No, You Might Not Have To Avoid These Ingredients if You Have Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, we don’t blame you for pumping the breaks when it comes to testing out new skin-care ingredients. From acids to witch hazel and retinol, these are just a few skin-care ingredients that get a bad rap for potentially causing the skin to appear drier. But before you swear off incorporating these ingredients into your routine, it’s important to get your facts straight. Ahead, we spoke with Dr. Joshua Zeichner a NYC-based board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, about three ingredients you might not know you can use if you have dry skin.
According to Dr. Zeichner, witch hazel is an ingredient that you don’t need to avoid if you have dry skin, contrary to popular belief. “Most people associate witch hazel with drying effects on the skin,” he says. “This is actually not the case.” Witch hazel is a botanical extract that is known for its skin soothing properties. “What it comes down to is making sure you are using the right witch hazel product,” he explains.
Dr. Zeichner recommends opting for a witch hazel toner that’s alcohol-free, which will help ensure that it doesn’t lead to dryness. We recommend the Thayer’s Rose Petal Facial Toner, which is also infused with soothing aloe vera.
Make no mistake, retinol may be irritating for some people, but there are retinoids that you may be able to use even if you have dry skin, according to Dr. Zeichner. “Pro-retinol or retinyl esters are less potent than pure retinol, but much better tolerated,”he says. Instead of opting for a pure retinol at the start, try a gentle formula like the Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum. After your skin has gotten used to the ingredient, you can venture out to stronger serums like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives Night Serum with 0.3% Pure Retinol. This formula contains glycerin to help soothe the skin and help to counteract drying effects.
“Not all acids are created equal,” says Dr. Zeichner. “And while glycolic acid may be drying for some, almost anyone can tolerate a polyhydroxy acid.” PHAs have a much larger chemical structure than AHAs or BHAs, which allows them to stay at the skin’s surface to ensure less irritation. “PHAs also have humectant benefits and help hydrate the skin as well,” he says. If you’re looking to exfoliate using acids but want to opt for a gentler formula that contains PHAs, try the Inkey List PHA Toner, which is suitable for dry skin.
All in all, Dr. Zeichner suggests listening to what your dry skin needs. “If you see flakes, moisturize rather than exfoliate. If you still have flakes after moisturizing, then gentle — the key word is gentle — exfoliation can help,” he says.
Photo: Juan Miranda