Dry, oily, combination—do you know your skin type?
Skincare seems like a scary, confusing beast to conquer. If you know anyone who’s serious about their routines, it’s likely they have an array of products they use to help them achieve desired results. But how do you get to that point? Where do you start? The answer starts with knowing your skin type. From there, the scary abyss of skincare is whittled down to navigating the best products for you.
It sounds intimidating to figure out your skin type, but it’s easier than you think. All you need to do is examine your face and take note of its condition: Where is your skin dry, patchy, oily, or all of the above? If you’ve found that along your T-zone (forehead, nose, chin), your skin is bone-dry, it’s a good indicator that you have dry skin.
And if you need tips on how to care for dry skin, we have your back. Keep reading for more dry skin tips—and what not to do when taking care of your skin type.
What is dry skin?
Dry skin is one of the most common skin types. Generally, your skin type is determined by genetics, but it can (and most likely will) change over time due to outside factors. For instance, air pollution, air conditioning, the sun and its UV rays, wind, water, and detergents can all contribute to the appearance of the skin. With so many factors involved, there’s no wonder skin types can change!
Let’s go into depth about how dry skin looks. It often appears dull, rough, and ashy. Additionally, dry skin is particularly sensitive to irritation and prone to peeling, infections, and allergies. People with dry skin produce less moisture and sebum, which is why the surface feels rough to the touch.
Now, if all that science talk made you a little nervous, don’t be—every skin type has its pros and cons. For instance, those with oily skin usually have problems you don’t—they produce way too much moisture, and it needs to be maintained! But for now, let’s take it back to dry skin, and how to take care of it.
The basis for taking care of dry skin is proper at-home care. This sounds intimidating, we get it. But if you want to start out on the right foot, feel free to book an appointment with an esthetician. They can identify your skin type and give your treatments formulated just for you. Additionally, estheticians are able to recommend products to help you along your skincare journey.
However, there are some things you can do today in order to get a jump-start on skincare.
1. Wash your face
First, cleanse your skin every day. It’s just as important to wash the face as it is the rest of your body. Choose a cleanser that has ingredients like glycolic and lactic acid. The first will encourage moisture production, and the latter heals dry skin. This brings us to our first thing to avoid.
Don’t: Skip on cleansing
Consistent skin care is essential to healing and taking care of the outside layer of your skin. If you skip out, or miss days cleansing, it’s hard for your skin to be treated for concerns you have. Generally, it takes about 30 days of consistent use to see a change in your skin, so it’s important to never miss a cleanse.
2. Target a concern
For the next step in your routine, pick a product that targets your biggest dry skin concern. For example, do you want to add moisture? Even out texture? Maybe balance the appearance of your skin. Whatever your main target area is, use this step to treat it. Most people enjoy using a toner to balance and reset the skin’s pH. This is important when leveling out your skin so it’ll react to products as it should.
Others also use a serum to treat their concerns. Serums that are great for dry skin are going to have Vitamin C for brightness. Another amazing ingredient for you is hyaluronic acid. Like glycolic and and lactic, this acid is what’s called a humectant (a fancy word for locking in moisture). So, if you’re really trying to lock in moisture, grab a serum with this ingredient.
Don’t: Do too much
One sure-fire way to damage your skin is by treating too many concerns. Keep your routine simple at first—you still might not know how some products react to your skin. Pay attention to how much and how many products you’re using, in addition to which ingredients. These are strong ingredients we’re talking about, and are best used in moderation. So don’t make your entire routine one of hyaluronic acid!
Obviously, moisture is going to be the name of the game for your dry skin. This might be your favorite routine step: Moisturizer. Everybody needs this step in their routine for different reasons. But for you, it’s easy to see why. After you cleanse and treat, the final step is to use a moisturizer to lock it in. Feel free to use one formulated for dry skin, here. But again, avoid one with too many of the same ingredients you’ve chosen to use in other steps.
Don’t: Use a counteractive product
The skincare choice gets way easier when you take into account what you’re looking for and what you’re not. When it comes to moisturizer, be sure to choose a formula that’s going to work in tandem with your routine. Essentially, it’s all about layering products that have different uses.
For moisturizer, you can go light here. It doesn’t have to “treat” anything necessarily—it just has to complement the other steps on your routine. Moisturizers are already formulated to lock in hydration, so the work will be done for you. Like above, avoid moisturizers that have ingredients you’re already using.
4. Pick a hydrating sunscreen
For the very last step in your routine, use a sunscreen. We’ve talked about sunscreen in depth in other posts, but it’s absolutely necessary for everyone to apply and reapply sunscreen every day. The gist is because the sun’s rays are more powerful than we think. They can even affect you indoors. So, to make sure your routine isn’t thrown out of the window by UV rays, use a sunscreen that promotes hydration.
Don’t: Skip this step
If you avoid sunscreen, you can seriously damage your moisture barrier. Your moisture barrier is the outermost layer of skin, and what you want to keep strong. If not, the products you use could be too powerful when treating your dry skin, thus, damaging it completely. You can tell your moisture barrier is damaged if you have little lines across your forehead.
If your moisture barrier is damaged, use gentle products for your routine and implore the regular use of sunscreen. UV rays quickly damage your skin and its barrier, so reapplication is of the upmost importance.
Once you have these four steps taken care of, you have a basic, daily skincare routine for dry skin. That wasn’t too intimidating, right?
Dry skin requires specialized care, and if neglected, symptoms may progressively worsen. Fortunately, thanks to today’s expansive market, finding solutions for dry skin is easier than ever before. If you think your skin tends to dry out, don’t wait—treat it now!