Regardless of your skin type, you’ve likely—at some point—experienced what dry skin feels like. It sucks. It hurts. And it makes you look older.
Here’s our guide to getting rid of it.
Aside from genetics and cold weather, here are some things that cause dry skin that you can actually control.
Showering too long, too often - While it seems a bit counterintuitive, water—unless it’s delivered to the skin properly—actually dries out your skin because it removes surface lipids (natural oils) that lock in moisture. Hot water is even worse because it absolutely obliterates your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Keep your showers short, warm, and to once per day unless you really need another.
Using hot water - While showering too often is bad, showering with hot water is even worse because it absolutely obliterates your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Keep your showers at a warm or lukewarm temperature.
Sunlight - We’re all for sunny days, but that big fireball in the sky is kryptonite to your skin. Not only does the sun cause 90% of wrinkles but it also causes dryness by thickening the outermost layer of your skin. Thick skin, in this case, is not a good thing. Wearing a daily SPF moisturizer will prevent both aging and dryness.
Cleansing too often - Don’t wash your face more than twice per day, doing so will compromise the pH balance of your skin and lead to dryness. This goes for any skin type by the way—even oily skin. If you’re prone to breakouts, cleansing too often can actually lead to increased breakouts.
Harsh ingredients - Some skincare, especially a lot of the drug-store stuff, contains harsh ingredients that are absolute don’ts for dry skin. Here’s a list to avoid:
Moisturizing regularly is a great start, but you came here to learn so let’s go a bit deeper. Here are some of the best ingredients for dry skin:
Of course, your body is prone to dryness as well—especially thinner spots like your elbows, knees, ankles, and areas that are constantly being washed (hopefully), like your hands. The skin on your body is much more durable than the skin on your face. It also contains far fewer pores which means ingredients, while still important, are less of a factor. For that reason, body moisturizers are generally less expensive per ounce because the formulations are less intricate. That said, do not under any circumstances use a body moisturizer on your face. The thicker ingredients will almost certainly clog your pores and lead to trouble.
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