Dry skin can be easily irritated and inflamed, making it difficult to maintain a thorough skincare routine. According to Dr. Taylor Dickerson of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Tyler, Texas, “Taking care of dry skin is all about being consistent with your morning and evening skincare routines and using gentle, non-drying skincare products to ensure your skin stays healthy and moisturized.” In this blog, Dr. Dickerson will walk through the causes of dry skin, ideal morning and evening skincare routines, and recommended products for dry skin.
Reasons for Dry Skin
Dry skin is often a result of genetics. According to Dr. Dickerson, “Some people are just genetically predisposed to have dry skin. This is the most common reason for skin dryness. However, some other contributing factors can lead to skin dryness, including living in a cold, dry environment, having hard water, exposure to certain environmental allergens or irritants, over washing, and taking specific medications.” Whatever the reason for dry skin, it’s important to establish and maintain a good skincare routine to ensure skin remains hydrated.
The Ideal AM Skincare Routine for Dry Skin
When it comes to a morning skincare routine to combat dryness, Dr. Dickerson says, “Morning skincare routines for all skin types should always be focused on protection and prevention. For dry skin, that means finding products that will restore the skin’s natural protective barrier, enhance moisture, and keep the skin hydrated all day.”
The ideal morning skincare routine for dry skin should include:
- Cleanser – Use a gentle cleanser. Cream and gel-based cleansers are typically best to avoid excessive drying.
- Serum – A good vitamin C or other antioxidant serum is recommended for the morning to prevent drying and damaging effects of the sun’s UVA/UVB rays. Use caution when first starting these products, as they can sometimes be irritating. You may need to use products less frequently or discontinue use.
- Moisturize – Apply a good moisturizer to boost skin hydration right away and help to maintain hydration all day long. Lotions are preferable for the face while cream moisturizers are ideal for the body.
- Sunscreen – Protect skin from the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays and avoid the drying effects of sun exposure with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
The Ideal PM Skincare Routine for Dry Skin
Your evening skincare routine should be geared toward soothing, healing, and hydrating skin after the day’s damage. The ideal evening skincare routine for dry skin should include:
- Cleanser – You can use the same gentle, cream or gel-based cleanser in the morning and evening. Make sure to use lukewarm water when washing the skin to avoid stripping moisture.
- Serum – If you’re going to use a gentle retinol product, the nighttime is the best time to apply these products. You can also use soothing or hydrating serums on the nights you don’t use retinol.
- Moisturize – You can use a heavier moisturizer in the evening, especially during dry winter and fall weather.
Bonus Tips for Dry Skin
When it comes to preventing skin dryness, Dr. Dickerson recommends, “In addition to taking time to boost your skincare routine, make sure you’re not overdoing it with hot water. Very hot showers or baths, extended time in the shower or bathtub, or using hot water to wash the face can all contribute to skin dryness. Instead, use cooler water and try to limit time in the shower or bath to less than 10 minutes. Moisturizing creams should ideally be applied immediately after you shower to help lock in moisture.”
Other recommendations for keeping dry skin hydrated and healthy include:
- Drink plenty of water – When the body is dehydrated, it will pull moisture away from the skin first, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water to keep the whole body hydrated.
- Limit caffeine intake – Caffeine can be dehydrating, which contributes to skin dryness, so limit or skip caffeinated beverages.
- Apply sunscreen – This was already included in the AM skincare routine, but it bears repeating. Sun exposure can be extremely drying, so wearing sunscreen can help avoid the moisture-zapping effects of sun exposure.
- Consider climate – Cold weather, wind, rain, and snow can all strip moisture from your skin. Make sure you’re wearing the right protective gear, applying moisturizer more often, and taking other steps to counter the impact of climate on skin health.
Top Recommended Products for Dry Skin
When it comes to skincare products for dry skin, Dr. Dickerson suggests, “Each person has unique skin health goals, so there’s no one right product for every person with dry skin. However, it can be beneficial to avoid products with harsh or drying ingredients. Specifically, skip products that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, alcohol, fragrances, dyes, preservatives, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic acid. Those with dry skin should also be cautious when using physical exfoliants, chemical peels, and retinoids. While these products offer benefits for those with dry skin, it’s important to use these products less frequently than may be recommended, so speak with a dermatologist before introducing them into your skincare routine.”
Some skincare products that can be beneficial for dry skin include:
- ALASTIN Skincare Gentle Cleanser – This foaming gel cleanser offers a deep clean without excessively drying skin. It’s a great option for any skin type.
- CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser — This drug store cleanser is widely available, affordable, and tolerable for all skin types.
- MD Skin Essentials Fortify – This antioxidant serum contains vitamins C and E and ferulic acid. This formulation offers powerful protective effects, preventing sun damage and keeping skin looking and feeling its best.
- MD Skin Essentials Energize – This restorative retinol serum is great for nighttime use. It promotes skin cell turnover, encourages the production of collagen and elastin, and helps to smooth and firm skin. MD Skin Essentials Energize also contains soothing and moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and Bisabolol, making it ideal for those with dry skin.
- Avene Cicalfate+ Restorative Protective Cream – This is a great moisturizer for dry skin year-round, and it’s beneficial for those who struggle with seasonal skin dryness during the fall and winter months. In addition to being a deep moisturizing, nourishing cream moisturizer, it also protects skin from the drying effects of weather and other environmental factors.
- La Roche Posay’s Lipikar Balm Moisturizing Cream for the body and Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer – Available in drug stores, La Roche Posay skincare products contain thermal spring water which has soothing and antioxidant properties.
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – Another drug store favorite, this moisturizer contains ceramides which are essential for repairing a dysfunctional skin barrier.
- EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 (Tinted) – This lightweight, daily wear sunscreen offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. This sunscreen also contains hyaluronic acid, an essential skincare ingredient for anyone with dry skin.
One Final Recommendation – Talk to Your Dermatologist
Dry skin can also be very sensitive, which is why it’s important to consult with a dermatologist. They can help you choose the best skincare products and develop a routine that is ideal for your unique dry skin needs and skin health goals. If you want to work with one of the knowledgeable, board-certified dermatologists at U.S. Dermatology Partners, don’t hesitate to reach out. We make getting started quick and easy. Simply take a few moments to fill in our online scheduling request form. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
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