an important step that you should do every morning and evening. Dirt, oil, pollution and sweat all stick to your skin and clog your pores. Cleansing is meant to remove impurities, but it shouldn’t completely strip the skin or you will be left feeling dry and itchy.
Cleanse your skin twice a day with a gentle cream cleanser that is free of foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate. Use lukewarm water and avoid washing with hot water, as it will pull moisture from your skin.
There is no doubt that people who suffer from dry skin types should include a toner in their skin care regime. Toners are a far more superior product than they once were. It used to be that a toner would just neutralize the skin, and help prevent residue buildup. Now, toners are packed with nourishing ingredients that can penetrate deep into the skins layers immediately after you cleanse.
Using a toner will provide one more step of moisture to the skin. Toners can help with flaky dry skin and calm irritation. Look for a toner that is full of ingredients to hydrate, calm, soothe and plump the skin. Avoid toners containing alcohol.
Serums will absorb into the deep layers of the skin, bringing active, healing nutrients with it. The word serum is often used to describe a water-based or oil-based product that is concentrated in active ingredients. Here we are talking about water-based serums (we will talk about oil-based serums down below).
The best serums for dry skin are ones that are aimed at bringing hydration back into the skin as well as providing antioxidants to repair and protect. Serums with peptides, ceramides, or hyaluronic acid will help repair the skin barrier and lock in moisture.
A moisturizer will seal in hydration and provide suppleness to the top-most layers of your skin. Dry skin requires moisturizers that are loaded with emollients. Ingredients to look for include: ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and plant butters and oils.
Apply your moisturizer twice a day after cleansing, toning and applying your serum. Dry skin can benefit from a lighter day cream and a more robust night cream.
Facial oils are plant-based oils that dramatically hydrate and repair the skin. Plant oils contain the essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and lipids that our skin needs to stay healthy. Oils applied topically to the skin absorb into the epidermis and help keep our skin barrier intact. Oils protect the skin and help hold moisture in, making them an absolute must for dry skin. You will notice that you can dramatically improve the hydration in your skin by including both a facial oil and moisturizer.
Oils high in oleic acid are best for dry skin types. You can either add a couple drops of your facial oil to your moisturizer, or use it before your apply your moisturizer.
Best Oils For Dry Skin
Sunscreen is an important part of every skin care routine. The sun damages our skin leading to redness, irritation, and wrinkle formation. For dry skin, a creamy, hydrating formula is best.
In the morning, use a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. A tinted moisturizer with SPF is a great choice, it may even be able to replace your moisturizer. If you are using a tinted SPF moisturizer in place of another moisturizer, apply your facial oil first.
Dry skin can benefit from a hydrating mask 1 - 2 times a week. Masks designed to soothe, calm, and provide an intense boost of moisture can help prevent flakes and dry spots, alleviate redness, and lock in moisture. Good ingredients to look for include: oatmeal, avocado, plant oils, aloe, and calendula.
As with all of your skin care products, stay away from masks containing synthetic fragrances and alcohol. The key to using masks for dry skin is to not wait too long to rinse them off. Don't let masks fully dry on your skin, wash them off while they are still tacky.
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, revealing the fresh, young-looking skin underneath. Exfoliation can be accomplished using chemicals such as acids, or by using physical exfoliates such as bits of walnut shells, oats, or apricot kernels.
If you struggle with dry skin there is no doubt that exfoliating should be included in your weekly skin care regime. We love Eminence Strawberry & Rhubarb Dermafoliant. It is a daily exfoliate gentle enough to use every morning, keeping the skin clear of flaky, dry skin and debris. This allows for all other product application to be more beneficial with repairing the skin as well as creating a smooth complexion.
Chemical exfoliates such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid may be too harsh for dry skin, lactic acid or fruit enzymes are more gentle options. Glycolic acid can benefit dry skin if used correctly. Start with a small dosage and work your way up; then follow with a rich night cream.
Read Our Anti-Aging Routine for Dry Skin.
I recommend using a natural retinol alternative - Kypris Beauty Midnight Catalyst - to stimulate exfoliation and cell renewal. An exfoliating enzyme mask used once to twice a week will help keep dead skin cells from building up - try May Lindstrom's Honey Mud.
Makeup that is rich in hydrating plant oils will be beneficial for dry skin. Creme-based makeup is best. Look for the words, luminous or dewy.
Make sure you prep your skin by properly washing, treating, and moisturizing to get the best canvas for smooth makeup application. A hydrating primer can really help plump up you skin and keep your makeup from getting flaky.
Best Organic Makeup Brands For Dry Skin
I hope that this page is a valuable resource to you and that it helps you find relevant articles and products for your skin type. Remember that the key to treating dry skin is to avoid ingredients that dehydrate the skin, and by incorporating products with natural, hydrating ingredients. We hope you bookmark this page so that you can come back to it again and again.
You can read more dry skin articles here.
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To Beautiful Skin,
The TBOSC Team