When your skin is dry, it can put a damper on your entire day. And whether you have dry skin all-year-round or it’s something that pops up in the colder, winter months, dry skin isn’t always the easiest to care for. For starters, you may be wondering how often you should really use a facial cleanser and if you should switch to a heavier moisturizer. When it comes to dry skin, the questions can truly seem endless. It turns out that certain skin care steps (like exfoliating too frequently or taking showers that are a tad too hot) could actually be contributing to your dry skin. If you’ve been questioning how to get rid of dry skin, we’re letting you in on exactly how to create a skin care routine for dry skin. Hydration, here you come.
DRY SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP #1: PUT AN END TO STEAMY HOT SHOWERS
We know how wonderful a hot, steamy shower can feel at the end of a long day, but it turns out that isn’t so great for your skin. Soaking in a hot shower can actually strip your skin of its natural moisture. So, while we hate to say this, it’s best to lower the temps—or take a shorter bath. Also, keep this in mind: If you want to apply moisturizer to your face or body post-shower, do so on damp skin since it can help lock in hydration.
DRY SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP #2: USE THE RIGHT FACIAL CLEANSER
Washing your face twice a day is skin care 101. That’s because as you make your way through the day, dirt, grime, and pollution buildup, which can lead to clogged pores. Still, when you have dry skin, you want to be gentle with it. So, opt for micellar water. Powered by tiny molecules called micelles, micellar water has been beloved by the French for years. Now, you’re going to fall in love with it, too. The molecules are suspended in water, and they act like a magnet, lifting dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from the surface of your skin. There’s no rinsing—or harsh rubbing—required. Yep, it really is that easy.
Try the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types, which removes makeup, hydrates, and purifies, and can be used on all skin types. Ooh là là! To use, saturate a cotton pad with the cleanser, then wipe the pad over your face until your skin is completely clean. It’s that simple!
DRY SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP #3: MOISTURIZE LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW
Speaking of moisturizer, this probably sounds like the most basic statement—but it bears repeating: Moisturizing should be a key step in your skin care routine for dry skin. We can’t stress this point enough. No matter what skin type you have—whether it’s dry, normal, oily, or anywhere in between—you should be moisturizing on the regular. As far as what order to apply skin care products, moisturizer should generally be the last step in your skin care routine—after cleansing, toning, and applying serum. That being said, in the morning, you should reach for a moisturizer formulated with SPF or apply broad-spectrum sunscreen over your regular moisturizer. And remember: Applying moisturizer to damp skin can help lock moisture in.
If you’re looking for your new go-to moisturizer, try the L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin, both of which are formulated with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration.
Editor’s note: While you can’t get rid of dry skin—or any skin type, for that matter—moisturizing is a key component of helping its appearance.
DRY SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP #4: TAKE A VARIETY OF SUN PROTECTION MEASURES
For real: Broad-spectrum sunscreen is about to become your knight in shining armor. Spending time in the sun sans SPF protection can lead to skin damage, which can, in turn, lead to visible signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles and dark spots. What’s more, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you can get burned even on cloudy days—so broad-spectrum sunscreen should be an essential part of your skin care routine all year long. It should always be the last step in your skin care routine for dry skin.
If you’re pressed for time, think about using a moisturizer formulated with SPF, like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Day Lotion SPF 30. If that’s not possible, apply sunscreen after you moisturize. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using a broad-spectrum SPF of 15 or higher every day as directed. Make sure to apply a generous amount 30 minutes before you go outside—and don’t forget to reapply at least every two hours. Other sun protection measures you should take include limiting your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are the sun’s peak hours), seeking shade, and covering up exposed areas with long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
DRY SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP #5: EXFOLIATE EVERY WEEK
If you think you don’t have to exfoliate when you have dry skin, think again. While it’s not a good idea to overdo it, exfoliating at least once or twice a week can be beneficial since it can help to slough dead skin cells that have built up on your skin’s surface. The solution: Start by using a gentle exfoliating face wash once or twice a week and see how your skin responds before you determine whether or not you can exfoliate more frequently.
If you need an exfoliator recommendation, have your pick from the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub, L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Grapeseed Scrub or the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub. To use either one, smooth a small amount onto clean, dry skin with dry fingers. Massage the face scrub over your face with wet fingers, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
DRY SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP #6: REMOVE YOUR MAKEUP BEFORE GOING TO SLEEP
If your regular skin care routine includes sleeping with your makeup on, it’s time to stop this, pronto. Regardless of your skin type, taking off your foundation, eyeliner, mascara, and whatever else you’re wearing before bed is crucial. When you sleep in your makeup, it can mix with the dirt and oil on the surface of your skin, leading to clogged pores (and clogged pores can lead to breakouts and blackheads!). If all you want to do when you get home is get under the covers as quickly as possible, leave a pack of makeup-removing towelettes on your nightstand for easy access (that way, you’ll have no excuses!).
One option worth trying: the L’Oréal Paris Ideal Clean™ All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes. These ultra-soft, alcohol-free wipes gently yet effectively remove all traces of makeup—even waterproof mascara or long-wear formulas—without drying out the skin. To use, simply peel the label to open the package and gently wipe your face and eye area. You don’t even have to rinse after using the wipes—just make sure to reseal the pack to prevent the remaining cloths from drying out.
Another makeup removal option is micellar water. We’ve already told you about why we’re fans of micellar water, and being able to gently remove makeup is at the top of the list. Even better, you can use the same option we mentioned above as your makeup remover, as it removes long-wear makeup, too—even waterproof. All you have to do is saturate a cotton pad with micellar water, and hold it over closed eyes for a few seconds to remove your eye makeup or wipe it across your face to remove your foundation and concealer.
DRY SKIN CARE ROUTINE STEP #7: INVEST IN A HUMIDIFIER
When it’s cold out, your first instinct is probably to crank up the heat. But spending time in a moisture-sucking environment where the heat is blasting can dry out your skin. That’s where a humidifier comes in. The American Academy of Dermatology even lists using a humidifier as one of their top tips for dry skin relief. Place one near your bed to help counteract those drying effects as you sleep. Sweet dreams—here’s to beautiful skin in your future.
For more advice on taking care of dry skin, read our article, Our Best Skin Care Products for Dry Skin.