Does your skin feel dry and flaky when November rolls around? Can't seem to keep your skin from getting dehydrated no matter how much moisturizer you use? Getting hydrated, soft skin is definitely doable for every skin type, and it doesn't have to break the bank! By using these tips (and a bonus DIY face mask that works for every skin type), you will be flake free so you can enjoy the season with stride.
1. Use a gel moisturizer
Believe it or not, some moisturizers do more harm than good. Cream moisturizers are oil based which can clog pores and can lead to acne if you have acne prone or oily skin. Gel moisturizers are water based and absorb into the skin relatively fast compared to creams. Creams can confuse the skin since they are oil based and cause your skin to produce less sebum (oil), which can dry out the skin even more. Some really good gel moisturizers can be found in any drug store or supermarket, such as Garnier® SkinActive™ Moisture Rescue ($6.29 at Target™) which is suitable for both normal/combination skin and dry skin.
2. Stay hydrated!
This should go without saying, staying hydrated is great for your body period. The dry, cold air will suck the moisture right out of your skin and leave it parched. Water is not proven to directly corelate with your skin condition, but it does help keep your skin plump and healthy. Since everyone is different, the amount you drink daily is also different, so here is a little trick to find out how much water you should drink a day. You should drink between half an ounce to a full ounce or water per pound you weigh, so if you weigh 140 pounds you should drink between 70 and 140 ounces of water. There is a big gap between the two amounts but somewhere in the middle will be adequate.
3. Don't use cleansers that contain drying ingredients
Use of drying ingredients in facial cleansers can irritate any skin type. They disrupt the skin's pH balance which controls sebum production and can make your skin even worse. Avoid skin products with these ingredients:
Sodium lauryl sulfate
Sodium laureth sulfate
Ammonium lauryl sulfate
These are just some of the skin irritants that are in skin care products.
4. Use mild exfoliants
Using the right kind of exfoliant for your skin is very important since there is a large difference between body scrubs and facial scrubs. Body scrubs use larger exfoliating agents such as sugar crystals, and microbeads. Facial scrubs use smaller variations of the same product, so make sure you know what you're buying! Dead skin cells can block your moisturizer from accessing your skin. Exfoliating can jump-start skin cell rejuvenation and help acne prone skin. Use a gentle scrub or exfoliant to get rid of the dead skin and dry flakes. DO NOT use harsh scrubbing motions or use a lot of pressure. It can irritate your skin and cause damage.
5. Don't bathe too often
Washing up in the morning and at night is beneficial to skin care when you use the right products, but if you're washing your whole body, this will dehydrate your skin and hair on a major scale. The temperature and humidity difference between the bathroom and the rest of your living space is quite drastic, especially if you're taking long, hot water shower in the winter time. The air that is dry outside of your bathroom will steal the moisture in your skin within a few minutes after you step out of the bathroom (that's why your skin feels so tight and itchy after showering). It also sucks the moisture from your hair and using shampoo every day will contribute to that as well. A brief 10-minute shower with lukewarm (not hot) water every other day will ensure your skin and hair will stay hydrated.
6. Don't cake the makeup on
Ugh, dry skin flaking under your foundation is the worst! Using makeup to cover up flaws is something every girl tries at one point in her life. Some everyday makeup routines involve using primers, foundations, concealers, loose powders, etc. Everyone is different but some skin types are very susceptible to dry skin due to the use of setting powder on top of (or under) foundation. It is meant to absorb excess sebum that is produced throughout the day. Some makeup brands may also irritate the skin, depending on allergies and ingredients. Instead of caking on the foundation every morning, use a BB/CC cream, or a tinted moisturizer, they are meant to keep the skin moisturized.
DIY Dry Skin Face Mask
This mask is suitable for ALL skin types, including combination and acne prone!
1 Tbsp regular or vanilla yogurt (regular or greek): calms and moisturizes the skin + contains lactic acid which gets rid of dead skin cells and tightens pores
1/2 Tbsp honey: antibacterial and moisturizing. Definitely a go-to for any acne prone skin face mask for the antibacterial properties
1 Tsp of baking soda: neutralizes skin pH, soothes sensitive skin, and exfoliates dead skin cells.
Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, and the mixture will loosen a bit. Apply generously onto face avoiding the mouth and eye area. Wait for 15-25 minutes or until dry, rinse off with cool to lukewarm water, pat your face dry with a clean face cloth and apply moisturizer.