Ingredients | Dry Skin

10 Aesthetician Tips to Take Your Skin From Dry to Glowing

Are you a dry skin sufferer?

Then, chances are you have that uncomfortable sensation of tightness.

You may even be experiencing a rough and flaky texture.

Or even beginning to see more pronounced fine lines and wrinkles.

Finding the right routine for this skin type is essential.

It can mean all the difference between that tight skin feeling and a plump, youthful glow,

To help you find the best dry skin treatment, I’ve put together my top 10 aesthetician tips.

Your Protective Barrier

Your skin relies on oil to retain moisture; your barrier function is compromised if it’s dry.

This protective barrier keeps your skin healthy and acts as a shield to keep irritants out; when it’s impaired, the following conditions can occur:

  • tightness
  • flakiness
  • pH imbalance
  • rough texture
  • inflammation
  • small-to-medium pore size
  • increased sensitivity and redness
  • fine horizontal lines due to dehydration

Dry Skin Treatment

1. Humectants are a Moisture Magnet

Chances are, you will have purchased quite a few moisturisers over the years, but if your skin is still flaky and tight, it may be dehydrated.

Dry skin is defined by a lack of oil, and dehydrated skin is characterised by a lack of water.

Humectants are the perfect ingredient to target dehydration, pulling moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Sodium PCA and hyaluronic acid hold several times their weight in water, slowing down moisture evaporation in your skin’s tissues; this is referred to as trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

This is not to say that your dry skin doesn’t require moisturisation; it does in the form of nourishing, occlusive ingredients.

Interestingly, this study (1) found that incorporating carefully selected humectants into a topical emollient for dry skin significantly improved the activity of enzymes involved in synthesising the skin’s natural moisturising factors required to prevent the skin from drying out.

Phew, whoever would think that dry skin could be so complicated?

2. Lovely Occlusives

Once you have applied your hydrating serum, you should always lock it in with an occlusive moisturiser or balm to compliment your dry skin treatment.

One that contains essential skin-identical ingredients like ceramides, lipids and cholesterol (all plant-based, of course) that will give your dry skin the moisturising relief it requires.

Lovely urea is the gold-standard dry skin ingredient. It is a unique humectant that gently exfoliates and softens rough cells. It is also a penetration enhancer, locking moisture deep into the skin’s tissues.

In this study (2), it was found that urea significantly improves the skin barrier function in healthy volunteers in addition to imparting skin moisturisation when combined with ceramides and lipids.

Quench plumping peptide gel is an excellent dry skin treatment that combines urea and essential humectants to keep skin plump and youthful.

3. Barrier Repairing Ingredients

Creams are a mixture of oil and water that help to replenish lost moisture and maintain the skin’s barrier function.

Your skin contains three specific ingredients: ceramides, cholesterol, and fatty acids, which are found between your skin cells to maintain a healthy moisture barrier. Without this, your skin can become out of balance and unhealthy.

These ingredients deplete with age and need replenishing topically; for this reason, we incorporate them in Fortify barrier repair cream, a dry skin treatment moisturiser that contains every nourishing component the law will allow; it doesn’t feel heavy and layers well with other skincare products.

4. Balms are Your Best Friend

Your skin may feel supple after a good press-and-pat from your moisturiser, but if it still feels like a crusty old fruit roll-up, it may require additional moisture relief, which is where your lovely occlusive balms come in.

Barrier repair balm is packed full of skin-identical ingredients that will take your skin from dull and dry to nourished, moisturised and glowing, and the cool thing is that it can double up as an overnight mask.

5. Using the Correct Cleanser is the Key

Preparing a dry skin treatment for the day ahead is critical.

Dry skin does not take kindly to foaming cleansers; instead, look for oil-based cleansers like Miracle cleanse that protects as it cleanses, removing daily build-up of environmental pollutants and makeup without stripping your skin or disrupting the barrier, as many cleaners do.

6. Regularly Apply Night Oil

Xcell barrier repair oil is a real dry skin treatment and an excellent way to bring your skin back into bloom.

It contains squalane and jojoba, similar in structure to the natural wax esters found in your skin; sebum contains around 30% wax esters.

Your skin recognises these oils as its own, and they are readily absorbed into the skin’s layers, creating a thin, non-occlusive layer that reinforces your protective barrier.

7. The Power of Cosmeceuticals

Retinoids are a form of vitamin A. One of its roles on the skin is to increase the cellular turnover rate to exfoliate dull skin cells gently and even out skin tone, visibly improving dry skin and the appearance of fine lines.

If your skin is dehydrated or irritated, we recommend avoiding using vitamin A derivatives.

Or opt for one with a low percentage of moisturising ingredients like ceramides and vitamin E, which are found in our A+ retinol skin shot.

Vitamin C can be introduced into your routine in the morning after cleansing. It is a powerful antioxidant that will protect your skin from environmental aggressors such as UV and pollution and helps improve the skin’s texture.

If you have associated sensitivity, we recommend avoiding vitamin C until your skin is more healthy and resilient.

8. The Correct Exfoliation is Key

You can be forgiven for wanting to exfoliate to eliminate your dry, flaky skin excessively.

But whilst physical exfoliants will slough away dull, dry skin cells, they can be harsh; I caution against this, which we discuss in the article, the dangers of over-exfoliated skin.

