A Simple Skin Care Routine For Dry Skin Types
Addressing dry skin concerns, especially during the cold winter months, can often feel like a second full-time job. Some moisturizers—when used liberally—leave behind a greasy residue, while others don’t do enough to quell parched patches. If you feel like you’re spending all of your time on a routine for your dry skin, this post is for you. We’re sharing a simple and effective skin care routine dry skin types can start following now.
STEP ONE: WASH YOUR FACE WITH A GENTLE, HYDRATING CLEANSER
Cleansing is one of the most important steps to a well-rounded skin care routine. These formulas help remove impurities like dirt, makeup, and excess sebum off your skin’s surface before they have a chance to wreak havoc. While the benefits of cleansers far outweigh the downsides, dry skin types should heed with caution. Some cleansers can strip the skin of natural oils, leading to unwanted dryness. When picking a cleanser, reach for one with a cream base, mild ingredients, and hydrating benefits. Whatever you do, don’t reach for the bar soap as a replacement. “Traditional soaps have an alkaline pH and can disrupt the skin barrier,” warns board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner.
Need a helping hand in choosing a cleanser that’s right for your dry skin type? Read our review on a sulfate-free cleanser suited for dry, sensitive skin.
STEP TWO: HYDRATE WITH A HEAVY-DUTY MOISTURIZER
Dry skin types can afford using a rich moisturizer morning and evening, especially during the winter, to keep additional dryness at bay. To lock in hydration, Dr. Zeichner recommends moisturizing within five minutes of washing your face or taking a shower while your skin is still slightly damp.
Not sure where to begin your shopping list? Read up on the best moisturizers for dry skin types, here.
STEP THREE: APPLY BROAD SPECTRUM SPF
All skin types should use broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher day in and day out, and dry skin types are no exception. The one thing dry skin types should keep in mind, however, is the type of sunscreen being used. Avoid formulas that promise a matte finish. If you plan on wearing makeup, comb through this list of sunscreens that’ll wear comfortably underneath your foundation.
Editor’s note: If you find your skin feeling uncomfortably dry even after diligent applications of moisturizer, your lifestyle habits could be to blame. This can include how long your showers are, and the water temperature you use. Whether you prefer to shower in the A.M. or P.M., the key is to keep the length of them on the shorter side with lukewarm water only. “Excessive exposure to hot water can strip the skin of essential oils,” says Dr. Zeichner. “Keep the temperature of the shower around what you would expect a heated pool to be, approximately 84°F.” After getting out of the shower, Dr. Zeichner advises against harsh rubbing with a towel, as it can dry the skin out further. Gently pat your skin and follow with moisturizer.
STEP ONE: CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
Similar to your morning routine, your evening routine should begin with cleansing. Since skin undergoes its natural self-repair during deep sleep, it’s essential to snooze with a clean (and well-prepped) canvas. To thoroughly cleanse your skin of makeup and dirt in a fuss-free way, reach for micellar water. Simply soak a cotton pad with your favorite micellar water and sweep it over your facial contours.
STEP TWO: HYDRATE YOUR SKIN
Dry skin may not cause wrinkles, but it can certainly accentuate their appearance. To help ensure a plumped skin appearance, be sure to moisturize regularly. You can use the same moisturizer from your morning routine, but we recommend switching to one that’s formulated specifically for evening use. Also, if your A.M. moisturizer boasts SPF, that aspect of it is useless in the evening. Need help picking a night cream that’s right for you? Here, we share classic evening moisturizers for every budget.
STEP THREE: TARGET KEY CONCERNS
Since the evening hours are so crucial for skin regeneration and repair, it’s wise to prep your skin before hitting the hay. That includes targeting any key skin concerns prior to shut-eye. For instance, if signs of aging are an issue we recommend applying products formulated to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, such as retinol. Research suggests retinol can help reduce signs of skin aging, in addition to improving an uneven skin tone, and smoothing and refining the skin’s appearance. Take a peek at some of our top picks for retinol moisturizers, here.
Editor’s note: Retinol can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so be sure to follow up with a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen in the morning. If you’re new to retinol, start with a lower concentration of retinol and slowly build up your frequency of use as your skin adapts to the ingredient.