How To Get Rid of Dry Skin on Your Face

Don't even think of grabbing that grainy scrub, sister.

It's tempting, I know, but the key to getting rid of dry skin on your face is gentle exfoliation and moisture, moisture, and more moisture. Skip the abrasive scrubbers and call on an alpha hydroxy acid to boost cell turnover and systematically reveal smoother, softer skin. Above all, the key to getting rid of dry skin and keeping it at bay is prioritizing moisture—and there are a whole lot of ways you can ensure your skin is absolutely swimming in the good stuff. To keep your skin hydrated, glowy, and looking its best, follow this moisturizing formula.

Woman Applying Moisturizer and Smiling
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Use a Gentle Exfoliator + Warm Water

It's important to exfoliate regularly, but abrasive formulas are not the answer for dry skin. Instead, stick to gentle acids that will boost cell turnover, sloughing off dead skin cells to reveal softer, smoother skin. Glycolic and lactic acids are two active ingredients to look for. Lactic acid is slightly gentler than glycolic, but both gently exfoliate and increase overall hydration by allowing moisturizing products to penetrate into the skin more easily.

Products We Love:

Mario Badescu Glycolic Skin Renewal Complex, $20;

Paula's Choice Resist Advanced Smoothing Treatment 10% AHA, $37;

Cleanse Without Going Overboard

Use a small amount of cleanser—not enough for a rich, sudsy lather. You just want to remove the dirt from your skin without stripping. Opt for a fragrance-free, moisturizing formula and stick to using warm water. Splashing hot water on your face is a big skincare no-no, especially if you're already fighting dry skin. Gently pat skin dry when finished.

Products We Love:

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser, $13.91;

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Facial Cleanser, $9.99;

Moisturize Immediately After Cleansing

It's time to rethink how you moisturize. Instead of going straight from cleanser to serum or moisturizer, add a prep step that will give your skin a major leg-up in the hydration department. The key is a moisturizing essence. When used after cleansing and as the first step in your skincare routine, it primes derma to fully absorb any moisturizers and serums that follow. I love Lancôme's Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Moisturizing Beauty Essence for its wonderful fragrance and cooling effect, but the hydration-promoting formula is the true secret to my hydrated skin—even when the winter temperatures hit full effect. Whatever you do, don't put off moisturizing until hours after you wash your face. That'll land you an express ticket to dry-skin town. Just after cleansing is when our skin is most apt to soak in all that our moisturizers have to offer, so don't delay.

Products We Love:

Lancôme Hydra Zen Anti-Stress Moisturizing Beauty Essence, $42;

Use a Sleep Mask + Humidifier at Night

To keep the moisture coming while you're off the clock, invest in a hydrating sleep mask that will lock in moisture while you sleep. (Word the wise, you'll also want to use a spa headband to ensure your hair doesn't try to get in on the action.) Now here's the true hero of hydration: the humidifier. It provides a thirst-quenching blanket for your derma by combating dry air—which is especially prevalent in the winter months when you have the heat cranking all night.

Products We Love:

Belif Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask, $34;

FridaBaby 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight, $49.97;

Above all, hydrating from the inside out is key. The Mayo Clinic suggests women drink 2.7 liters (11.5 cups) of water daily. Tip: Pick up a water bottle you love and tote it around wherever you go.

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