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It’s a harsh reality that the way you take care of your dry skin may actually not be so great for your complexion. Sometimes, knowing the basics just isn’t enough. Even if you cleanse and moisturize twice a day, you could be overlooking a few important parts of your skin care routine. While nobody’s perfect (ugh, we wish), wouldn’t it be nice to limit the likelihood of those skin care slip ups? You may not be able to change your skin type, but you can help care for dry skin like a pro. You just need to know what not to do when it comes to your skin care routine. Here, 10 skin care no-nos for dry skin.
Using a moisturizer is a must for everyone, and that’s definitely the case for dry skin. That being said, it’s a good idea to pick one that’s formulated for your skin type instead of grabbing any random cream off the shelf. What works for oily skin may not work for dry skin. If you have dry skin, try using one of the following lightweight water-based moisturizers, both of which are formulated with hyaluronic acid and aloe vera water to help provide long-lasting hydration.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Normal/Dry Skin: Normal and dry skin faces external factors such as pollution and UV rays that can damage the skin’s moisture barrier, increasing loss of moisture and causing it to become drier. As a result, skin surfaces loses it glow, becoming dull-looking. This moisturizer envelops skin with moisture, improving the look of skin’s radiance.
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care for Extra Dry Skin: Your skin has a very fragile moisture barrier that can be easily damaged by external factors such as pollution and UV rays. Skin consequently loses its ability to retain moisture, becoming easily dehydrated, feeling tight and uncomfortable. This moisturizer envelops skin with moisture, providing comfort.
After cleansing your complexion, chances are you reach for a towel right away, right? Well, it turns out that would be the wrong thing to do. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), the best time to moisturize is after showering, cleansing your face, or washing your hands—but before you dry off. It turns out that this can help lock in hydration. And if you have dry skin, you know that hydration is the name of the game. So, the next time you shower or wash your face or hands, apply moisturizer to damp skin instead of toweling dry beforehand.
Just because you have dry skin doesn’t mean you can’t try the latest skin care trends. One you should consider for dry skin: facial oils! Using a facial oil on dry skin can help nourish and hydrate your complexion. Pick a facial oil that can help create the appearance of more radiant skin, and place 4-5 drops in the palm of your hand. With a finger, dab the oil onto your skin in small dots, then use the surface of your hands to slowly and deeply spread the oil out over your skin. After leaving your oil on for a few minutes, you can add moisturizer right overtop to help add even more hydration.
Sure, you probably have plenty of face creams and body lotions stocked in your vanity if you have dry skin, but there are other small spots in need of moisture, too. We’re talking about your hands and your lips in particular. Keep your purse stashed with a lip conditioner and hand cream so that you can moisturize on the go. (Check out our article, Follow These Moisturizer Dos and Don’ts for Hydrated Skin, for more tips.)
We get it: Hot showers can be extremely relaxing—there’s no argument there. The only problem is, they’re also not so swell for your skin. When you bathe in water that’s too warm, it can strip your skin of essential oils, causing it to become even drier. Obviously, that’s the last thing you would want if you have dry skin. The next time you hop in the shower, turn down the dial and cleanse your skin in lukewarm water instead. Sure, it might not be quite as relaxing, but your skin will certainly thank you! (Here are more ways to update your shower routine for a spa-like experience.)
As you already know, there’s no way around the fact that cleansing is necessary—even for dry skin types. If your dry skin has you shying away from this basic skin care step, it’s time to take a good look at what cleanser you’re using and how often you’re using it. According to the AAD, you should only wash your face twice a day, as well as after a sweat session. Make sure to look for a cleanser formulated for dry skin—and be gentle! For a post-gym refresh, try a no-rinse cleansing option like micellar water. Micellar water is powered by tiny micelles—oil molecules—that act as a magnet to lift dirt, oil, and makeup up and away from the skin. The L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin hydrates and soothes. Just saturate a cotton pad with it and wipe the pad across your face.
You don’t have to skip out on exfoliating if you have dry skin—you just have to figure out how often to do it depending on your skin type. Some people can handle daily exfoliation while others may only be able to handle doing so once or twice a week. Pay attention to how your skin responds to determine what works best for you. As far as what type of exfoliator to use, reach for a face scrub that’s formulated for dry skin, and make sure to apply it in gentle circular motions. There’s no reason to treat your skin harshly by aggressively rubbing. Remember to follow up with moisturizer when you’re done!
Of course, the right skin care routine for dry skin is key—but the makeup you use can play a role in how your complexion looks as well. While matte makeup is super-trendy, this is one finish you may want to steer clear of if you have dry skin. That’s because the flat finish of matte makeup can actually make your skin look drier, as it can draw attention to any dry patches. Instead, look for liquid products that have a radiant finish. For a few basics, grab a luminous foundation, concealer, and liquid highlighter. It’s also a good idea to use a setting spray to help lock your look in place rather than powder, which can settle into dry areas.
While you may not be in charge of how dry the air is all the time, you can make a few tiny changes that can help add moisture back into the air. When you spend a lot of time in air-conditioned or heated spaces, the lack of moisture in the air can end up affecting your skin. What can you do? According to the AAD, using a humidifier is a great way to help add much-needed moisture back into the air. If you have dry skin, turn a portable humidifier on while you work and keep one by your bed to help maintain skin hydration while you sleep.
OK, this one applies to all skin types—not just dry skin. Still, it’s worth repeating. Sun protection is a must year-round, not just in the summer. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you should wear an SPF of 15 or higher daily as directed and you should reapply it at least every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Sun protection doesn’t stop there, though. According to the FDA, you should also limit your amount of time in the sun (especially during the sun’s peak hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses. For those days when you’re rushing out the door, considering using a moisturizer formulated with broad-spectrum sunscreen, such as the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Lotion SPF 30, to help cut down on the number of steps in your skin care routine.
Ready to be a rule follower? Now that you know what not to do when it comes to dry skin, learn 14 Skin Care Rules for Dry Skin Types for even more advice on taking care of dry skin.