Humans are all different, and so are our skin types. Some people have oily skin, combination skin, and others have dry skin. Dry skin is characterized by dry or flaky patches, particularly on the cheeks. People with dry skin can be prone to skin conditions such as eczema, and if not managed properly may display more signs of aging.
Here are 6 top tips you need to know how to keep your skin supple, healthy, and glowing if you have a dry skin type.
How do I know if I have dry skin?
If you’re not sure what your skin type is and whether you have dry skin, there are a few simple tests you can do. Of course, the only sure-fire way to know your skin type is to visit a dermatologist for an official test. However, there are some easy tests you can do at home which will give you a fairly good idea about your skin type.
The first test is called the bare-faced test. To find out whether you have dry skin, cleanse and gently pat dry your face. Let your skin breathe, without applying moisturizer or any other product. After thirty minutes, closely examine your face and note if you see any dry patches. Let your face breathe for another 30 minutes, and then check it again. If you notice any dry patches, particularly on the T-zone, this indicates that you have a dry skin type.
You can do a very similar test, but rather than looking at the skin, you should touch it and feel for oiliness or dryness instead. Another, perhaps even more affected test is the blotting-paper test. For this test, taking a sheet of blotting paper and press it against your face. Then hold the blotting paper up to the light: if there is no or negligible oil on the blotting paper, you probably have a dry skin type.
How to Manage Dry Skin
1. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!
Moisturising is absolutely critical for dry skin types. Dry skin types are lacking in moisture in certain areas, which is exacerbated by lifestyle and environmental factors, such as air-conditioning, dry climates, and not drinking enough water. If you have dry skin, you should be moisturizing your face and neck at least twice a day: in the morning and in the evening after cleansing your face, as well as preferably throughout the day. Be sure to choose a moisturizer designed for dry skin types.
2. Pay Attention to Problem Areas
In addition to regularly moisturizing, it is also important to pay attention to particular problem areas, and give these spots extra attention when you have dry skin. For example, the under-eye area tends to show fine lines and signs of aging before other areas in dry skin types and there are products such as under-eye creams that can help to address this. The neck is also an area that needs special attention but can often be overlooked: make sure to include this in your daily moisturizing routine.
3. Stay Hydrated
Although your skin type is largely due to genetics and if you have dry skin there is little you can do to change that, lifestyle factors also play a role. Specifically, if you don’t drink enough water, your body becomes dehydrated which can adversely affect various organs of the body, including the skin. If you don’t stay hydrated, your skin will develop extra dryness and this can lead to fine lines and wrinkles over time. You should be sure to drink at least eight glasses (between 1.5 and 2 liters) of water every day. Additionally, alcohol and caffeine are diuretics which means they cause you to become dehydrated so you should avoid drinking too much alcohol, coffee, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages.
4. Avoid Too-Hot Showers
You may think that bathing for longer underwater will help to make your skin moist, but actually the opposite can be true if you’re not careful about the temperature. Showers and baths that are very hot can wick moisture away from the skin, robbing it of its moisture. Avoid bathing in overly hot water, or taking very long baths or showers, and always remember to moisturize or apply lotion after bathing!
5. Check the Products that you Use
If you have dry skin, it is important to be careful with the beauty and skin care products you use. The wrong products can play havoc with your skin and make it drier than before, even if you think they will make your skin more supple and glowing. As a first step, try to use products that are labeled as being for dry skin – this will generally ensure that the product won’t dry out your skin. However, it’s also important to check the ingredients list. Beauty and skincare products that contain alcohol or sulfates can strip the skin of its natural oils – so check the label and make sure that the product does not contain these ingredients.
6. Get a Humidifier
Other environmental factors that can contribute to dry skin are hot or dry climates. Equally, if you spend a lot of time indoors with a heater, whether at work, at home, or both, this will dry out your skin. You can combat this and keep your skin moist and supple by using a humidifier. In particular, putting a humidifier in your bedroom will help your skin to rejuvenate and re-moisturized while you sleep.