Being overzealous with your exfoliating can cause tiny micro-tears in your skin, disrupting the barrier function.

9. To Peel or not to Peel?

Gentle chemical exfoliants are an excellent way to improve the appearance of rough skin and break down the connections between the skin cells.

Lactic acid is an excellent example of an AHA that gently removes the build-up of dull, dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. It is also incredibly hydrating, helping to reveal a brighter complexion.

10. Protect Your Skin with SPF

Everyone should use UV protection; pollution causes free radical damage and dries it out, causing premature ageing, and dry skin is no exception,

If your skin is dry or sensitive, I recommend keeping your sunscreen to an SPF 20 or below, as some chemicals found in sunscreen can irritate and cause sensitivity,

Daily Dry Skin Treatment Routine

If you have dry skin, how you treat it is essential.

This German study (3) found that those who dont correctly care for their dry skin may develop irritations or allergic reactions, so implementing an excellent dry skincare routine is essential.

  1. The first step in your dry skin treatment should be the same in the morning and at night: cleansing. Choosing the right cleanser is arguably one of the most important aspects of your dry skin treatment. To achieve clean, comfortable, and not tight skin, avoid a non-foaming cleanser and opt for an oil-based one instead.
  2. In the morning, if your skin isn’t sensitive after cleansing, introduce vitamin C into your routine for an antioxidant boost and to remove roughness.
  3. Next, apply your humectant-based serum to hydrate and lock in moisture, keeping your skin plump and moist.
  4. Seal your hydrating serums against your skin with a well-thought-out moisturiser containing skin-identical ingredients like ceramides.
  5. You’d be surprised how much moisture your skin can lose overnight, so apply a generous layer of balm as a mask a couple of times a week,

Ingredients to Look Out For

You should consider the following ingredients when considering your dry skin treatment.

Botanical oils

  • olive
  • jojoba
  • squalane
  • soybean
  • squalane
  • avocado
  • macadamia
  • kiwi seed
  • evening primrose
  • sesame seed

For more information on a dry skin treatment, the article the best facial oils is worth reading.


  • urea
  • panthenol
  • hyaluronic acid
  • sodium PCA

Alpha hydroxy acids

  • glycolic
  • lactic acid
  • mandelic acid
  • malic acid

Skin identical ingredients

  • vitamin E
  • ceramides
  • cholesterol
  • phospholipids

Occlusive Ingredients

  • shea
  • coconut oil
  • beeswax
  • cocoa butter

To Conclude. The naked truth

If your skin is prone to dryness, it requires a well-thought-out dry skin treatment that involves using oil-based cleansers.

Hydrating serums will also be your skin’s new best friend, so look for those containing humectants like hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA and Urea.

Look for moisturisers and balms containing lipids naturally found in your skin, like ceramides and cholesterol.

If you want to learn more, this article discusses how to replenish and repair your dry winter skin.


  1. Dry skin management: a practical approach in light of latest research on skin structure and function.
  2. The Effect of an Emollient Containing Urea, Ceramide NP, and Lactate on Skin

  3. Dry skin in-home care: A representative prevalence study.

12 replies on “10 Aesthetician Tips to Take Your Skin From Dry to Glowing”

I would like to have a list of your products also. I am 78 years old and my skin is very dry. Thanks so much. Tommi

Just wondering if you have released products for dry skin containing the ingredients mentioned in this article?
I have had great results with a 30% urea foot balm and would like a product suitable for the rest of my body.


Hi Kate thankyou so much for your enquiry, I will be very shortly releasing my products for sale. it is good to hear the feedback on results with Urea it really is, I can feel a foot cream in the making..Kind regards Samantha

I also need your products. Am 30 years with an extreme dry akin case especially my legs. It so scaly and fleaky and embarrassing. It hurts also when it dry. Have tried several dry skin but they help a little. Especially a cream that is Urea formulated has helped a great deal. Please how do I get your products?

Hi Tomilola
I can certainly customise for you, please contact me directly so I know more about your requirements….As a side note, did you know the reason that legs often get so dry is because they have less oil glands then anywhere else on the interesting fact for you…best wishes Samantha

Samantha do you sell your products and if so how do I go about purchasing them. I am a 63 year old woman with dry skin and the ingredients in the products you write about is just what I have been searching for for some time now.
Thank You Samantha

Thankyou so much for the enquiry and yes I will be selling my products shortly. I think you will love them, the older we get it is more about layering ingredients with active ingredients that will diffuse directly into the skin. I have personally emailed you also.

I think the best medicine for healing a dry skin is by drinking enough water everyday. The best recommendatin is 8 glasses of water or more. Our body consists of water and if it has less water inside, the body will send signal and we tend to be tired easily. A dry skin is caused by what food we eat actually. Consuming fruits and nutritious food will prevent our skin from getting the dry skin.

Kathy interesting you write this because I have extremely dry skin, especially as i get older and natural hyaluronic acid depletes in my skin. I am thinking of creating an article and a mini experiment on how to hydrate your skin internally. Re drinking lots of water, did you know your skin is the last organ to receive water and at The dermal institute (part of dermalogica), they say that amount is so little it has no benefit. Personally I think that we need to take a number of different approaches to combat dry skin, both internally and externally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.