Growing up, I was always curious about my skin. I assumed that I had oily skin until I did a skin analysis test and found out that I actually have combination skin. If you have combination skin, you know the struggle: You deal with an oily T-zone and dry cheeks. But having dry skin all over is a different story.
While those with dry skin don’t have to worry about getting large pores, a downside is that you’re more prone to wrinkles and your skin tends to accentuate fine lines. With winter just around the corner, your skin needs more attention and the main thing to focus on is keeping your skin well-moisturized.
In our previous chapter, we covered a skin care regimen for oily skin. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about those of you with dry skin! Here’s a skin care routine, curated just for you:
Step 1: Oil Cleanser
When you have dry skin, stick to products that are gentle and will replenish your skin barrier with much-needed moisture. For the first step of your routine, use an oil cleanser that will wash away all the impurities but won’t dry out your skin. Go for an oil cleanser like the All Clean Balm from heimish. This cleansing balm is perfect for your skin type, even if it’s sensitive, as the balm is formulated with hypoallergenic ingredients including shea butter and citrus, botanical and white flower extracts.
Step 2: Cleanser
Cleansing doesn’t stop there; finish the process with a gentle facial cleanser to make sure you get all the grime off your skin. Watch out for soap-based cleansers or ones with harsh chemicals like alcohol as they will strip your skin of its natural oils and leave you with a tight and dry feeling.
Huxley’s Cleansing Gel Be Clean Be Moist is effective for dry skin. The gel-type cleanser is infused with Sahara Cactus Oil that provides skin with added moisture. Not only does it get rid of makeup and dirt, but it also provides nourishing and anti-blemish benefits.
Did you know that the way you dry your face actually makes a difference? Pat your skin gently with a towel or facial tissue after cleansing and never rub it against your skin to minimize further irritation.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Do you deal with rough and flaky skin? To treat this, exfoliating is essential as it helps remove dead skin cells to reveal softer and smoother-looking skin. Don’t make the mistake of over-exfoliating or you’ll end up with even drier and more irritated skin. Stick to exfoliating at least once or twice a week with a gentle scrub.
If you easily get skin reactions, go for the Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish from Dear, Klairs – it’s cruelty-free and doesn’t contain any traces of alcohol, silicone or pigment. This sugar-based polish is formulated with black sugar, shea butter and cranberry oil which won’t harm your skin’s moisture barrier.
Step 4: Toner
Alcohol-based toners are a huge no-no! They might be acceptable if you have extremely oily skin but using one for parched skin will dry your skin out even more. I’ve tried many toners with alcohol and though they’re a useful astringent to fight acne, they have the opposite effect on dry skin.
Bring moisture back to your skin with a toner that specifically hydrates like Pyunkang Yul’s Essence Toner, or one that restores moisture and the skin’s pH level such as Dear, Klairs’ Supple Preparation Facial Toner and The Face Shop’s Rice & Ceramide Moisturizing Toner.
Step 5: Essence
Applying an essence adds an extra layer of hydration and preps your skin to absorb active ingredients from serums, ampoules and moisturizers, which should be used after this step. With the right essence, you can stop moisture from escaping and your skin will thank you in the long run (I know my skin did).
You can apply essence in two ways, either by moistening a cotton pad with the essence or applying it directly onto your palms and patting it into your skin. Aside from reaping the moisturizing benefits, you can also find essences rich in ingredients that defend against signs of aging. A great choice is the Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist from MISSHA; it’s formulated with fermented yeast extract that soothes and balances skin, leaving you with a firmer and suppler complexion.
Step 6: Serum
It’s time to target your skin’s weakest spot: its lipid barrier. A perfectly healthy skin barrier has the ability to retain water, thus leaving you with a plump and radiant complexion. This isn’t the case for dry skin as the skin barrier is more vulnerable, which results in a dry, dull and dehydrated skin texture.
Hyaluronic acid is your best friend, not just for winter, but all year-round. I consider it a product sent from beauty heaven! It keeps your skin hydrated and prevents moisture loss, which is exactly what dry skin needs. Apply a hyaluronic acid-infused serum like MIZON’s Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule and you’ll have nourished and dewy skin in no time.
Step 7: Sheet Mask
Sheet masks may be a treat for every skin type but you’ll truly see the importance of using them if you have drier skin. After your skin fully absorbs your serum or ampoule, place a sheet mask on your face for 20 minutes, or as instructed. It will both enhance the effectiveness of your serum and boost your skin’s hydration levels.
Single out the sheet masks that provide a deep hydrating experience or are packed with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients such as coconut, shea butter, honey, oatmeal and rose. Don’t forget to remove it on time; leaving it on for longer than the suggested amount of time will dehydrate your skin.
Step 8: Eye Cream
As mentioned previously, if you have dry skin, your chances of developing fine lines and wrinkles are much higher than other skin types, and the first place you’re most likely to notice them are around your eyes. You can start using an eye cream as soon as you hit your twenties. There may not be any visible fine lines in the early stages but it’s important to keep the delicate skin around your eyes hydrated. By doing so, you can prevent your skin from sagging and improve its elasticity over time.
Find an eye cream that contains nourishing ingredients like snail mucin or collagen. Try MIZON’s Snail Repair Eye Cream, one of the brand’s bestselling items.
Step 9: Moisturizer
If you’re following this routine in the morning, there’s one more step after this. If you’re doing the routine at night, this is your last step. A good moisturizing cream helps seal everything in and keeps your skin nourished and hydrated. Huxley’s Cream Anti-Gravity is the perfect everyday cream that helps combat environmental damage in addition to its moisturizing benefits. For those suffering from blemishes on top of dry skin, I suggest trying this cream, which soothes inflamed skin, promotes cell regeneration and heals irritations with its centella extract.
When your skin feels dry during the day, you can spray on a facial mist to replenish moisture. I personally always keep one on my office desk or in my makeup bag, and I even bring it onto flights as the cabin air sucks all the moisture out of your skin. It’s the perfect on-the-go refresher!
Step 10: Sunscreen
Before you put away your products, don’t forget one extremely important step: sunscreen! Summer may be over but the sun isn’t going anywhere. You may not get sunburnt during gloomy winter days but there are still free radicals that will damage your skin if you skip a day of sunscreen. Want to maintain youthful skin? It’s as simple as wearing SPF daily.