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Oh, dry skin, what can we say about you that hasn’t been said already? When your skin is dry, it can put a damper on your entire day. (Ugh, seriously, is everyone staring at you?) 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, how often should you really use a facial cleanser? And should you 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. Whoa! Have dry skin and not sure where to start? Luckily for you, we’re letting you in on exactly how to create a skin care routine for dry skin. It’s time to follow our lead! Hydration, here you come.
Ahhh…We know how wonderful a hot, steamy shower can feel at the end of a long day, but it turns out this isn’t so great for your skin. Why? 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 to damp skin, since this can help lock in hydration.
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 build up, which can lead to clogged pores. And that’s not something you want to deal with, is it? We thought not! Still, when you have dry skin, you want to be gentle with it. So, opt for micellar water. Powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—micellar water has been beloved by the French for years. Now, you’re going to fall in love with it, too. Those oil 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 Normal to Dry Skin. Formulated for those with normal to dry skin, this micellar water removes makeup, hydrates, and soothes. Ooh la la! 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!
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. 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. Looking for your new go-to? 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. As far as extra dry skin goes, it has a fragile skin moisture barrier that can be easily damaged by external factors (think: pollution and UV rays). Extra dry skin then loses its ability to retain moisture, which can make it feel tight and uncomfortable. Not cool. Our moisturizer for extra dry skin envelops skin with moisture, providing comfort.
For real: Broad-spectrum sunscreen is about to become your knight and 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. Sunscreen should be the last step in your skin care routine. If you’re pressed for time, think about using a moisturizer formulated with SPF. 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 in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
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 to see how your skin responds before you determine whether or not you can exfoliate more frequently. In need of an exfoliator?
Have your pick from the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Scrub, the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Smooth & Glow Scrub, or L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Purify & Unclog Scrub. To use, smooth a small amount of your face scrub of choice with dry fingers onto clean, dry skin. Massage the face scrub over your face with wet fingers, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
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. If you want to use micellar water specifically as a makeup remover, try the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types, which, as you may have guessed, removes long-wear makeup—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.
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 (AAD) 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.