Ultimate Guide to The Best Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin

Skin care routine for dry skin type

Once you determine your skin type to be the dry one( please, read my extensive post on how to determine your skin type),  the next step in is to establish the best skin care routine that will suit your skin type.

As mentioned before, it is not wise to apply just any skin care product because your friend loves it, or because you heard it is “good” and think that this all your skin needs.  Well, it is very much possible that your skin type matches your friend’s skin type and the product will work just fine for you as well; however, it is very possible that the product might cause you breakouts, sensitivity, clogged pores or dryness.

Dry skin feels dry, sometimes flaky and tight.  No worries, you could address your skin’s issues with right skin care routine and products.

Skin care for dry skin should aim on preserving and replenishing skin lipids (oils). 

Moisturizers for people with dry skin type should include ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol

(Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links.  That means that if you make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra cost to you).

Morning Routine For Dry Skin Type

1. Cleansing

Harsh chemicals in foaming cleansers, creams, lotions strip down skin’s natural oils (lipids) and cause even more dryness to already dry skin.

Cleansing routine for people with dry skin is different than for those with oily skin.  If you have dry skin, you could skip this step all together. 

If you do wish to have some sort of “freshening up” in the morning, use gentle hydrating cleanser specifically designed for dry skin. 

I would encourage anyone to use double-cleansing method as a regular cleansing routine.

Skin care routine for dry skin double cleansing

Cleansers suitable for dry skin

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Oil (ebay from $9.50) – contains grape seed oil, very gentle, no harsh chemicals, no oily residue, no perfume.

L’Occitane Shea Face Cleansing Oil with 5% Shea Oil  – very gentle cleansing oil that removes make-up and all impurities; oil transfers into gentle emulsion once contacts the water to preserve skin’s hydration.

First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser  – this fragrance free product contains glycerin that is a natural humectant that helps hydrate and smooth skin’s appearance.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser  – face wash for sensitive and dry skin formulated with Prebiotic Thermal Water, Ceramide-3, Niacinamide, and Glycerin. Milky face cleanser that hydrates skin without drying it.

2. Exfoliation

Non-chemical and chemical exfoliation is extremely important for dry skin to remove the top layer of dead cells that might cause that frustrating flakiness.  Make sure you use gentle exfoliants suitable for dry skin and do not exfoliate more  than 1 or 2 times a week.  ALWAYS use skin care products with SPF when exfoliating.

I also strongly suggest to exfoliate during evening routine as chemical exfoliation does cause photosensitivity.   However, if you really must do this step in the morning, you can go ahead.

Do not use physical exfoliating products (contain some sort of ground down natural products like coffee, nuts, stones, plants or they can also contain plastic beads etc) as they do strip down your facial oil which dry skin already lacks.

Exfoliators for oily skin enlarged pores

Exfoliants suitable for dry skin

Advanced Clinicals Alpha Hydroxy Acid AHA Serum for Dry & Dull Skin (ebay from $17.06) – it is a face serum, however people with dry skin can use it as an exfoliant.  It instantly resurfaces skin and transforms dull, congested skin to glowing, radiant skin. The serum to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and pores.  Apply onto your face after cleansing and let dry.

Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Green Tea (ebay from $19.15) – gentle exfoliating pads that remove skin dead cells and other impurities.

Earth Science Papaya-Glycolic Gentle Skin Peel (ebay from $14.95) – completely non-chemical herbal peel scientifically formulated with natural ingredients to eliminate impurities. Skin will feel softer and smoother after this incredible seven-minute beauty treatment mask. Papaya enzymes safely remove dead skin cells on the skin surface to leave your complexion fresh and glowing. Alpha hydroxy acids help soften the appearance of small lines and wrinkles.

3.  Toner

Toner is a very important step in a skin care routine.  Face toners are applied right after washing the face before any other products.  Face toners rebalance skin after cleansing it, get rid of excess dirt that was not picked up during cleansing, and prepare skin for serums and moisturizers.

Depending on the brand, toners are packed with very useful ingredients which target specific skin issues like dryness, dullness, acne, pigmentation and others.

For dry skin type look for toners providing extra nourishment and moisturizing. 

Toners suitable for dry skin

BRTC Aqua Rush Toner – Moisturizing Fluid Supplies Moisture to Dry Skin – infused with hyaluronic acid to provide extra hydration

KEEP COOL Soothe Bamboo Toner – contains 85% of bamboo water which helps skin to retain moisture and freshness.

