As someone who dealt with oily skin my whole life, dry skin is a new experience for me. I don’t know if it’s age, hormonal changes from pregnancy or simply the fact that it’s winter, but my skin has never been drier in my life! And, this isn’t my first Chicago winter (8th actually!).
I had a facial back in January and at the end the aesthetician told me that my skin was majorly dehydrated. Again, this came as a total shock to me. She also said that it was probably the reason for all the congestion, blackheads and breakouts I’d been having. And here I’d been blaming the baby growing in my belly!
She suggested I add a hyaluronic acid serum to my routine, which I immediately did! I made a few other changes to my routine and within a couple of weeks, my dry, parched-looking skin was gone. My makeup wasn’t flaking off anymore and my skin was actually glowing.
For a girl who’s always dealt with breakouts this was seriously a miracle! Oh, and the congestion and breakouts? Pretty much gone. I still get an occasional bump, but my skin has not been this clear in ages. Each morning, I wake up and it just gets better and better—seriously, I haven’t been happier or more confident in my skin EVER.
Sidenote, if you have dry, breakout-prone skin (which is now what I think I have!), these tips will do wonders for you!
How’d I do it?! Pretty easy actually! Like I mentioned, a few swaps here and there, and making sure to prioritize my healthy habits!
How to Get Rid of Dry Skin on Face
1. Exfoliate Regularly
I thought this sounded counterintuitive, like wouldn’t this irritate dry skin? But, it actually has the opposite effect. Removing the top layer of dead skin cells, help to reveal the plump, healthier skin cells below and can be huge in getting rid of pesky, flaky skin.
Instead of grabbing a scratchy, exfoliating scrub, opt for something more gentle that’s still very effective. Two of my favorites are this overnight peel, which I use 3-4x a night, just before my night cream, and this resurfacing mask that I use 1-2x a week. Both leave my skin glowing.
Try Shaving Your Face
Another exfoliating trick I’ve started practicing is shaving my face. I know, you might think this sounds crazy, but it’s been a game-changer! So I use these Tinkle razors (get them here for super cheap), and gently remove the peach fuzz and dead skin.
I do this about every 3-4 weeks. It helps my moisturizer absorb, makes makeup go on smoother and I’ve found it helps with breakouts.
2. Hydrate Appropriately
When your skin has been exfoliated, it’s actually easier for it to absorb moisture! After you’ve got that step checked off your list, make sure you’re hydrating properly. This is where I was messing up big time!
Per the suggestion of my aesthetician, I started using a hyaluronic acid serum at least once a day, sometimes twice if I feel like I need it. If you’re not familiar with hyaluronic acid, it’s really not an acid at all!
Instead, it’s more gel-like and essentially binds water to your skin to help keep it looking plump and hydrated. When your cells are plump, the lattice-work of skin cells is tighter, meaning less dirt, debris and bacteria gets in, which means less breakouts and congestion!
I’ve been using this Intense Moisture Serum with two kinds of hyaluronic acid and within two days, my makeup was no longer flaking off. Basically, it WORKS! I rounded up a few more hyaluronic acid serums that reader’s suggested as well below.
More Hyaluronic Acid Serums
After adding a serum either morning or evening, I always apply a moisturizer. Think of your moisturizer as your skin’s protector! This is an absolute must every single day for dry skin.
During the day, I use a more lightweight one—I use this lightweight adaptive moisturizer now—and a night, a heavier, thicker one for some serious deep hydration. Right now this supreme cream is my pick—it also has a natural alternative to retinol so it’s been great for anti-aging too.
3. Get a Regular Facials
I realize that this isn’t an expense everyone wants to add, but if it’s in the budget for you, I highly recommend it. I decided that this year, I was going to treat myself to a facial every month. It’s March and I’ve only had 2, but I think that they have made a huge impact.
Another thing I love about going to get a facial is that they always give you so many awesome tips! I feel like I’ve learned so much about skin and skincare simply from going to get facials.
4. Swap your Cleanser
I once heard that skin issues most often stem from using the wrong cleanser. Crazy, right?!
Check your cleanser to make sure it’s not too drying. Opting for a more gentle cleanser, like this cleansing balm, or a cleansing milk is a great swap. They still cleanse deeply, but aren’t stripping or harsh on your skin.
In the morning, I actually don’t wash my face at all. I either splash warm water to get my nighttime product off, or use a micellar water and a cotton pad to wipe off my face and then go on with my morning skincare routine.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
This is one of the easiest, cheapest hacks I have for clear skin! I struggle to drink enough water during the winter because it makes me so cold, but in the summer, this is a breeze. I aim to drink at least 96oz. of water a day, that’s 3 refills of my big water bottle—love this thing!
Weird side effect of staying hydrated? I actually sleep so much better. I notice that on the days I don’t drink my 96oz., I actually wake up more often in the night than on the days where I’ve had a 96oz. or more! Better sleep also leads to healthier skin and a more-rested, healthier you too.
My Current Morning & Night Skincare Routine for Dry Skin
Tone: I press a few drops of this hydrating essence into my skin and let it dry. It helps repair your skin’s natural moisture barrier. It’s not 100% necessary, but I love it and have noticed a difference in my overall tone and texture.
Treat: 1-2 pumps of this hyaluronic serum, let it dry before putting on moisturizer.
SPF: I never leave the house without it! I either use this mineral sunscreen designed for your face. It’s SPF40, lightly tinted and works like a primer under makeup. I also use this tinted moisturizer with SPF20. The second one is more hydrating than the first!
Tone: I use the same hydrating essence as I do in the morning! I should mention this bottle is huge and lasts FOREVER! I’ve had it for 3+ months and I’m not even halfway through it.
Treat: I switch this up every other night. I either use this overnight peel, which is a great exfoliator, or this serum that has that same natural retinol alternative, bakuchiol. If my skin is feeling extra dry, then I’ll use a pump or two of the hyaluronic acid serum as well.
Moisturize: I finish up my night time routine with this intensely hydrating, anti-aging cream. It has bakuchiol in it and leaves my skin so plump, hydrated and glowy. It’s helped with hyperpigmentation and scars overtime as well.
Lastly, I use this eye cream and gently press it in around my eyes, because mom life.
Dry skin can be so frustrating, and I know these tips will make a huge difference in the look and feel of your skin—they worked wonders for me!
What other dry skin tips do you have that made a big difference for your skin?