What’s a Good Skincare Routine for Dry Skin?

woman checking products for skincare routine for dry skin
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We all want to have radiant, beautiful skin that looks flawless, either with or without makeup. For people with dry skin type, this can be especially challenging, as their skin is often red, flaky, and looks dull. Not to mention the itching and tingling that can occur, especially in the winter months.

So then, if you have dry skin, what’s the best skin care routine? What skincare products should be included in a good skincare routine for dry skin? And what are those that you should avoid in your daily skincare routine for dry skin?

If your skin seems so dry that there is no help for it, we suggest that you eliminate that belief and instead start collecting useful information on how to improve your skincare routine. With the right products and optimal habits, you can increase skin hydration and say goodbye to dry, flaky skin.

What causes the skin to be dry?

Dry skin type is characterized by a lack of natural moisturizing factors, so as a result the skin loses a lot of water and dries out. Symptoms that accompany this skin type are irritation, redness, skin tightening, burning, flaky skin, and many others. All of these are very unpleasant symptoms that are an everyday problem for people with dry skin. External factors, such as cold weather and wind, exposure to UV rays, as well as overuse of aggressive products such as scrubs and soaps can worsen the condition of this skin.

Dry vs Dehydrated Skin

Although many people think that dry skin is the same as dehydrated, it is important to know that there are significant differences between dry and dehydrated skin. First of all, dry skin (just like oily skin) is a skin type, which means that we are born with it, while dehydrated skin is a skin condition that can occur in any skin type due to the effects of external factors.

Some of them are UV rays, the use of harsh products that do not suit your skin type, overwashing your face, and many others. Dry skin lacks natural oils, while dehydrated skin is caused by increased transepidermal water loss, so it is necessary to replace the lost water. Although they sometimes show similar symptoms, they are treated differently, so it is necessary to know the difference and what exactly is happening to your skin in order for you to determine what’s the best skin care routine for you.

Ingredients that are beneficial for dry skin

Ingredients that can be of great help for dry skin are ceramides and fatty acids that are an integral part of the skin barrier. Considering that dry skin lacks natural oils, it is necessary to replace them through proper skincare. Nowadays, NMFs (Natural Moisturizing Factors) can also be found on the market. They provide the skin with what it lacks and thus boost hydration and eliminate unpleasant symptoms.

Alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic and lactic acids can be an excellent choice because they perform chemical exfoliation of the surface layer of the skin and remove dead cells, restore skin radiance, even out texture, and enable better absorption and action of other active ingredients.

Lastly, don’t forget natural skincare ingredients rich in antioxidants that have soothing properties, such as green tea extract, aloe extract, evening primrose oil, and others.

What to avoid in a skincare routine for dry skin

Some of the things you want to avoid if you have very dry skin with all the accompanying symptoms are overwashing and over-exfoliating your face. Although flaky skin can be very irritating and you might feel the urge to use scrubs and chemical exfoliants every couple of days, that is a really bad idea. Also, skincare products with harsh ingredients like alcohol denat shouldn’t be part of a skincare routine for dry skin. Even though it can seem that you solved a problem, you’re just making it bigger.

Limit the use of exfoliants to 2 or 3 times a week and wear sunscreen every single day. Another thing to avoid if you have dry skin is applying oils on a dry face. Always moisturize your face first and make sure you added enough water-binding ingredients before locking them in with an occlusive.

What’s a good skincare routine for dry skin

What’s the best skin care routine for dry skin? According to dermatologists and skincare experts, skincare products that keep skin hydrated should be included in a good skincare routine for dry skin. Keep in mind that dry skin has a compromised moisture barrier and invisible cracks in it can cause moisture to escape and irritants to enter more easily.

As such, a no-foam, no-lather, super-mild cleansing lotion cleanser is recommended. Find a toner that can rebalance your skin’s pH level, restore moisture, and protect against environmental stressors. For your morning serum, use a high-potency antioxidant serum (those with vitamins E, A, and C) to help avoid collagen breakdown—just make sure to apply SPF afterward. Follow this with a hydrating moisturizer for your daily skincare routine for dry skin.

