If your skin absorbs moisturizer like cement soaks up water on a hot summer day, it’s time to face the facts — you have dry skin. Dry skin needs to stay hydrated, but it’s also about striking a balance between thick, heavy moisturizers and soft, balanced skin. We talked to Dr. Coyle S. Connolly, president of Connolly Dermatology in New Jersey and board certified dermatologist, about the best course of action for your unique skin type.
Step 1: Cleanse
“After washing hands, moisten skin with warm water and massage cleanser into skin,” Connolly says.
You want to cleanse away dirt, oil and makeup without stripping your skin of its good oils. Finding the right gentle cleanser is crucial for this step. Look for labels that primarily advertise being for dry skin.
Step 2: Tone
Seek out a gentle toner that will swipe away excess makeup not cleansed away by the washing process. Alcohol-free formulas will work best, as they won’t further dry out already moisture-starved skin. Apply the toner with a soft cotton pad, or spritz it on the skin with a misting bottle.
Step 3: Exfoliate
You’ll want to find an exfoliant specifically for dry skin. Skip the aisle with acne skin products and aim for packaging that uses words like “soothing” and “moisturizing.”
“Massage two to three drops of exfoliant into skin and leave on for three to five minutes,” Connolly advises.
Step 4: Serum
Moisturize and clarify your skin on a base level with a serum. Find the right dry-skin formula, and then “apply two to three drops of appropriate serum and spread over [your] entire face,” Connolly says.
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Step 5: Moisturize
This is the most crucial step for dry skin types. Finding an appropriate moisturizer for dry skin, whether it’s a thick cream in the winter or a deep moisturizing lotion in the summer, will make a night-and-day difference in the way you feel about your skin.
If your favorite moisturizer doesn’t already include an SPF, be sure to add this in the mix, Connolly advises. An SPF mineral powder or cream can do wonders for all skin types, preventing aging, hyperpigmentation and — in the long run — skin cancer.