Skincare For Dry Skin: Dry skin lacks moisture, causing dry, rough, or flakey skin. It’s common to experience dry skin during cooler months, but you can also have a dry skin type that lasts year-round. Dry skin can feel uncomfortable and itchy, but tailoring your skincare routine to add hydration back to your skin can help rebalance your skin’s moisture.
A basic dry skincare routine includes a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen with moisturizing ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. However, depending on your skin’s needs, you can add more products to your daytime and nighttime skincare routines. Here’s what dermatologists recommend to build the best skincare routine for dry skin.
What Is Dry Skin?
Skincare For Dry Skin, Your epidermis, or the top layer of your skin, has a delicate barrier that holds in water to hydrate and protect your skin from the elements. Dry skin, aka xerosis or xeroderma, happens when your skin barrier loses water too quickly.
As a result, people with dry skin have skin that can feel:
“Some people are born with dry skin, but others can have drier skin in the winter due to the cold, drying winter wind, central heating (or car heaters), and low humidity—all combining into a ‘perfect storm’ of skin dehydration,” Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery and director of dermatologic surgery at Metropolitan Hospital, told Health. You may also have dry skin because of a condition like eczema, which causes the skin to become irritated, inflamed, and swollen.
Morning Skincare Routine for Dry Skin
Skincare For Dry Skin, A good morning skincare routine helps prepare dry skin for the elements by adding moisture to your lacking skin barrier. Here’s how to help your dry skin stay hydrated and flake-free during the day.
Step 1: Cleanser
Cleansing your skin should always be your first step in the morning to remove dirt and create a clean slate. But dry skin types should also find cleansers that add additional moisture to their skin and don’t strip away much-needed face oils.
Skincare For Dry Skin, “Gentle cleansers, oil cleansers, and moisturizing cleansers with gentle and hydrating ingredients—such as glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid—are best for dry skin,” said Engelman. Oil-based cleansers are especially ideal for people with extremely dry skin to help seal in moisture.
Step 2: Toner
Skincare For Dry Skin, Toners are an optional skincare step that typically remove leftover oil and dirt. For this reason, many toners irritate dry skin and are better for oily, acne-prone skin. However, there are toners designed to hydrate dry skin. Engelman suggested choosing alcohol-free toners that contain hydrating and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and aloe.56 These types of toners can support the most sensitive skin.
Step 3: Serums
Skincare For Dry Skin, Serums are water-based skin treatments with a high concentration of an active ingredient. If you have dry skin, look for serums with actives to help hydrate and protect your skin from dry environments. Hyaluronic acid serums are great for dry skin and help draw water to the skin barrier, Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Premier Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, told Health.5 Zubritsky suggests applying hyaluronic acid serums to wet skin to pull more water into your skin.
Engelman also recommends serums with hydrating B Vitamins like niacinamide and panthenol.78 Serums with ceramides and vitamin E can also help replenish hydration levels and enhance the skin barrier.
Skincare For Dry Skin, People with dry skin can also use popular Vitamin C serums to help brighten skin, fade hyperpigmentation, and reduce UV damage.10 “If you are using a vitamin C serum, try a tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate product over an L-ascorbic product as this is more hydrating and less irritating to the skin,” Mary Alice Mina, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon at Baucom & Mina Derm Surgery and host of The Skin Real podcast, told Health.
Step 4: Eye Cream
Eye creams are also another optional addition to your daytime skincare routine. For dry skin, look for eye creams with hydrating peptides to add moisture to the delicate, often dry under-eye area.
Step 5: Moisturizer
Applying a rich moisturizer is essential to a dry skincare routine. Moisturizers repair a dry skin barrier by increasing your skin’s water content and sealing in moisture.
Skincare For Dry Skin, Mina recommends sticking with thick cream or oil-based moisturizers, especially with ingredients like ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and rebuild the skin barrier. Zubritsky also recommends moisturizers with softening and moisturizing ingredients like squalane, shea butter, and glycerin.
Step 6: Sunscreen
Skincare For Dry Skin, Dry skin needs protected from UV rays, too. Your morning skincare routine should always end with applying sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Making sunscreen a daily priority helps reduce your risk of wrinkles, sun spots, and skin cancer. You should apply a nickel-sized amount of sunscreen on your face, neck, chest, and ears every 2 hours.