You may also want to incorporate an over-the-counter retinol serum into your nightly regime (for five nights a week). An eye serum with peptides would also be good to apply for your nightly skincare routine for dry skin — this can help boost collagen activity in the skin areas near the eyes.

Product recommendations for a good skincare routine for dry skin

Add these skincare products for a good skincare routine for dry skin:

1. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

After washing your face with warm water, the first step in your skincare routine for dry skin should be to apply a cleanser and slowly rub it into the skin for about 30 seconds in order to remove all impurities from it. It is very important to choose a non-foaming cleanser that is gentle on the skin and will not dry it out further. To be clear, not all foaming cleansers are drying, but this is most often the case because the foam comes from sulfates, which can have a very stripping effect on dry skin. If you prefer foams, it is always a good idea to choose one that is intended exclusively for dry or sensitive skin. This Vanicream Gentle Cleanser is non-foaming, does not contain sulfates, so it does not irritate the skin, nor does it dry out, and can be a good first step in the routine of people with dry skin type.

2. Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Calming Toner

If not hydrated enough, dry skin can often look dull, and irritation and redness can also occur. If this is your case and you want to prevent these skin conditions, it is a good idea to introduce a toner with soothing properties to your skincare routine for dry skin, such as this Paula’s Choice toner. It contains antioxidants such as vitamin E that help the skin cope with free radicals that cause damage. It also contains evening primrose oil which contains fatty acids, acts as an emollient and contributes to hydration, helps the skin to restore, and reduces redness.

3. CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

If you do not use optimal products and expose your dry skin to too aggressive ingredients it can become very reactive, irritated, and flaky. These are very unpleasant sensations that are caused by disturbing the balance of the skin barrier. Luckily, they can be eliminated by choosing the right products and introducing good skincare habits. Ingredients that can be very beneficial for dry skin in these situations are hyaluronic acid, as well as fatty ingredients that help build a skin barrier, such as ceramides. And this CeraVe serum contains ceramides, as well as sodium hyaluronate and vitamin B5, which act as humectants and bind water to promote hydration. Add this to your daily skincare routine for dry skin and your skin will love it.

4. EltaMD Intense Face and Body Moisturizer

Occlusives like Petrolatum and paraffin can be a great choice for very dry skin that is prone to irritation. These fatty ingredients are inert and contain large molecules that do not penetrate deep into the skin. Therefore, they do not cause irritation and remain on the surface of the skin where they prevent TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss). And this way, they contribute to hydration. This EltaMD moisturizer is a perfect addition to your skincare routine for dry skin — it contains the mentioned occlusives and can be a great choice for dull, flaky skin. For the best effect, use it in combination with a hydrating serum that is rich in humectants, which will provide the skin with the necessary water, and these fatty ingredients will lock it in and prevent further drying.

5. Elemis Superfood Nourishing Face Oil

Unlike other skin types for which a moisturizer rich in emollients and occlusions is usually sufficient for proper hydration, this is usually not the case with dry skin. This skin type needs an additional layer of fatty ingredients that will help moisturize the skin and eliminate dryness. That is why it is a good idea for good skincare routine for dry skin to include a facial oil. Elemis Superfood Nourishing Face Oil contains 9 superfood oils, including broccoli, rosehip, flaxseed, and others. These oils help nourish and smoothes the skin, without irritating it and causing redness. 

What’s the best skin care routine for dry skin?

Dry skin type can be such a burden. Having to deal with flaky, red, irritated skin isn’t the best thing in the world, but the good news is,  there’s a solution for everything. Knowing what’s the best skin care routine for your dry skin is key because from there you can build a good skincare routine for dry skin that is personally effective for you.

With proper care and the choice of the right products for your skincare routine for dry skin, you can help it become healthy, glowing, and properly hydrated.