With all the issues dryness causes for our skin, there is a learning curve when it comes to treating it. So many factors contribute to dry skin that you may be worsening the problem without even knowing it. That’s why it’s important to draw the line between what is beneficial and detrimental for dry skin.
While this is the most obvious, it’s also the most important. Dry skin is caused by a lack of oil, therefore you must use products that will hydrate the skin and help to restore balance. Argan, avocado, coconut, and olive oils are nourishing and highly moisturizing.
Dry and flaky skin often come hand in hand. Exfoliation is the key to evening out rough texture and removing flakes. It also counteracts dull, sallow skin by increasing circulation and stimulating the skin. As with all good things, exfoliation must be done in moderation. While it helps to remedy dry skin, overdoing exfoliation only makes the skin worse: more dryness, irritation, and flakiness. Two to three times a week is enough to improve your skin’s condition without hindering your progress towards healthier skin.
Use Gentle Products:
The “squeaky clean” feeling many seek when it comes to picking a cleanser is detrimental for all skin types, but especially for dry skin. If your skin already lacks oil, stripping it even further is not the way to go. Err on the side of gentle by using creamy cleansers and products that have little to no chemicals, fragrance, or other irritants.
Strengthen the Barrier Function:
The skin’s barrier function is a layer of lipids that retains moisture and protects the skin from bacteria. A weakened barrier function will often cause dryness in addition to sensitivity, which includes symptoms like redness and irritation. The skin will also feel thin and wrinkle easily if the barrier is not in great shape. To counteract this, use a serum or moisturizer that contains ceramides. Ceramides are also present in the barrier function to strengthen the skin’s defenses. They will hydrate, firm, plump, and shield the skin from damage.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures:
This may not be possible depending on the climate you live in, but you can make it easier on your skin by not using water that is either too hot or too cold. Both hot and cold water will irritate and dry out the skin even further. Lukewarm water is the ideal temperature to cleanse your skin with (this includes the body and the face).
For oily skin types, clay masks are ideal for decongesting the pores, removing blackheads, and absorbing excess oil. However, they can worsen dryness because they are so effective at drawing oil out of the skin. Also, when clay masks dry, they can cake on the skin, which causes tugging and dragging when you rinse them off, causing wrinkles. Ingredients like kaolin clay and bentonite are ideal for oily/combination skin, but should be avoided for dry skin. Stick to sheet masks to hydrate your skin and increase radiance.
Dry skin may feel rough, but that doesn’t mean it can withstand pulling, wiping, and dragging. While it may not seem like a big deal to wipe your skin with a towel after cleansing, this will further dry out your skin and cause redness and stinging. Gently pat your skin dry.
Over Do It:
While moisturizing is crucial to improving your skin, overdoing it can cause an entirely new set of issues such as clogged pores, breakouts, and excess shine. Make sure the products you are using have oils that are non-comedogenic (in other words, they don’t clog pores) to avoid this outcome.
Caring for dry skin is not as complex as it is made out to be. Adhere to these do’s and don’ts and be consistent for significant improvement.