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Dry skin tips

by Louisa Crook

If your skin type is dry, you’ll be only too aware of how much of a pain it can be to manage it. You don’t have to have itching, flaking dry skin for it to be a constant annoyance in your daily life. Sometimes dry skin is simply that uncomfortable tight feeling across your face. If you’re struggling to figure out how to keep your skin soft, supple and moisturised, we’ve got a few tips that can really help.

Forego the morning facewash

One of the quickest ways to exacerbate dry skin is overcleansing. When you wash your face, even if you are using the gentlest cleanser, and using that perfect tepid temperature of water, it still strips your skin of oil to some degree. For those with dry skin, you want to retain as much of that oil as you possibly can. So, rather than give your face a good morning lather, just splash some cold water on it to remove any residue from the previous night’s products and get on with the rest of your morning skincare routine.

Occlusives and humectants are your friends

Caring for dry skin is all about keeping your skin moisturised. Part of that is doing what you can to prevent moisture from escaping. This is where humectants and occlusive creams step in. Two great humectants to use are hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Humectants draw moisture to their molecules, increasing how much hydration permeates your skin. Apply them onto damp skin for best results. However, that extra moisture needs locking in. This is where occlusives enter the picture. A good occlusive moisturiser forms a protective barrier between drying environmental effects (air conditioning, central heating, dry climates etc.) and your carefully hydrated skin. This prevents the trans-epidermal moisture loss that can have your face feeling tight and looking crepey by midday.

Consider a face oil

Face oils are often feared. The word ‘oil’ conjours up images of clogged pores and breakouts. However, many a dry skin sufferer swears by the healing, soothing and hydrating function of a good face oil. A little goes a long way and can make a significant difference in your moisture barrier. Rosehip oil is a steadfast favourite, as is Marula oil and Squalane. Apply your facial oil as a last step in your skincare routine (but before SPF, if using during the day).

Be gentle

It’s generally a good idea to be gentle to your skin, but certain skin types require just that extra bit of TLC. Dry skin is one of those skin types, so it’s incredibly important to choose your products carefully. Harsh exfoliants, alcohol-based toners and astringents are best avoided, in place of kinder options. If you want to use AHAs and BHAs, do so only when you feel your skin really needs them. Consider PHAs instead, as they are much gentler. Investing in barrier-supporting serums and emollients is wise. (Our piece on rebuilding your barrier when you’ve overdone the actives has some great product recommendations that also work well for dry skin situations). And, as always, never forget the sunscreen!

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