Dry Skin

Tips for Treating Dry Skin on Your Face

How is your dry skin defined?

Is it dull in colour or rough to the touch?

Or has your skin’s ability to maintain hydration decreased?

Maybe your skin is inflamed and red in some areas.

Which can lead to a disturbance in the lipids in your skin.

Treating Dry Skin

When your skin feels rough and tight, it’s natural to want to add more moisture, but adding too much moisture can be counterproductive.

An interesting study (1) on dry skin compared the water content of dry, normal, and oily skin; no significant difference was found between them.

The surprising outcome was that healthy skin contains only about 30% water.

This is why treating dry skin on the face is tricky. If you want to give your skin exactly what it needs, you must understand that treatments’ frequency and consistency are critical.

This is a subject we cover in depth in this article.

The Barrier Function

Dry skin requires both oil and water to bring it into balance.

Dry skin produces very little sebum (oil), requiring surface protection from occlusive ingredients that protect the outer layer of your skin, allowing the barrier function to repair itself whilst preventing dehydration.

If your skin feels dehydrated, it lacks water and requires humectants, important hydrophilic agents that attract water and bind moisture to your skin cells.

How to Treat Your Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, we recommend this skincare routine to our clients.

Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen religiously; many dry skin concerns stem from cumulative sun exposure.

Cleanse: Use an oil-based cleanser like miracle cleanse and gently massage it in, which helps break down stubborn makeup bonds.

Tone: To prepare your skin for essential ingredients, it should be moist; spray your skin with a non-alcoholic toner, preferably one full of lovely humectants, and gently pat your skin dry.

Moisturise: Next, your skin requires barrier-repairing ingredients like those found in fortify barrier repair moisturiser, which helps to replenish your skin’s natural lipids.

Exfoliate: Treating dry skin on the face is not easy; it often looks flat and dull.

A gentle, well-formulated exfoliant will help loosen stubborn skin cells, removing cellular buildup and replacing them with newer, smoother ones.

If your skin is sensitive, do this occasionally, maybe once a week or less.

This will encourage gentle stimulation of the cell renewal cycle, promoting the healthy function of your skin, improving hydration, and the natural production of intercellular lipids.

Be sure to use only gentle exfoliants, nothing that uses abrasive ingredients that can cause inflammation and tiny micro-tears in your skin.

Serums: These products offer your skin an additional layer of moisturisation and protection, with an emphasis on layering.

Start with a good oil base such as the Bio lipid complex if your skin is super dry.

If dehydrated, use a humectant-rich base such as the H20 skin shot.

Masks: A hydrating algae or gel-based mask loaded with lovely water-loving humectants is perfect for soothing a dry, irritated skin type.

To Conclude. The naked truth

So you can see a lot is involved when treating dry skin on your face.

The key is to heal your barrier function and bring your skin’s pH back into balance.

This you can do by implementing some of the following:

  • avoid rough scrubs with irregular beads, as these can cause tiny micro-tears in your skin
  • avoid harsh cleansing ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, as your dry skin can be sensitive to contact irritants
  • avoid irritating fragrances and essential oils that could dry your skin out
  • Avoid products with high or low pH, and never overstimulate your skin with astringent products or alcohol-based ingredients
  • to treat dry skin on face. This means that this study demonstrates that soap should be off-limits (2). This is because its high pH strips the skin’s barrier and impairs the acid mantle

After bathing, your skin dries out quickly because moisture evaporates into dry air.

Be sure to apply a moisturiser immediately after a bath or shower, which will help seal that much-needed moisture.


Anatomical site variation of water content in human skin measured by the Epsilon: A pilot study.

  • Effects of soap and detergents on skin surface pH, stratum corneum hydration and fat content in infants.

12 replies on “Tips for Treating Dry Skin on Your Face”

I was given a prescription from my dermatologist for Urea Cream 40% for dark spots on my knees. Can I use this on my face or other body parts?

You mention lots of good information for dry skin but what about dry scalp, what would you recommend to help the scalp.

Hi Amy

I apologise I am not that familiar with dry scalp as this is not my area of expertise. In saying that a lack of fatty acids would be a cause, and poor sebum (oil) flow, I do know that the scalp has to stimulated to get all the nutrients to the surface, so a stimulating shampoo with menthol in may help. Samantha

Hello, I have very dry and sensitive sky, tried so many things but can not hit it on the head. what would you recommend that I use on my face for a cream or oil? Thanks Tegan

Hi Tegan

You need a moisturiser for a really dry skin, my products will be available soon so please check back. Secondly please make sure you are taking a essential fatty acid rich in omega 3,6 and 9, this will help to reduce dryness from within.

I have to say I don’t really understand how having a bath can be counter productive? Are you soaking in water which is going to add moisture?

Would you recommend the above for sebhorreic dermatitis? Includes rough dry skin build up, but extremely sensitive area, inflamed (or inflamed extremely easily within hour of wrong soap or topical applied – reaction of redness and/or possibly swollen cells(?)), large pores, often red, and has slight burning sensation even when has normal appearance. Rose balm, for example, may calm the area on my face down for a few days, but can backfire and become red in that area or nearby on cheeks, or can cause bumps – assumedly over-blocking nearby pores?

Shawna your acid mantle and barrier protection have both been undermined and you may also have rosacea as well as sebhorreic dermatitis …I would recommend copper peptide to strengthen the skin and a nourishing serum with lots of skin identical ingredients to replenish your skin…I can’t state this enough but in the interim period less is best including treatments..it’s all to easy to want to keep applying products in a bid to diffuse your skin but your only going to irritate it, just try to protect your skin from the sun please in the meantime here is a selection of articles for you…https://thenakedchemist.com/articles-sensitive-skin/

Hi Samantha,
Having been an active person, i find myself recently recovering from a ruptured achillis tendon and calf tear. I have been out of a cast for three weeks now yet my skin is awful. please could you recommend a cream I can buy that would help the flaking and dryness?
Thank you

Hi Tracey

I don’t know where you are based, but in saying that it is less about the brand and more about the ingredients. Look for occlusive ingredients and humectants especially urea, https://thenakedchemist.com/what-is-urea-and-its-benefits-in-skincare/ …which is really going to trap moisture in your skins upper layers which is what you want for your skin, it’s the go to ingredient for cracked heels and feet, so it will no doubt give you the results you are looking for….I hope this helps…

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