Dr.G Gowoonsesang Hydra Intensive Toner for Dry Skin (ebay $28.85) – very gentle toner that has moisturizing and soothing effects.

skin care routine for different skin type

4.   Essence/Serum/Ampoule

Essence/Serum/Ampoule mean the same thing – “targeted treatments” and present the next step in any skin care routine.

Essentially these treatments are more concentrated than toners and are packed with amazing ingredients that will target specific skin issue.

For the dry skin type pick treatment that provides good hydration.  If you have any other skin care issues like fine lines, pigmentation, acne and so on, look for treatments designed to target these issues.

Serum/Essence/Ampoule suitable for dry skin

YON-KA AGE DEFENSE HYDRA NO. 1 SERUM Booster D’hydratation  – is a quick-absorbing serum that provides long-lasting, intense hydration. This serum seeps deep into pores, rebuilding and increasing skin’s density and fighting signs of aging. The gel texture comforts the irritation associated with very dry skin and restores skin to a softer, more supple state.

Radiance Facial Serum With Vitamin C, Jojoba Oil, Rosehip Oil, Organic Vit E Oil for Dry Skin – perfect everyday beauty facial treatment oil that restores and keeps the skin soft, packed with nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins that ward off fine lines, wrinkles and delay other signs of aging.

Laneige Water Bank Moisture Essence For Dry Skin –  penetrates deep to infuse skin with essential moisture and botanical nutrients. It forms a protective barrier on skin to lock in moisture all day long and leaves skin hydrated with a natural glow.

5.  Moisturizer, Cream, Face Oil

Moisturizers and Creams are used to lock in all moisture and nutrients from toner and essence/ampoule/serum; they also provide extra hydration and some create a protective barrier on the surface of the skin that will keep moisturize from drying out.

You could use either moisturizer or cream; or if your skin is very dry, you could use both products in your skin care routine.

For dry skin choose emollient moisturizers and creams that smooth skin and protect it from dryness.  It might be also useful to use products with calming and anti-inflammatory effect as dry skin tends to become red and itchy.

You could also use facial carrier oils that are packed with all good ingredients and create a very strong protective barrier on the surface of the skin.

Moisturizers, Creams and Oils recommended for dry skin 

Vitamin E Serum by Leven Rose 100% Pure Organic All  – even though this product is called serum, it is actually a blend of amazing oils: it contains 100% Pure Organic Vitamin E (from natural wheat germ), Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Argan Oil, premium Prickly Pear Cactus Oil, Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil & Rose Essential Oil.  As long as you do not have allergies to essential oil or any other oils, this blend is wonderful for any skin care routine.

Biodroga Intense Moisture Formula 24 Hour Care for Dry Skin – enriched product formulated for dry skin; keeps skin hydrated and locks moisture in; suitable for people who have occasional eczema and flaky skin.

It’s Skin Aloe Relaxing Cream – a natural hydrating & relaxing facial cream infused with aloe extract for hydrating soothing & anti-inflammatory properties. Contains Cucumber extract & Watermelon extract for relaxing & calming benefits. Enhances vitality & elasticity of skin Unveils softer more radiant & comfortable skin. Perfect for all skin types

Tips for the best winter skin care dry skin

6.  Eye Cream

Eye cream is selected based on targeted issues (anti-aging, moisturizing, lifting and so on) and does not depend on the skin type.  You could read extensive article on the best under eye care and product recommendations here. 

MDSolarSciences Daily Eye Repair Emulsion – soothing 24-hour time-released moisturizers, humectants and collagen-repairing peptides give skin a firmer, more elastic appearance. Helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Calming agents including chamomile, seaweed extract caffeine, aloe and niacinamide help to decrease the appearance of puffiness, dark circles and redness. Antioxidant protection includes vitamin C, grape, rosemary and green tea extracts, rose hips and more. Features our patent-pending ProVention-R liposome containing efficacious moisturizers, humectants, antioxidants, peptides, and anti-inflammatory ingredients

7.  Sunscreen

This is a very important step in skin care routine and should never be omitted.   If you are planning to spend more than 5 minutes outdoors, you need sunscreen.   Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays and prevents premature aging of the skin and even cancer.

You can select moisturizer with an SPF.  Just remember, applying a skin care product with an SPF once a day is not enough – you need to re-apply SPF every time before sun exposure.

Sunscreen suitable for dry skin

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 100 – gentle and lightweight product offers superior broad spectrum protection from aging UVA rays and burning UVB rays.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Skin Restoring Moisturizer w/SPF 50 – contains shea butter and niacinamide for extra moisturizing and skin surface protection; suitable for dry skin.

