Top dry skin mistakes and how to solve them

Written by Angela, 9th January 2022

Every winter at Sensoria we are inundated with questions on how to solve dry and dehydrated skin concerns.
Even skin which could be classed at ‘balanced’ during the rest of the year can struggle with dryness in the winter months.
Skin is often drier in the winter due to the harsher indoor and outdoor environments that you r skin is exposed to.
Indoors there is increased heating and outdoors there are colder temperatures and windier weather conditions.
Getting your skin care right is important to address dry skin challenges, as is changing your salon facial regime.
We always recommend re-evaluating the products you use in the winter and possibly increasing the frequency of your salon facials to cope with the increased demands on your skin.
However this may not solve your dry skin problems on its own.
You may be using a gentle cleanser, exfoliating your skin to remove surface dry dead skin cells and have switched up to using a richer moisturiser, but you may still be experiencing a dry skin condition.
Take a look below at some of the top dry skin mistakes that we have found over our many years of experience that have caused skins to become overly dry, and let us know if the solutions we have given help you to alleviate your dry skin condition too.
You may also have your own ‘top tips’ with coping with dry skin, so we would love to hear about those as well.

Spending too much time outdoors
Being outdoors for periods of time is fantastic for your health and the benefits this has on all your body systems. However, if you are spending long stretches of time outdoors the cold or wind can really aggravate dry skin.
Solution: if you like being outdoors a lot try and protect your face as much as you can with a very rich moisturiser and plenty of sunscreen. Also, protect it with physical barriers too, such as a hood pulled forward and scarf pulled up high. I always joke that I’m waiting for balaclavas to come back in fashion as this would give the best protection!

Not managing your indoor environment
Turning up the heating in winter can increase trans epidermal water loss, leading to drier and more dehydrated skin.
Who doesn’t like snuggling up in front of a fire, relaxing in a cosy house or working in a warm environment? However, this can make your skin feel very dry and uncomfortable.
Solution: put on an extra layer and turn the heating down a degree of two. This will help your heating bills and the environment as well as your skin!
Consider using humidifiers to replace moisture in the air. Place them near heat sources to increase the moisture content in your indoor living or working environment.

Hot showers and baths
Taking a long hot shower or bath is so comforting when the external temperatures plummet, but hot water can seriously deplete the moisture content in your skin. The longer you stay in the hot water the worse it becomes.
Solution: Make your exposure to hot water as brief as possible. Set a timer for your bath or shower to ensure that you don’t linger too long.

Leaving skin to air dry
I find that this can be one of the worse offenders for aggravating dry skin.
As the water evaporates from your skin it takes with it ‘NMF’ or ‘natural moisturising factor’ leaving the skin dry and less able to protect itself.
Solution: Towel dry your skin immediately after showering or bathing or ‘lock-in’ any residual dampness with a rich moisturiser. We love Dermalogica toners as you can spritz them onto your your skin before applying your chosen skin or body cream. Find out more about Dermalogica toners here

Not cleansing skin after exercise
During exercise our skin sweats and the mineral content of our sweat contains salt. In fact, one litre of sweat contains 0.9g of sodium. Salt, or sodium, is very drying (and often aggravating) for your skin.
Solution: Always gently cleanse your skin of accumulated sweat and salt immediately after exercise, spritz with your toner and apply your chosen moisturiser.

Sleeping with your makeup on
Keeping makeup on your skin overnight can quickly aggravate dry skin conditions as it doesn’t allow your skin to “breathe” properly. Long lasting ‘double wear’ makeup can be particularly challenging and should be removed thoroughly with a double cleanse.
Solution: thoroughly cleanse your skin at night. A double cleanse is always recommended, especially at night. The first cleanse is to remove makeup and oil based debris; the second cleanse is to remove all traces of the first cleanser.

Ineffective exfoliating
When we ask clients about how they exfoliate their skin during their skin consultation, we often find that clients are using scrubs rather than effective exfoliators.
Scrubs are products which contain small particles and are more correctly termed as ‘skin polishers’ than effective exfoliators.
Due to the particles in scrubs they can also cause a lot of surface irritation and redness too.
It is important to effectively remove surface dead skin cells, as this will increase the effectiveness of your moisturiser as it is able to penetrate your skin more effectively.
Solution: when choosing an exfoliator pick one that has fruit enzymes or fruit acids in them which will effectively exfoliate the skin without adding to surface irritation.

Not using sunscreen
Even in winter sunscreen should be used. All the time there is light there is ultra violet light which is constantly degrading the integrity of your skin and making it less able to hold onto moisture.
Solution: choose a day cream with a broad spectrum spf, or mix sunscreen in with your moisturiser.
Primers and foundations with an spf may not give you enough protection, due to the thin layer of product application.

Help with managing dry skin in Cheshire
If you need more help with managing your dry skin condition, please do not hesitate to get in contact for a skin consultation when our Dermalogica Experts can give tailored help to you.
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Originally published January 9, 2022 09:44am, updated January 15, 2024

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