How to care for extremely dry skin
Whether you’re born with very dry skin or your skin suddenly feels super parched, extremely dry skin can be uncomfortable skin. The good news is that dry skin can be managed by making certain lifestyle changes and having the right skin care routine. Read our guide on what to avoid in order to keep your skin supple and hydrated.
Step #1 No More Alcohol Or Fragrance On Your Skin
Alcohol is one of the most drying ingredients you can use on your skin so try to avoid using any products with it. You may be unwittingly using alcohol in your skin care routine in the form of fragrance. Your go-to products should be gentle, fragrance-free cleansers ideally containing fatty substances similar to lipids in our skin such as ceramides. These formulas will help restore moisture and balance back to your skin. They also make your skin’s outer barrier stronger and more resilient to the elements.
Step # 2 Exfoliate
If your skin is dry and feels scaly you might think that exfoliating will harm it, but this actually has the opposite effect. When you don’t exfoliate, dead skin cells can accumulate on your skin, clogging pores and making it hard for products to be as effective as they should be. This is particularly true with moisturizer which won’t properly seep in and hydrate your skin as it is intended to do. Remove the top layer of dead skin cells with a gentle yet effective exfoliating product ideally formulated with lactic or glycolic acid. You can also use something with gentle exfoliating particles such as sugar or honey. Try to exfoliate at least once a week to ensure your products work in the optimal way.
Step #3 Moisturizer
Exfoliating your skin is the perfect primer for your moisturizer. Give your parched skin what it needs by using products formulated with glycerin and ceramides to really replenish your dry skin. “Glycerin is the most well-known and effective ingredient for moisturizing dry skin,” says Nannan Chen, Associate Principal Scientist – Garnier Scientific Affairs. “Plant-based Glycerin is a natural humectant that attracts moisture to skin. Beyond this, ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid, Ceramides, or PCA (pyrolidone carboxylic acid)can help balance your skin’s natural ability to retain moisture.”
Don’t let a lot of time elapse after cleansing or exfoliating, you should moisturize as quickly as possible to avoid your skin drying out. Try to apply product within a minute of cleansing, on slightly damp skin.
Step #4 Avoid Hot Water
No matter how nice washing with hot water can feel, it is damaging to dry skin. This is because it strips your skin of its natural oil barrier and can result in tight, painful skin or flakiness. You should always use lukewarm water for your face.
Step #5 Hydrate And Restore Moisture With Food
Diet may play a role in your skin’s appearance. Try to hydrate every day drinking water. Also try incorporating foods such as salmon and tofu, which are rich in protein and lipids .
The Perfect Skin Care Routine For Dry Skin
Step #1 Cleanser
After a night of sleep your skin could feel extra dry, particularly during the winter when your home is heated and the dry air affects your skin. For your AM skin care routine use a gentle hydrating cleanser. A cleansing milk or micellar water are perfect to use as they maintain your skin barrier’s balance and won’t strip your skin of moisture. In the evening, use a cleanser specially formulated for dry skin. A cleanser with antioxidants and hydrating qualities is perfect for the night. You can fight the effects of free radicals and moisturize your skin at the same time.
Step #2 Serum Or Face Oil
After cleansing your skin you should try to add back moisture in the form of a serum or facial oil. Their emollient qualities can restore your skin and give it a healthy, hydrated appearance. Use a product formulated with Vitamin C, which can help give your skin a brighter appearance.
Step #3 Seal With A Moisturizer
Moisturizer is perfect to end your routine and locks in the other products you’ve already applied. Find the best moisturizer formulated specially for extremely dry skin. Layer this over serum or oil for maximum skin benefits. In the morning you should wake up with glowing, healthy-looking skin.
Step # 4 Exfoliate
Once a week use a gentle, non-grainy exfoliator ideally formulated with fruit acids to reveal a new surface layer of healthy-looking skin. Exfoliating is an important step to get slough away dry, dead skin which can accumulate on skin’s surface and interfere with your skin’s ability to absorb products. By exfoliating you ensure that your skin has a radiant appearance and helps gets rid of old skin, which can make it look cracked and dry.