Dry skin is not something to be embarrassed about as it is an extremely common symptom many individuals struggle with. With the seasons transitioning, many of us will most likely experience dry skin at one point during the season. This year, my face seemed to suffer the most because our travel schedule demanded traveling between humid and dry climates within a short period of time.
There’s good and bad news…
The bad news is that there is no immediate magic remedy that will transform your skin from dry and itchy to soft, smooth and hydrated. Thankfully, the good news outweighs the bad. With a few tips and tricks, you’ll soon be on your way to the road of recovery towards hydrated skin. I’ll be sharing my process and tips to battle dry skin in three different parts: What you can do NOW (as in this very second), tonight before bed and tomorrow morning when you wake.
What you can do now
- Put the caffeine down. Sorry to say this but caffeine is your enemy if you’re suffering from dry skin. Caffein dehydrates you and will completely undo your efforts if you’re not careful.
- Avoid alcohol. Just like caffeine, alcohol will dehydrate you as well. Maybe now is the time to start a little detox?
- Cut out sweets. Refined sugar causes spikes in insulin which in turn can cause skin problems.
- Drink a large glass of water. It’s no secret that drinking water is beneficial to the human body. After all, our bodies are largely made up of water, so drink up!
What to do tonight
If you don’t have a nighttime skin routine, now may be a good time to start one. I don’t mean an intense, 16-step evening skin routine but at least have a routine to cleanse and hydrate your face to help it repair as you sleep.
Prior to dealing with dry skin, I used to wash my face twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. Now, I’ve decreased down to just washing in the evening. Why? Washing my face at night cleanses the skin from impurities it has come in contact with throughout the day and helps prep my skin to absorb a moisturizer. Another fix I’ve had to apply to my evening routine is minimizing the amount of products I use. My evening routine went from roughly 10 steps to 6-7. Using too many products at once can cause irritation, so keep an eye out for what your skin truly reacts positively to.
Evening skin routine
- Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. You’ll want the water to be warm enough to wash away lipids, sweat and impurities from your skin but not so hot that it causes your skin to dry even further.
- Choose a gentle cleanser. There are many gentle cleansers available on the market but be sure to choose those without harmful chemicals and ingredients.
- Be sure to use a gentle exfoliate on your skin twice a week. Avoid exfoliating cleansers with manmade materials and beads as these will cause micro-tears in your skin, causing more harm to your face. I like using gentle chemical exfoliants instead of scrubs but each person will have a personal preference.
- Use an alcohol-free toner. Some toners contain alcohol and will further dry out the skin.
- Follow up with a serum; You can choose to use an oil that is suited for your skin, a retinol-infused serum, or a moisture sealing serum that will keep moisture on your face.
- Finish with a moisturizer. Be sure to do your research when choosing the right moisturizer. Avoid moisturizers containing harmful chemicals, fragrances and perfumes.
- Drink a glass of water before bed. Ideally, you should be drinking enough water to match at least half of your body weight in ounces.
Use a humidifier if you don’t already have one set up. Some of us may live in drier climates. In dry climates, using a humidifier will put moisture back into the air and help with your skin’s healing process. Another tip that I found helpful was moving away from being in direct contact of where the AC blows in the room. I’ve had to rearrange my room a bit to do so but every little bit helps. If this isn’t possible for you, try to close the vent in order to prevent cold air blowing onto your face while you sleep.
What to do in the morning
The first thing I do each morning is drink a full 32 ounces of water, made possible by my Nalgene I keep with me at all times. When you wash your face in the morning, use cold or lukewarm water and pat your face dry before applying toner. I then use a moisturizer and follow up immediately with oil (I switch between avocado, jojoba and olive oil). After applying oil, I apply vitamin C serum and sunblock. If possible, take a break from using makeup. I know this isn’t ideal for some but if you have to continue using foundation or concealer, try to use makeup formulas with hydrating benefits.
- Start taking fish oil capsules. Sometimes we are not getting enough fats and oils in our diet. When suffering from dry skin, a little extra boost from capsules will help.
- Increase your Vitamin C intake. Adequate vitamin C intake will aid in skin restoration.
- Drink your water. At this point I sound like a broken record but I cannot emphasize this point enough: DRINK MORE WATER.
- Incorporate nutritious foods full of omega-3’s and healthy fats to help your skin rebuild itself.
The truth is…
This isn’t an overnight fix to heal dry skin nor is there a miracle product to heal dry skin immediately. However, with some patience and good practices, your skin will be able to start repairing itself and you’ll find your skin start to look and feel better within a few days.
Personally, it took over three weeks for me to overcome having dry facial skin. For those three weeks, I avoided wearing skin makeup whenever possible and applied those changes I mentioned above (and then some extra) for any noticeable changes. My phone search history was full of “how to heal dry skin”, “how to fix dry skin”, “why do I suddenly have dry skin”, “do I suddenly have sensitive skin”, and “what causes dry skin.”
If you’re suffering from dry skin right now, it’s okay. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about at all because most individuals are probably suffering from it or will experience it some time during the season transition.
Here are links to some of the products I use and love using when I’m dealing with dry skin:
My final advice for you is to be proactive about your skin’s condition: stay hydrated, eat well, sweat out those toxins and protect your skin from the sun. Do your research about what a safe product for skin does and does not contain, what oil best suits your skin type and consider the climate you live in. I hope these tips helped and that your battle with dry skin ends soon!