Tips for Treating Dry Skin on Face Everyone Should Know

Updated 02/09/20

How is your dry skin defined?

Is it dull in colour or rough to touch?

Is your skin’s ability to maintain hydration decreased, or maybe the barrier function impaired?

Maybe your natural desquamation has gone awry? Or it may be that it is simply genetically dry.

Then again it could be as a result of overexposure to environmental pollution.

Solvents, chlorine, detergents, and excessive amounts of water, can even be leading to a disturbance in the lipids in your skin.

Seriously, we could be here all night listing the causes of your dry skin.

Don’t believe us? Then head over to this article to read 15 more reasons why you may have dry skin.

Dry Skin is Incredibly Tricky to Treat

You’d think soaking in a bath would be good for dry skin, but actually it can do more harm than good, disrupting your skin’s protective layer and depleting surface oils.

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

An interesting study carried out on dry skin, compared the water content of dry, normal, and oily skin, and no significant difference was found between them, in fact, the surprising outcome was that healthy skin contains only about 30% water.

This is why we say treating dry skin on the face is tricky because, in order to give your skin exactly what it needs, you have to realize that the frequency and consistency of treatments are really important.

A dry skin that produces little sebum requires surface protection in the form of occlusive ingredients.

These ingredients protect the outer layer of skin allowing the barrier function to repair itself, whilst preventing dehydration. If the skin feels dehydrated, then it requires humectants referred to as hydrophilic agents, which attract water and bind moisture to your skin cells.

Why? Because dry skin requires oil and dehydrated skin requires water, but obviously these conditions can cross over.

The Best Dry Skin Treatment

For. those with dry skin, this is the skincare routine we recommend for my 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 in, which will help to break down stubborn makeup bonds.

Tone: To prepare the skin for important ingredients it should be moist, spray the skin with a nonalcoholic toner, preferably one full of lovely humectants, and gently pat your skin dry.

Moisturise: What your dry skin now requires is barrier-repairing ingredients, like the ones found in fortify. A well-formulated moisturiser will help to reconstitute the skin’s hydro-lipid film, preserving your skin’s natural lipids (oils), trapping and locking oil into the tissues.

Exfoliate: Treating dry skin on the face is not easy, but a gentle, well-formulated exfoliant will help to loosen stubborn skin cells, removing cellular build-up and replacing them with newer, smoother ones.

Do this occasionally, maybe once a week or less if your skin is sensitive. This will encourage the gentle stimulation of the cell renewal cycle, helping to promote the healthy function of your cells, improving hydration, and the natural production of intercellular lipids.

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

Skin shots: These offer your skin an additional layer of moisturisation and protection. This is why when it comes to treating the skin correctly, the emphasis is on layering with these formulas.

If your skin is super dry start with a good oil base such as Bio lipid complex.

If it is dehydrated use a humectant rich base such as H20 hyaluronic acid complex.

Both of these formulas you can then, seal against the skin with your chosen moisturiser.

The great thing about these skin shots is that they are so concentrated the ingredients go straight to the source.

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

The Naked Truth

So you can see a lot is involved when treating a dry skin type, the key is to bring your barrier function back into balance.

To recap, this you can do by implementing some of the following:

  • avoid rough scrubs with irregular beads, as these will cause tiny micro-tears in your skin
  • avoid harsh cleansing ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, dry skin can be sensitive to contact irritants
  • avoid irritating fragrances and essential oils that will dry your skin out
  • avoid products with high or low pH, never over stimulate your skin with astringent products or alcohol-based ingredients
  • treating dry skin on the face also means that soap should be off-limits, this is because of 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. So be sure to apply a moisturiser immediately after taking a bath or shower, which will help to seal in that much-needed moisture.


Moisturising effect on the skins barrier:
Dry skin health:
Skin barrier biophysical properties:
Clinical improvements in very dry skin:

12 thoughts on “Tips for Treating Dry Skin on Face Everyone Should Know

  1. Julie says:

    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?

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      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

  2. Tegan says:

    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

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      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.

  3. Anonymous says:

    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?

  4. Shawna says:

    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?

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      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’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…

  5. Tracey Howard says:

    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

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