My tips for dealing with dry skin: treating

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 23 - 2011

You may remember my post of tips I put together regarding the cleansing of dry skin… well, I’m back with a follow-up on how to treat dry, reactive skin types.

Allow me to copy in a little from the previous post to remind you of the background…

What do I mean by dry skin?  Well, for me… my combo/dry skin is largely self-inflicted.  I know I don’t drink enough water (and always see a marked improvement when I do), I refuse to give up my cleansing oil addiction and although I’m leaning more toward kinder organic cleansing balms, I refuse to just ‘get rid’ of some of my more drying oils until they’re finished.  Waste not, want not as my Mum would say.

I don’t suffer too badly in the Summer, but come the end of October, my skin loses its glow and the biggest problem I have to battle are those dreaded flakies that make any foundation look like crap.

I’m breaking the tips into a couple of posts:  cleansing, treating, moisturising & makeup.  Please remember that I’m in no way an expert, I’ve just bumbled through a lot of trial and errors to find what works well for me.  So without further ado…


1.  Think about supplementing your diet with additional vitamins or minerals to keep your skin in top shape.  Either go for a general multivitamin to give a beauty boost or look for something more specific containing zinc and a good balance of vitamins A, E & C.  Also aim to eat more foods rich in high-quality fatty acids such as Omega-3.

Suggested products: Neals Yard Beauty Boost with Frankincense, Cosmetofruit: Face Anti-Aging Defense, Functionalab Radiance Formula, Oskia Pure MSM, Viridian Hyaluronic Acid 50mg

2.  One of my most-frequently repurchased beauty items are cans of pH-balanced water.  To many, that will sound like a horrible waste of money but I became addicted after my laser hair removal last year, when nothing else worked to cool and hydrate my skin as quickly.  I keep a can in the car and one by my computer, they mist lightly and instantly give a boost of hydration when needed.

Suggested products: Avene Eau Thermale, La Roche Posay Thermal Spa Water, Evian Facial Spray, Uriage Thermal Water

3.  Exfoliating is critical for those of us with dry skin but as our skin is often quite sensitive, we have to be careful to choose the right kind of exfoliator.  If you prefer the feeling of a mechanical exfoliator, make sure the granules are fine enough not to cause any micro-tearing to your skin.  Alternatively, opt for a chemical exfoliator that harnesses the power of fruit enzymes, glycolic acids and BHAs.  As to how often you should exfoliate, that varies and the best way to find out is to see what your skin will tolerate.

Suggested products: Clarins Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Origins Brighter by Nature Peel Pads, No7 Total Renewal Micro-Dermabrasion Exfoliator, Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask

4.  Get specific to your skin’s needs with a high-intensity serum, oil or concentrate that contains hydration-boosting or skin-repairing ingredients.  Incorporate this into your bedtime routine to give your skin optimum time to repair itself while you sleep.  Look for products that combine well with your favourite night creams to quench the thirst!

Suggested products: Dermalogica Ultra-Calming Serum Concentrate, Elemis Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, Medik8 Hydr8 B5, REN Max Moisture Concentrate

5.  Lie back, put your feet up and treat your skin to a regular mask treatment.  Because I still get an oily nose, I tend to use two different types of mask simultaneously — on my cheeks, chin and forehead I use something deeply nourishing whilst my nose gets blasted with a good old dose of something clay-based to draw out the impurities.  Don’t be afraid to mix and match, it’s all about tailoring your skincare to find the best results for your skin type.

Suggested products: Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque (t-zone), Dr. Hauschka Rejuvenating Mask, Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Cream Mask, Korres Thyme Honey Mask


Whilst you’re treating a flare up, avoid products that foam and make sure that when you bathe or shower, the water isn’t too hot.  Turn down the central heating just a touch (yeah, I know) and if Winter causes annual issues, think about investing in a humidifier for the room you spend the most time in.  Most “normal” dry skin conditions can be treated with a little know-how and a lot of dedication to pinning down what works for you but if in doubt, always consult your doctor.

Do feel free to add any TREATMENT tips you’ve discovered for dealing with dry skin, I’d love to hear them.  I’ll be covering general moisturising tips later.

* disclosure: in the above picture, the SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective, Neals Yard Beauty Boost and Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque were press samples


12 Responses to “My tips for dealing with dry skin: treating”

  1. Tali says:

    I have a humidifier and it makes a huuge diference. Im so less itchy and miserable!

  2. hannah says:

    elemis skin nourishing milk bath applied directly to the skin is absolutely fantastic. my nan suffered from dry flaking skin for a year until i gave her it to try and now the problem has gone :)

  3. Jamilla says:

    I love Avenue Thermal Spa Water too!

  4. Lauren says:

    Interesting post, thanks for posting it. My skin is hugely temperamentsl, being dry and oily in almost equal measure sometimes. Ta for the tips! x

  5. Nargis says:

    I used to have mega oily skin but now its combo, and I get dry flaky skin around my nose and lips- you are right, it ruins the look of any foundation :(

  6. Just want to add something about Avene Thermal Water: it has unique healing properties and is used to cure severe eczema and other serious skin conditions. Since water is pretty easy to analyze, Avene Therms scientists have tried and made a water that is exactly similar in composition, yet that one never gave the fabulous results that the water from the source does provide. It’s such a fantastic product!

    Other than that I use LRP Cicaplast cream, it does repair chapped skin and it works great as a primer under makeup for damaged areas, so that’s a great bonus.

  7. I’m lucky in the sense that my facial skin is relatively normal and problem free – it’s the skin on my body that drives me nuts. Dry, tight, rough, flaky…it’s a real mess. Nothing soothes it and nothing penetrates it. So any tips would be wonderful!

    But I’m mostly writing this comment because I like cleansing oils too, but they do seem to strip even my skin. Luckily I’ve found something that works like a cleansing oil (but better IMO) and leaves my skin silky soft. It’s the Clarins Pure Cleansing Melt. Amazing stuff and one of the few things I’m happy to buy over and over again. Even tackles my heavy eye makeup with no problem and it’s much less messy than oil.

    Phew! I don’t half chatter on..!

  8. Stylicious says:

    I hate the damn flakes! I’ve found since using the Liz Earle cleanse and polish, it’s pretty much cleared them up although with the change in weather I’ve noticed them coming back a bit. The Clarins Pure Cleansing Melt sounds good, might have to try that

  9. NeenaJ says:

    My skin is too thin to physically exfoliate and too sensitive to chemically exfoliate with glycolic acid. I use a drug store lactic acid body lotion on my face to banish the flakies.

    After researching the ingredients, I decided that AmLactin body lotion was perfectly safe to use on your face, so long as your careful not to get it in your eyes, nose or mouth. This is a recent discovery/trial and I’ve been thrilled with the results. My face is soft, smooth and is not irritated. I use it about twice a week at night. It’s a game changer.

  10. I would definitely recommend looking for a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid – it’s not an exfoliant, it’s actually a wonderful moisture-binding ingredient. Keeps your skin soft and supple all day! A lot of high end moisturizers contain hyaluronic acid, but I just CeraVe PM moisturizer because it’s ~$10 :)

  11. Ruby says:

    Avenue Thermal Spa Water is very useful…

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