Dry skin can be tricky to care for. Redness, itching, flaking, and irritation are just four of the symptoms that you’ll be experiencing on a regular basis, none of which are fun to deal with.
Fortunately, there’s a way out. Putting some extra effort into keeping your skin hydrated, moisturized, and protected will not only alleviate that dryness, but it’ll also leave you glowier than you’ve been in years.
6 Ways to Keep Dry Skin Hydrated
Use a Hydrating Moisturizer
Dry skin struggles to produce enough sebum. Sebum not only lubricates the skin, but also protects it from environmental damage. While it’s important to encourage natural sebum production, while also preserving the sebum that you do have, that’s a longer-term plan that we’ll get to later. In the meantime, you need to be using a hydrating moisturizer, possibly several times a day, to do the job of the sebum you don’t have.
What makes a moisturizer hydrating? The ingredients that it contains. Look for humectants, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Plant oils and butters are great too - they’ll form a seal over the surface of your skin, preventing natural moisture from evaporating. Ceramides are key as well - they’ll help to rebuild and strengthen your skin’s natural protective barrier. Find a formula that contains all of these and you’re onto a winner.
Moisturize Damp Skin
As mentioned, a good moisturizer will create a protective seal over the surface of your skin. This not only preserves the existing moisture in your skin, but it also helps to push all of those other ingredients that are in the moisturizer down into your skin’s deeper layers.
One way to give your skin a hydrating boost is to apply your moisturizer onto damp, instead of dry, skin. This way, all of those extra water molecules that are sitting on the surface of your skin will be trapped beneath the moisturizer’s seal. Rather than evaporating away, they’ll be sent down into your skin cells. The result? Instant plumpness.
Turn to Vitamin C
Vitamin C - the ingredient that dermatologists recommend for just about everything. You may know this antioxidant as a powerful anti-ager, but it’s also a must-have for dry skin. Research shows that vitamin C can help to improve skin barrier function and minimize moisture loss, which is exactly what you want if you’re treating dryness.
Vitamin C supplements are great, but don’t neglect topical vitamin C serums either. Plus, in addition to helping with your dryness, vitamin C skincare will also improve acne, wrinkles, dark spots, and overall skin tone. Treating dryness may be your priority, but if you also happen to be looking for the best skin lightening cream or anti-aging solution, vitamin C is an ingredient that you should be seeking.
Cut Back on Long, Hot Showers
The oils that the skin naturally produces help to preserve skin moisture. Dry skin doesn’t produce as much of this sebum, which is why you need to make sure that you don’t strip away the little sebum that you do have.
One way to do this is by turning down the temperature when you have a shower or bath. Hot water strips sebum from the skin, leaving it parched and vulnerable. Opt for lukewarm instead and your skin will be so much happier.
Treat Your Skin to a Weekly Face Mask
Face masks (no, not the Covid-19 kind) may seem like an indulgence, but they’re so much more than that. A good face mask will be designed to provide a deep treatment to the skin. They contain active ingredients in higher concentrations than a serum or a moisturizer, which is why you don’t need to use them quite so often.
Of course, it’s important to choose a face mask that’s suitable for dry skin. To start with, avoid clay masks. Yes, they’re great for detoxing, but they can also be incredibly drying. Instead, go for sheet masks or gel masks. Overnight masks can be particularly beneficial too - they look like a super rich moisturizer, which you apply at night and then rinse off in the morning.
Invest in a Humidifier
If you live somewhere dry, or live somewhere humid but spend most of your time in dry, indoor air, then a humidifier would be a great investment. Dry air sucks the moisture out of your skin, meaning that adding moisture back into the air would help to maintain skin moisture levels.
Place your humidifier in the room that you spend the most time in. For most people, this would be the bedroom. Since your skin uses up a significant amount of moisture healing and regenerating while you sleep, keeping a humidifier in your bedroom would provide your skin with extra moisture at the time when it needs it the most.
Not only is dry skin more vulnerable to environmental damage, but fine lines and wrinkles are also so much more noticeable on skin that’s dry. However, follow these tips and give your skin a little extra attention for the next couple of months and you should notice big improvements in your complexion.