Having dry skin problems can be nothing short of an annoyance, not matter what skin type you have. The winter months can do quite the number and your regular routine may not be have duty enough to keep your skin looking its best, but things like age, genetics, and overall health can come into play as well.
This can get very frustrating, especially if you’ve been working for a long time to rid yourself of dry skin. With so many options in skin care, some of which aren’t the best for your skin in general, let alone dry skin, it can get pretty aggravating and make you want to give up and leave your skin the way that it is.
The best way to figure out how to deal with dry skin is to understand why it comes around at all. As you age, it’s normal for your skin to dry out and loose its elasticity. The skin you had in your 20’s is not the same skin you’re going to have by the time you reach 45. Unfortunate, but true.
To put it simply, dry skin is a lack of moisture on the top layers of skin. This can be caused by a lot of different things, such as saunas, furnace heat, and even over-cleansing of the skin (yes, too much cleansing is a real thing).
- Figure out your skin type: Everyone has a different skin type; dry, normal (you’re lucky if this is you), combination, and oily. You might be acne-prone or you could have super sensitive skin. A lot of things play into how your skin type is, such as age, genetics, and how you care for yourself and your skin. But regardless, dry skin can happen to anyone, so here are some general characteristics to help you evaluate your skin.
1) Your skin feels dehydrated shortly after cleansing
2) Your pores tend to be small
3) Your skin is sensitive
4) If you look really close or with a magnifying glass, you may notice flaky areas
To test if your skin may be dry, take a piece of paper towel and press it against freshly cleansed skin after waiting a few minutes. If the piece comes back clean, chances are that you’re lacking essential oils that your skin needs to stay healthy.
Keep in mind that if you tend to have more oily skin for most of the year and dry skin only in the winter months, that this doesn’t mean that you have dry skin, as changes in skin type through the seasons is common and perfectly normal.
- Get skincare products that help maintain the skin: With so many options out there, it can be hard to know exactly what to get to help with dry skin. If you’re someone who’s skin only gets dry in the winter, you don’t have to replace your entire line. Just grab a few products that are a little more heavy duty and will lock in those oils to keep your skin looking nice while you brave the cold. Of course, that doesn’t mean that these tips won’t work for you, so if you’re struggling to find those products and essentials that will help keep your skin in check during the winter, feel free to read on.
But if your skin is naturally dry, your regimen should be tailored to keep moisture and oils in your skin at all times, because as soon as you lose it, all of those dry skin problems will come back to haunt you and you’ll be stuck wondering why this entire process is so difficult.
There are some basic ways to take care of your skin that don’t involve super complicated methods, like using a non-foaming, harsh cleanser. Dry skin tends to be quite sensitive, so using a gentle, creamy cleanser can make all the difference in your skin’s ability to shed dead skin cells and lock in moisture.
Using good moisturizers are also a must, but finding ones that work can be hard. If its too watery it won’t lock in any oils and if its too thick, it can clog your pores and just make your skin even worse than it probably was before you started. Be sure to save thicker formulas for nighttime, and use moisturizers with SPF during the day and under your makeup to protect your skin from those pesky UV rays.
But this isn’t all you can do. Below are some tips that can help you find the right skincare regimen for you.
1) Sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher: Be sure to wear this every single day of the year, because it only takes a few minutes for the sun to start breaking down your skin’s stability. Wearing sunscreen
2) Exfoliate – but gently: Harsh products will only irritate the skin even more, so make sure the one you’re using is well-formulated with AHA or BHA. This will help wash away the dead skin cells and reveal that hydrated, glowing skin underneath.
3) Moisturize your lips: Its easy to forget that our lips are very prone to dry skin problems, so be sure to wear a gloss, lipstick, or lip balm with SPF in it during the day and use a more heavy duty lip mask to leave on at night, to make sure your lips stay soft all year round.
- Extra tips to maintain skin: While having a good skincare routine is always going to be the best way to improve your skin’s overall health, there’s always extra things that you can do to kick those dry skin problems to the curb.
1) Buy a humidifier: If you live in a cold climate, low humidity area, your skin will easy fall victim to harsh winds and dry air. Putting a humidifier in your bedroom can help to put moisture back into your skin that you lost during the day, so when you wake up your skin is nice and supple.
2) Turn down the air conditioner or heater: While staying cool or warm is always nice, it can wreak havoc on your skin and turn it into a flaky forest. Don’t run your appliances all the time and you will see improvement in your skin down the road.
3) Drink water: Now you should drink water to maintain your overall health to begin with, and while there aren’t any solid scientific facts that say drinking water will solve all of your skin dilemmas, in due time you should slowly see your skin benefit from it. But, scientists have said that in order to see more obvious results, you must drink more that the daily recommended 8 glasses (half a gallon) a day. The amount you should be drinking is closer to a gallon.
Obviously, that’s a lot of water, and the task of drinking close to an entire gallon of water may seem really daunting, especially if you’re not much of a water person. But start slow and break in up into sections and you should be seeing results in no time.
4) Eat healthy!: Some people might not think that this matters much, but what you put in your body greatly impacts how your body and skin are going to function afterwards. You don’t have to swear off the chocolate cake and french fries forever, but try to limit your intake of starch, empty carbs, and sugar as much as you can. These things can clog your pores and overall just make your skin look really dull and lifeless, so try to get some more veggies and fruits into your diet and in the long run you’ll be glad that you did.
It sounds like a lot and it can be very overwhelming at first. And its easier said than done, but try to stick with it. You don’t have to do it all at once, try to pace yourself and ease yourself into each thing. If you forget to turn on the humidifier one night, it’s not the end of the world and you don’t have to start all over again. Just keep going and eventually you’ll get the hang of your routine and it will be muscle memory.
Remember that you don’t have to ‘go big or go home’ with this. There are plenty of cheaper skincare options out there if you don’t want to spend the big bucks. The thought that the more you spend, the better the product, isn’t always true and its easy to think that spending 90 dollars on that one moisturizer will make all your problems go away. There are many drugstore brands or cheaper indie brands that won’t steer you wrong, and you’ll be spending a fraction of the cost to get better looking skin.
So while taking care of dry skin can take effort and a lot of trial and error, eventually you’ll find what works for you. Just take the time to do research, talk to friends or family who may also deal with the same dry skin problems as you, and make a plan to get your skin back on the right track.