If you’re prone to dry skin, you know how hard it can be to find the right skincare routine. A soothing, hydrating skincare regimen can give you a healthy, dewy complexion, while the wrong products or a little bit of neglect can give you that tight, uncomfortable feeling.
Here at Araya Beauty, we know what works, and what doesn’t. From home remedies, great skincare products, and professional beauty treatments, here’s everything you need to know about treating dry skin.
What Causes Dry Skin?
If you want to prevent and treat dry skin, you should understand what’s causing it in the first place. Here are the most common triggers:
Here in Ireland, we’re all too familiar with cold, dark winters wreaking havoc on our skin. But why does this happen? In cold climates, we’re prone to windy weather and low humidity. We also tend to spend a lot of time indoors, where central heating, fireplaces, stoves, and other heaters will also reduce humidity and lead to very dry conditions.
When the air is dry, it draws moisture away from the skin, leaving it feeling tight and uncomfortable.
Hot showers can cause dry skin because the hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can lead to dryness and irritation. It’s important to keep the water at a warm, rather than hot, temperature, and to limit the amount of time spent in the shower.
The same goes for frequent hand washing, as continued exposure to hot water and soaps can cause dry hands.
Fragrances & Soaps
Fragrances, soaps, harsh detergents, dyes, alcohol, and perfumes can cause dry skin because they strip the skin of its natural oils. This is especially true for people with sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema. Using products that are gentle and free of harsh chemicals can help prevent dryness and irritation.
Allergies to harsh soaps, laundry detergents, fabric softeners, or skincare products can cause contact dermatitis, which makes your skin itchy, red, and dry.
This is because allergies cause the body to release histamines, which can lead to inflammation and irritation of the skin. Additionally, you may be more likely to scratch your skin if you have allergies, which can make things worse.
Many skin conditions can cause dry, itchy skin, including eczema (atopic dermatitis) and psoriasis. Eczema and psoriasis are inflammatory skin conditions without a cure, so you’ll have to manage them with gentle skincare to reduce irritating flare-ups.
Dry skin can also be a side effect of certain medications. The most common offenders are acne medications (like Accutane), which contain retinoids. Retinoids are powerful anti-acne and anti-ageing ingredients, but they can also dry out your skin.
Most dry skin is harmless, but sometimes it can also be a sign of underlying health conditions such as diabetes or thyroid disorders. If you’re experiencing unusually dry skin, it’s best to talk to a doctor or dermatologist to determine the root cause and get appropriate treatment.
6 Ways to Prevent & Treat Dry Skin
Treating dry skin can be easy, it just requires a good routine, some healthy habits, and maybe a professional treatment from time to time. Here are our top tips for relieving dry skin and getting your glow back:
Change your bathing habits
This one is pretty simple. As much as you might love a long hot shower, it’s probably not doing your skin any good. To prevent dry skin, try to avoid super hot showers and baths and keep the water to a comfortable, lukewarm temperature.
Excessive bathing can also dry out your skin, so it’s best to keep shower times to ten minutes or less where possible. If you have severely dry or uncomfortable skin, you can also try an oatmeal bath – add some oats to your bathwater (you can contain them in a pair of tights if you want to avoid mess) and let them infuse their soothing goodness into your bathwater. This is a great trick for relieving eczema flare-ups.
Switch to hypoallergenic products
If you have a dry, sensitive skin type, it’s very possible that day-to-day products like skincare, detergents, and perfumes will make your skin dry. To prevent this, try switching to allergen-free soap and hypoallergenic skincare. Check the ingredients and try to avoid sulfates, parabens, fragrances, dyes, and alcohol.
Use a gentle moisturiser
It’s so important to have a good moisturiser in your skincare routine, ideally one each for your face, body, and hands. There are a few types of moisturising ingredients that can soothe and hydrate dry skin, which include:
- Humectants – ingredients that attract and retain water like a sponge. Examples include hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, and glycerin.
- Emollients – ingredients that repair and protect the skin barrier. Examples include ceramide, shea butter, and coconut oil.
- Occlusives – ingredients that sit on the surface of your skin and form a physical barrier to prevent water loss. Examples include petroleum jelly, mineral oil, lanolin, and liquid paraffin.
The best moisturizers for dry skin will combine humectants, emollients, and occlusives to hydrate, soften, and protect the skin. The idea is to attract water into the skin, and then lock it in with a protective barrier layer to prevent it from evaporating.
Here at Araya, we have a range of excellent moisturisers by SkinCeuticals — medical-grade skincare that’s backed by years and years of research. For dry skin, we recommend using the SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum after cleansing, then finishing your skincare routine with SkinCeuticals Emollience Moisturising Cream.
If you also want to defend against fine lines and wrinkles, you could swap the moisturising cream for SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore — a ceramide and fatty-acid-infused formula designed to combat age-related lipid loss.
For skin that’s compromised by skin conditions, inflammation, or allergies, try the extra-soothing SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair Cream.
Don't forget to exfoliate
Exfoliating can help remove dead skin cells and flaky skin, reducing the dullness that often comes with a dry skin type. To brighten up your skin, use a cleanser, toner, or standalone exfoliating treatment containing AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids).
AHAs are gentle ingredients that melt away dead skin cells, leaving behind a brighter and smoother complexion. The best examples for dry skin are glycolic acid or lactic acid, just make sure to follow up your exfoliating treatment with a good moisturiser.
While it’s important to exfoliate, it’s also important not to overdo it. If you have dry skin, stick to exfoliating just twice per week. You should also avoid potentially harsh exfoliants like BHAs (beta hydroxy acid), the main one being salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a great exfoliating acid for oily and acne-prone skin, but it’s too drying for sensitive and dry skin types.
Always wear sunscreen
Sun damage is enemy number one for any skin type, so you should always wear sun protection (even in winter). Not only will you avoid the drying effects of sunburn, but you’ll also help protect your skin barrier from harm, enabling your skin to keep more moisture in.
Mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide can be drying, so if you’re using one of those, make sure you apply a good moisturiser first. Even better, choose a formula that’s more suited to your skin type, like SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial UV Defense — a dual-action formula that protects and hydrates your skin.
Try a hydrating facial
When your skin is in need of something stronger, you can visit a professional for an extra hydrating and soothing treatment. Regular facials can help curb dry skin and keep it healthy in the long term. Here at Araya Beauty, we have a couple of really great facials for dry skin types.
The best and most effective treatment is the HydraFacial. It’s a triple-action hydrating, exfoliating, and brightening treatment, which can give your skin a boost of radiance.
In this 60-minute facial, we use a suction device to remove dead skin cells, bacteria, oil, and debris from your pores, while also layering exfoliating, hydrating, and protective serums to drench your skin with the nutrients it needs.
We also offer a calming SkinCeuticals Facial, which is good for hydrating dry or sensitive skin. This is a customisable facial that will cleanse, tone, exfoliate, and nourish your skin as needed — using only the very best SkinCeuticals products.
Book a Dry Skin Treatment
Here at Araya Beauty, we’re experts in treating dry skin with high-quality facials. We’re committed to providing the best professional treatments, affordable rates, and honest friendly service. We look forward to welcoming you to our salon!