We all know what it looks like, but what precisely is dry skin? Our skin has a natural barrier of lipids designed to keep irritants out and moisture in. However, when this barrier is harmed (in this case, by cold, dry air), it causes small, almost invisible cracks to form in the skin. These cracks then permit vital moisture to escape and irritants to enter. This is the primary cause of dry, flakey skin.
Here are some tips to ensure your skin stays soft, smooth and moisturized in the cold winter months ahead:
1. Don’t Wash With Foaming Soaps (Or Cleansers)
Bar soaps and foaming cleansers are too harsh – even for those with oily skin. In place of a foaming formula, use a soothing sulfate-free cleanser, preferably one containing glycerin and allantoin.
2. Don’t Use Toner With Drying Ingredients
Specifically, this means toners with ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, denatured alcohol and SD alcohol 40 – these tend to make dry skin conditions worse. Instead, use an alternative formula, free of alcohol.
3. Don’t Leave Skin Bare After Cleaning
Without a toner, serum or moisturizer, your skin will begin to dehydrate in the first minute after washing. To stop this from happening, make sure to always use a toner, moisturizer, and oil or serum after cleansing. I get asked all the time what moisturizer I like and I use Cera Ve Moisturizer.
4. Don’t Use The Wrong Ingredients
Moisturizers with mineral oils or petrolatum can have pore-clogging effects, especially for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Instead, choose products with ceramides, such as shea butter, beeswax, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil and carrot oil to ensure beautifully conditioned skin, free of dryness and packed with moisture.
5. Don’t Forget To Use Night Cream
A common mistake is to skip moisturizing at night in order to “let your skin breathe” – but this actually harms our skin! Skipping a night cream leads to drastic moisture loss, so pick one with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycolipids, primrose oil and borage oil.