8.  Lip care

Lips also need hydration and nourishment thus do not forget about them.  Sometimes I cheat and apply my eye cream onto lips and it always works fine for me.

Tips for the best winter skin care dry lips

That is it for the morning routine.  It might look overwhelming if you are just starting out developing your own skin care routine, however, once you get a hang of it, you will see that it does not take much time to provide your skin with basic much needed care.  Let’s explore the evening routine for your dry skin type.

Evening Skin Care Routine For Dry Skin Type

1.  Cleansing

It is acceptable for people with dry skin to omit cleansing in the morning, however, you must clean your skin at the end of the day.

Double-cleansing is a two-step cleansing technique that removes all accumulated through the day dirt, environmental pollution, sweat and other impurities.

2.  Exfoliation

As I mentioned above, do your exfoliation 1 or 2 times per week.  It is preferable to exfoliate at the end of the day when you are not going to be exposed to the sun for a good number of hours.

Tips for the best winter skin care overnight sleeping mask

3.  Toner

Use the toner of your choice after cleansing and exfoliation.

4.  Sheet masks

Sheet masks are pre-cut sheets soaked in various types of serums and other amazing ingredients that are so beneficial for the skin.   You can find sheet masks for any skin concern. 

Sheet masks are applied after the toner, left for 15-20 minutes and then removed.  Do not rinse mask residue off, rather pat it into your skin and let it be absorbed.

Use sheet masks as many times a week as you wish, I try to use them daily as a part of my self-care and pampering after a long day.

snp korean mask review

Sheet Masks recommended for dry skin

Dr. Jart Ceramidin mask (ebay from $5) – designed for very dry skin, infused with moisturizing and nourishing ingredients.

When – Simply Water Wish Hydrating Masks for Dry Skin (ebay $16.00 for 5 masks) – perfect hydration for dry skin.

Eveline SHEET Face Mask HYALURON Ultra Moisturising for Dry & Sensitive Skin (ebay $6.98) – soaked with amazing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, green tea, aloe vera, licorice, orchid, cucumber, allantoin, chamomile and provides the skin with maximum hydration and long lasting protection against drying, effectively soothes irritations, and restores the feeling of freshness and comfort.

Banobagi Vita Genic Hydrating Jelly Mask (read my full review)

korean face mask

On the evening when you do not use sheet mask, apply serum/essence/ampoule of your choice.

5.  Essence/Serum/Ampoule

Also, if your skin is very dry and you feel that it would benefit from extra hydrating and other ingredients, you could consider applying serum/essence/ampoule after a sheet mask application.

6.  Moisturizer, Cream, Face oil

You can opt to heavier and reacher creams and oils in the evening to lock in the moisture and provide your skin with needed hydration and nourishment. 

You could also apply any carrier face oil (apricot kernes, jojoba, cranberry seed oil) to enrich your skin with vitamin A and E and other fatty acids.

You can also combine the two: add few drops of oil to your cream/moisturizer.

7.  Overnight sleeping mask/pack

This is a very unique skin care step.  Overnight sleeping masks are packed with a very high concentration of vitamins, minerals and other amazing ingredients.   Theses masks are applied before bedtime and are left on overnight.  It is an exceptional way to boost your skin’s hydration and infuse it with much needed ingredients.  Overnight sleeping masks are used 1 or 2 times a week.

Holika Holika Wine Therapy Sleeping Mask Red Wine | White Wine (ebay from $12.31) – read my extensive review of these sleeping masks.  I am in love with both and they provide so much hydration and nourishment to my skin.

LANEIGE Water Sleeping Pack (ebay $32.00) – amazing mask infused with hydrating and anti-aging ingredient.

8.  Eye and Lip care

This step is the same as for the morning routine. 

You could also use overnight sleeping masks for lips to enhance hydration and nourishment.

I really hope that this post will be able to assist you in establishing your own skin care routine.  Use this post as a guide and do not hesitate to add or omit other steps if you find them to be useful for you.  There are many great products for dry skin, choose wisely: do a research, read other people’s reviews, use samples of the products when possible.

If you have any questions, please, leave a comment and I will be very glad to respond.

Thank you.

Stay beautiful!!!!!!

Dry skin could be very uncomfortable due it tightening and pulling feeling. It can also be unattractive because of flaky and red appearance. However, with the right skin care routine, right products and right care it is possible to fill dry skin with moisture and nourishment.

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