Dry. Itchy. Dull. Flaky. These words are not the first that should come to your mind when you think about your skin. You may have spent a fair amount of money trying to help overcome your dry skin but it always seems like the effort is fruitless.
Dry, dull skin is a problem that many people face – but it can often be alleviated with just a few tweaks to your skincare routine. We’re going to tell you what ingredients you should be looking for in order to stop wasting money and to reveal the gorgeous, glowing skin underneath.
Keep reading to find out more:
The Problem Behind Dry Skin
One of the first issues that you should address when dealing with dry skin is going to be exfoliation. Exfoliating your skin helps remove dead skin cells that make your skin look and feel dry.
Most people tend to physically exfoliate their skin when they shower simply by using a washing towel or a loofah. Unfortunately, this method won’t truly remove all of the dead skin on your body. To do this, you may need to turn to a slightly more abrasive scrub that contains sugar.
When using a sugar scrub (or any other physically exfoliating product) you don’t necessarily have to rub yourself raw – the graininess of the product will be effective with very little pressure. If you happen to use a product that contains essential oils, there will also be a moisturizing effect.
If using a physical exfoliator is too harsh on your skin, you should consider a chemical one. Chemical exfoliators containing lactic or glycolic acid work by loosening dead skin that is still bonded to your body. Products with salicylic acid can also be considered a chemical exfoliant, although most of the time this ingredient is given more credit to fighting acne.
The key to exfoliation is not to overdo it. When you exfoliate too much or too often, your skin can end up looking red and irritated. You can avoid this by using physical exfoliators a few times per week or opting to use chemical exfoliators in their place.
Please note that your skin may have to adjust to a chemical exfoliator so in the beginning, use these products 3-4 times per week. In a couple of weeks’ time, you will notice your skin isn’t quite as sensitive to the chemicals and can begin using them more frequently.
Properly Moisturizing Your Skin
Exfoliating is great, but unless you take further steps, your freshly revealed skin will not feel soft and supple for long. This is where moisturizing will make a dramatic difference.
Chances are, you use some type of lotion after your shower/bath and washing your face. However, like exfoliants, lotions and moisturizers aren’t created equally (and can affect each person’s skin differently.)
Currently, one of the trending moisturizing ingredients is hyaluronic acid. Unlike the glycolic, lactic, or salicylic acid, it is extremely moisturizing as it holds several times its weight in water. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your body, but applying a product with this ingredient will help supplement the amount already in your skin.
You can either opt for a serum or oral supplement containing this acid, but applying it topically will help you see and feel faster results. Choosing to use a serum containing this ingredient won’t feel greasy as it absorbs quickly. This makes it ideal to use on your face, especially before applying makeup.
In addition to opting for a hyaluronic acid product, you may also choose to find a lotion or body butter. Beauty products containing honey are an excellent choice for this part of your skincare regimen. Aside from the fact that honey is a great (and natural) moisturizer, it also offers acne-fighting and antiaging benefits.
Unlike exfoliators, you can and should use moisturizers daily. Actually, you should aim to use them at night before you go to bed and in the morning prior to getting ready and applying makeup.
A Word About the Sun
You didn’t think we’d talk about dry skin without mentioning the sun, did you?
It’s no secret that UV rays from the sun and tanning beds can cause cancer, early aging, and skin spots. While it may be tempting to lay out by the pool or on the beach to catch a golden tan, don’t do it!
The sun is also known to dry your skin by depleting naturally occurring oils which will make your complexion look dull. Always apply a moisturizing sunblock to exposed areas or wear protective clothing when you choose to enjoy a beautiful day.
After a day in the sun (whether you tan, burn, or stay the same shade) help your skin return to life by applying aloe vera either from the plant itself or in a store-bought gel. Aloe is known to help retain moisture that is present in the skin making it a perfect choice should you have missed a spot when applying your sunscreen.
If you really hate the idea of having pale skin for the summer months, search for a sunless tanning product suitable for your complexion. These products give you a great, healthy-looking glow and often pull double duty by acting as a moisturizer.
Finding the Right Routine
Obviously, there are a number of options when it comes to moisturizing your dry skin – which is great – because what works for your best friend or your sibling might not work for you. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find a moisturizing skin routine right away, often it is trial and error until you find the right combination.
Because there are so many ingredients available and even more products containing them, you may have to try several brands before you find exactly what you’re looking for. Once you discover which brands/products work for your skin type, you will not only notice the lack of dryness, but also a possible reduction in fine lines, acne, and other signs of aging.
Images by Benjamin Kaufmann for Design SCENE