The Ultimate Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin

10 minute read

If your skin leans toward the “dry” end of the spectrum, you’re probably no stranger to a cracked, red, and flaking complexion. Even mildly dry skin can be especially sensitive to changes in routine or moisture. That’s why it’s vital to settle on a skin care routine for dry skin that fits your needs: keeping your skin full of moisture is the best way to help it look and feel incredible. 

To help you on the path to success, we’ve created a morning and evening skin care routine for dry skin that prioritizes what your needs most. Let’s dive deeper into what to look for and avoid as you care for your dry skin.

Creating a Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin Matters

Dry skin can be a temporary condition or a reflection of your natural skin type. Some people’s skin tends to produce less sebum (oil) than others, leading to a complexion that looks and feels dry or rough. Dry skin may also appear flaky, bumpy, or tight. 

Because factors like genetics and hormones can heavily influence skin type, having dry skin usually extends beyond the face. You may also have dry skin on your body, hands, and scalp. 

Because dry skin is typically more complex than skin that simply lacks moisture, it deserves a skin care routine that understands its needs. And while dryness can have different underlying causes, it almost always responds positively to skin care focused on retaining moisture and protecting the skin barrier.

Below, you’ll find two skin care routines – one for morning and one for night – designed to protect and support dry skin. These routines are comprehensive but also a great stepping stone toward a more personalized plan. Learning what your skin likes and doesn’t will help you settle on a procedure that works best for you. An Ideal Morning Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin Unless you sweat heavily at night, your skin is likely pretty clean when you wake up each morning (assuming you washed it the night before). That means you can use a gentler, simpler approach to prepping your face for the day than you might expect. Let’s take a look.

1. Cleanse Gently

Choose a gentle, fragrance-free facial cleanser to lather up with in the morning. Look for options formulated with hydrating ingredients (such as hyaluronic acid) that suck moisture deep into the skin. Steer clear of cleansers with harsh ingredients or sulfates, which are known to strip the skin of its essential natural oils. Cleansers that are creamy or milky tend to be best for dry skin.

You can target the skin on your body with a slightly more powerful yet still hydrating and soothing product like OffCourt’s Deep Cleansing Body Wash. Its sulfate-free formula contains glycolic and lactic acids to gently remove sweat and dirt build-up without causing irritation. It’s also gentle and affordable enough to be used multiple times a day without stripping the skin, which is great for athletes with dry skin.

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2. Apply Hydrating Serums or Creams

With your skin cleansed and patted dry, it’s time to apply any hydrating toners, serums, or creams your skin loves. Ideal picks include those with ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Avoid products with fragrances or high amounts of alcohol, which can be both irritating and drying. 

3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

There may be no step in any skin care routine for dry skin that’s more important than moisturizing. Dermatologists recommend applying moisturizer immediately after cleansing or hopping out of the shower while the skin is still damp to maximize the hydration you deliver to your skin. 

You can do this before applying a serum if you’d like, especially if you have sensitive skin. A soothing and lightweight moisturizer like our Facial Hydrator protects your skin barrier without weighing down your skin and clogging pores. 

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4. Always Wear SPF

Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen as the final step of your morning routine. Choose an SPF of at least 30 to protect your skin. Even when sunscreen might not seem necessary, harmful UV rays still penetrate the skin, potentially worsening dryness and leading to premature aging. 

The Best Evening Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin

As you prepare for your evening, it’s time to remove the sweat, oil, and dirt that may have accumulated during the day. Your skin care routine can look similar to what you use in the morning, with some potential extra steps as needed.

1. Cleanse

Make sure to thoroughly purge your skin of all makeup, sweat, and pollutants by massaging a gentle cleanser on your face for about 30 seconds. If your skin is acne-prone, consider incorporating an acne face wash into your routine. Look for something formulated without harsh actives like exfoliating acids; ingredients like green tea, vitamin C, and tree tea oil can help soothe your skin and brighten it. 

2. Tone

If you’d like, you can use a hydrating, alcohol-free toner to wick away any lingering dirt that might be trapped in your pores. Toners can also be a great purifying step for dry skin, helping later products absorb more effectively and penetrate pores deeply. 

3. Exfoliate as Desired

If your skin can tolerate it, gently exfoliating about one to two times weekly with an ingredient like lactic acid can help remove dead skin cells. For mechanical (physical) exfoliation, consider options like OffCourt’s Exfoliating Body Soap, which features a medium-grit texture perfect for scrubbing away old skin. Another option is a simple wet washcloth, which you can use as you wash your face to physically remove dry, dead skin.

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4. Apply Hydrating, Gentle Serums

Some specific skin concerns, such as fine lines or wrinkles, might warrant using a serum or night cream. Eye creams are another popular product for those with dry skin. If you feel like your skin responds well to a basic routine, you can skip this step.

5. Moisturize Thoroughly

Apply a rich moisturizer to help your skin heal overnight. For extremely dry skin, occlusives (such as petroleum jelly) can be used to seal in the moisture you gain while washing. 

More Tips for a Dry Skin Care Routine

On top of a comprehensive skin care routine for dry skin, making some lifestyle changes can help you keep your skin healthy and happy. Below are some more tips to help you get started.

  • Stay Hydrated. What you see on the outside reflects what’s going on inside. Give your body what it needs to keep your skin soft and healthy by drinking plenty of water. 
  • Wash Sweat Away Quickly. While sweat can be good for the skin, it can also be drying when left to sit. Use a post-workout skin care routine focused on cleansing and soothing the skin to keep it hydrated all day long.
  • Keep it Cool. Avoid using hot water when cleaning your skin. The hotter the water, the more oil it can strip from your skin. 
  • Try a Humidifier. Adding a humidifier to your home helps add moisture to the air that may prevent your skin from drying out too much.
  • Always Be Gentle. Pat your skin dry and gently tap products and moisturizers on to keep irritation to a minimum. Dry skin can easily flake or become damaged.

Take good care of your body and skin to see the best results. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to check in with a dermatologist, especially if your skin seems to worsen over time.

Final Thoughts

Dry skin may have special needs, but it’s a skin type that can be fairly easy to manage with the right products and methods. Take steps to keep your body hydrated and care for your skin gently to help it thrive. 

Look no further than OffCourt for skin-friendly products that can cleanse and hydrate your skin, no matter how dry or sensitive it may be. Check out our full range of products to discover more ways to help your skin glow from the inside out.

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