Winter might be officially over, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t still feeling its effects on your face and body. The long period of cold, dry air can leave your skin flaky and dry—not a good look for anyone. Read on for some tips to bring much-needed moisture back to your skin, just in time for spring.
The Cause of Dry Skin—It Might Not Be What You Think
Would it surprise you to learn that dry skin isn’t caused by a lack of overall moisture? Think about soaking dry skin in a bath. If the problem were just a simple lack of water, this would help, right? But long, hot baths (and showers) actually strip natural oils and make dry skin worse.
The real reason skin is dry lies in the inability of the outer layers of skin to hold onto their moisture. There can be a variety of external reasons for this, but one of the biggest is sun damage. Harsh soaps and, of course, dry weather are two other common culprits. Dehydration can also lead to dry skin, since you need to make sure you’re replenishing moisture that’s lost through perspiration. There are also many people who are simply prone to dry skin, regardless of outside factors.
What You Can Do
No matter which category you fall into, it’s important to know what steps you can take to minimize dryness. Here are the main things to remember:
- Avoid harsh soaps and cleansers. You want to stay away from any soaps that contain harsh cleaning agents and detergents (which includes most deodorant soaps in bar form). Instead, choose a mild, fragrance-free body wash or soap that moisturizes as it cleans.
- Use a humidifier. This is especially important at night, since this is when you spend the most time breathing dry indoor air.
- Wear sunscreen daily. Even when it’s cloudy outside or you’re spending most of your time indoors, you should make sunscreen part of your daily routine. Sun damage is a leading reason why skin loses its ability to hold onto moisture.
- Exfoliate. Although it might seem like exfoliation would make dry skin worse, the reverse is actually true. Dry skin is flaky because it has an outer layer of dead cells. Exfoliating gently with the right products (like Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant) is key to healthy skin.
- Use the right skincare products. As you might expect, advanced moisturizers are the best way to keep your skin smooth and hydrated. If you’re not sure where to begin, Dermalogica offers a starter kit for dry skin that includes five different products to cleanse, tone, remove dead skin, and relieve dryness.
Looking for more focused guidance on how to deal with your dry skin? Our estheticians are experts at determining your specific skin needs and creating a treatment program to address them.