5 Worst Things You Can Do to Dry Skin

Tender, irritated, raw skin … life as a dry skin sufferer isn’t the easiest. While most people confuse their dehydrated skin (read: lacking moisturization) with a true dry skin type (lacking oil), true sufferers have to deal with the chapped, tight, itchy effects all year round — not just in the coming winter months.

Using a Toner

Dry skin types should just stay away from them, period. “Toners are made to remove skin oil that dry skin needs to help keep water from evaporating off the skin,” says dermatologist and author Leslie Baumann.

Not Moisturizing

“I see dry skin sufferers all the time [who] are afraid that if they put moisturizer on their skin they are going to get acne,” says dermatologist Dr. Deirdre Hooper.

“What happens is that their skin gets so dry without it, that their barrier function gets impaired, so their skin doesn’t have as resistant of a barrier to bacteria and other acne causing substances substances.”

Using Electronic Exfoliation

Baumann says it’s a bad idea to use a sonic cleansing brush (like a Clarisonic) on extreme dry skin. “They remove too many lipids from the skin,” she says. “Avoid any friction — that also includes scrubs and microdermabrasion.”

Using the Wrong Cleanser

Hooper says that with dry skin, you have to look for a creamy cleanser. “Definitely not a foaming cleanser, because the foam is going to strip the oil that you need off your face,” she says. If you aren’t also experiencing acne issues, she also suggests an oil-based cleanser.

Not Protecting Your Skin

Both dermatologists say protecting and repairing your skin barrier function is the most important thing for dry skin, and ceramides are the way to do it. “Ceramides are the latch that holds your skin cells together, like the mortar between the bricks,” Hooper says. Baumann says to look for moisturizers and barrier repair products that contain ceramides, as well as fatty acids. “Anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea and chamomile are also effective in soothing irritated skin,” says Hooper.

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