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5 Ways to care for dry skin year-round, according to skin care pros

If you have dry skin, you know what an absolute pain it is to live with. Sure, it’s made worse by winter’s harsh weather, but the unfortunate reality of the matter is that it is an uncomfortable condition to deal with every season.

As such, we tapped experts in the skin care industry to give us the skinny on how they recommend caring for dry skin year-round. Here are their top tips.

1. Exfoliate

The first step to caring for dry skin, no matter what the season, is to slough off those dead cells, says Los Angeles-based aesthetician and makeup artist Krissy Portokalsky at C’est Tout Face & Skin Boutique. “Dryness is a layer of dead skin which needs to be removed. Start by exfoliating your skin extremely well — don’t be too gentle when using exfoliates,” she shared. “The rougher you are when cleansing, the more dead skin will come off.”

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Jonny Sherwood, owner of Jonny Cosmetics and Studio M in Charleston, South Carolina, agrees, particularly during the winter when the harsh weather can wreak havoc on your skin. “Cold weather can make the skin dull and flaky,” said the beauty guru. “Make sure you exfoliate with a fine exfoliant at least once a week.”

2. Go natural

If your skin is typically normal to oily but all of a sudden becomes very dry, it’s quite possible you’re suffering through an arid fall or winter. Colder weather brings cooler temps, and those temps often come with especially dry air — unlike spring and summer, when humidity in the air (depending on where you live) helps skin maintain some of its moisture.

Portokalsky recommends using an organic product to soothe, hydrate and heal, no matter what the season. “Immediately after you exfoliate, follow up with an all-natural, 100-percent argan or rose oil,” she said. “Both are super hydrating and will replenish the skin.” Bonus? The fewer additives a product has, the less chance there is it will irk your already irritated dry skin.

3. Drink up

On this point, Sherwood is explicitly clear. “Stay hydrated!” he emphasized. “Start from the inside out.” This should become a skin care mantra you abide by all year-round, but be particularly cognizant of it during warmer weather when the heat makes you perspire. Dehydration is detrimental in many ways, and contributing to parched skin is one of them.

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4. Avoid gel cleansers

Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall, any products that strip moisture are the cardinal sin of dry skin. You may have been using one all along and had no idea it was exacerbating your itchy, uncomfortable epidermis. “You want to stay away from gel cleansers and use a moisturizing cleanser with a pH that mimics your actual sebum production,” explained Sherwood.

For that matter, you might want to consider limiting your shower frequency, too. Although this still seems to be a point of contention among some skin care experts, many feel that bathing or showering frequently is problematic because it strips skin of its natural oils.

5. Make moisturizing your number one habit

Both Portokalsky and Sherwood underscored the importance of moisturizing. Hydration may start on the inside, but the outside shouldn’t be neglected. If you’re prone to dry skin all year long, use a thick lotion or body butter every day. If your skin is combination and only seems to dry out in the cooler seasons, you can probably get away with a lighter product during warmer weather.

In addition to your arsenal of body butters and lotions, scan your pantry — oatmeal, honey and avocado are just a few of the items you might find there that have incredible moisturizing properties.

More: What skin care experts do when they get a breakout

This post was sponsored by Cetaphil.

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