It seems like there’s so much information out there about oily skin trouble, but not so much for dry. We’re going to take a look at some essential beauty tips for dry skin.
Whether you have naturally dry skin all the time or have temporary dryness due to weather or other factors, these tips will help you nourish and hydrate your skin, leaving it soft, supple, and glowing.
Recognizing Dry Skin
Dry skin, medically known as xerosis, lacks moisture and tends to feel tight, itchy, or flaky. It may also appear dull and have a rough texture. You can usually recognize it yourself without having to see a doctor.
What Causes Dry Skin?
Some of us are just born with skin that has a tendency to become dry. For others, it’s caused by environmental factors. Sometimes it’s both! Causes of dry skin include:
- Lack of Sebum: Your skin might not produce enough sebum, which is the oil naturally produced by your body to seal in moisture.
- Age: As you age, your skin tends to produce less natural oils, leading to drier skin.
- Climate / Environmental conditions: Dry and cold weather can lead to skin dryness. Low humidity levels in the air can cause the skin to lose moisture.
- Over-cleansing: Using harsh soaps or skincare products can strip away the skin’s natural oils.
- Hot showers and baths: Taking long, hot showers or baths can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions like eczema, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and diabetes can cause skin dryness.
- Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which in turn can cause dry skin.
- Certain medications: Some medications, especially those for high blood pressure and acne, can cause skin dryness.
A small lifestyle change can make a big difference for your skin. For example, I’ve always had a tendency toward dry skin, but running a humidifier in winter (when the furnace takes so much humidity out of the air) makes it less dry.
Bonus: it also helps my sinuses so much!
Beauty Tips for Dry Skin
1. Hydrate from Within
Beauty starts from the inside out, and that includes maintaining proper hydration. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body and skin adequately hydrated.
Remember that water-rich foods like cucumbers, watermelon, and oranges can also boost hydration levels. These make great snacks on hot days, especially when you’re spending time outside in the heat.
2. Gentle Cleansing
Opt for a mild, hydrating cleanser that will cleanse without compromising your skin’s moisture barrier. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, which help attract and retain moisture.
You don’t have to spend a ton for this. Cerave face cleanser has all this, and it also works on body skin (skin is skin, really).
3. Exfoliation Done Right
Exfoliation is vital for revealing fresh, glowing skin. However, it’s crucial to choose the right exfoliation method for dry skin.
Avoid harsh scrubs that can aggravate dryness and opt for gentle exfoliants like chemical exfoliators containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs).
These ingredients gently slough away dead skin cells, promoting cell turnover, and revealing a smoother complexion.
A dermatologist told me even washcloths were a form of exfoliation, and I should stick to chemical exfoliators and just use my hands to wash my face.
4. Lock in Moisture with Hydrating Toners
Toners are often overlooked, but they can be a game-changer for dry skin. Look for toners specifically formulated for dry skin that contain hydrating ingredients like rose water, aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid.
These toners help balance the skin’s pH levels and prep it for better absorption of moisturizers.
5. The Right Moisturizers
Moisturizers are a dry-skinned individual’s best friend. Look for moisturizers with rich, nourishing ingredients like shea butter, ceramides, or natural oils such as jojoba or argan oil.
These ingredients provide an extra boost of hydration and help lock in moisture, leaving your skin feeling soft and plump. Apply moisturizer twice a day, after cleansing and toning, for optimal results.
6. Pamper Your Skin with Face Masks
Treating your skin to a weekly face mask can provide intense hydration and nourishment. Look for masks specifically formulated for dry skin, containing ingredients like honey, avocado, or oatmeal.
These ingredients are known for their hydrating and soothing properties, leaving your skin feeling refreshed and revitalized.
7. Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Sun protection is essential for everyone, regardless of skin type. Exposure to harmful UV rays can further dehydrate dry skin and lead to premature aging.
Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, even on cloudy days. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat and staying in the shade during peak sun hours will help protect your skin even more.
8. Avoid Hot Water and Harsh Climate Conditions
Hot water can strip away your skin’s natural oils and exacerbate dryness. Opt for lukewarm water instead, especially when cleansing your face or taking showers.
Harsh climate conditions, such as cold temperatures and low humidity, can further dehydrate your skin. Protect your skin by wearing the right clothing, like scarves and gloves.
And use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home.
9. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting more sleep can help improve your overall skin health, including dry skin, in several ways.
During sleep, your body works on repairing damaged cells, including those of your skin. This process can help alleviate dry skin.
Also when you sleep, your body rehydrates. Proper hydration helps prevent your skin from drying out.
Sleep is also when your body eliminates toxins that can cause skin problems. And you produce collagen, which is vital for skin elasticity and hydration, during sleep.
10. Reduce Stress
It bugs me when articles say to reduce your stress. If I could, I would! I’m not going around looking for things to cause me stress.
But here we go. Reducing stress can help your dry skin. And here are the best truly practical tips I know for reducing it:
Avoid obligations. If you tend to take on obligations you don’t need, let someone else handle it for a change.
Exercise. You don’t have to take up jogging. A nice leisurely walk can relieve stress temporarily.
Limit caffeine. Try reducing your caffeine intake and see if it helps. It makes some people more high strung and more easily stressed out. If you’re one of them, reducing it could reduce your stress levels.
Practice mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re all supposed to somehow find time for yoga and meditation, right?
I have a simpler solution that really works: affirmations. These are simple phrases you say or write to yourself. Sounds silly, I know. But they can really impact our mindset and behaviors.
Affirmations replace negative thoughts with positive ones, helping to shift our overall mindset and mood. Regularly affirming positive beliefs about ourselves can help increase our self-confidence and self-esteem.
They can also help us manage stress by focusing our thoughts on positive outcomes, rather than negative “what ifs”.
11. Quit Smoking
The two things that age your skin the fastest are smoking and sun exposure. If you smoke, I know you already know there are a million reasons to quit.
And it’s really hard. Smoking is incredibly addictive. But if you can quit, your skin will thank you for it.