Combat Dry Skin with These Tips for Ultimate Hydration

Dry skin is probably one of the most unpredictable complexion types out there. Some days you might have minimal flaking and others you’ll be wrestling with all-out alligator skin.

As someone with skin that becomes parched whenever it pleases, I’ve researched and sampled countless moisturizing products. Here’s a basic dry skin regimen complete with my favorites, so you can enjoy more supple skin days.

Reach for an ultra-hydrating cleanser

Face feeling chapped or tight after washing? It’s time to switch up your soap. Go for a moisture-inducing, pH-maintaining cleanser that gently cleanses without stripping your skin of necessary oils.

My recommendation: Avène Ultra-Rich Cleansing Bar , $10

I recently ditched my facial wash for Avène’s moisturizing bar and I’m officially hooked. Made with healing thermal spring water, this miracle soap infuses skin with a wave of deep hydration while thoroughly cleaning pores. I like to suds up a loofah pad, gently exfoliate, and watch as dryness virtually disappears.

Don’t skip out on toner

If you think toners further exacerbate flakiness and irritation, you haven’t met “the one” yet. As long you avoid drying ingredients like alcohol, toners can be great skin hydrators. After cleansing, swipe on water-based toners that remove leftover debris and moisturize dehydrated skin.

My recommendation: Bioderma Hydrabio Tonic Lotion , $14.90

Formulated with skin-balancing niacinamide and nutrient-rich apple extract, this soothing toner keeps skin hydrated and radiant-looking.

Pat on a reparative eye cream

Stick with eye creams packed with essential fatty acids such as avocado oil as well as nutrient-rich ingredients like moisturizing argan oil and skin-repairing echium. These healing components will delicately treat dehydration, fine lines and wrinkles.

My recommendation: Pai Skincare Echium & Argan Gentle Eye Cream , $54

This is my Holy Grail of eye creams. Pai Skincare’s feather-light formula quickly absorbs onto my eye contour without that greasy residue that makes your concealer slip and slide. The silk-textured formula is packed with essential fatty acids for comfortable nourishment that lasts all day.

Add hyaluronic serum to the mix

Hyaluronic acid is a dry skin savior, plain and simple. It’s best known for drawing moisture into the skin to protect against dryness, plumping the outer layers of skin, and offering long-lasting hydration—so definitely make this ingredient a staple in your routine. Add it to your daily moisturizer or apply directly for softer skin.

My recommendation: Good Molecules Hyaluronic Acid Serum , $6

I’m still shocked that this super potent hyaluronic serum only costs six dollars. Great skin takes time, but after just a couple days of use, my skin felt softer, plumped and hydrated. Instant results at that price? I’ve definitely found my go-to serum.

Consider using a moisturizer/sunscreen hybrid

Dry skin needs both SPF protection and a rich moisturizer to help combat dryness throughout the day. But layering foundation over heavy lotions and SPF might set you up for a makeup meltdown. Go for a lightweight moisturizer that contains skin-saving ingredients like essential fatty acids, phytosterols, vitamin E, and SPF to avoid foundation fails.

My recommendation:COOLA Classic Face Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30 , $32

Infused with vitamin E-rich safflower oleosomes and anti-aging açaí oil, this SPF 30 moisturizer quenches extremely parched skin while delivering UVA/UVB protection. The sheer, weightless formula makes it great for wearing underneath makeup without ruining foundation.

Wear a rich facial oil to bed

Pick a moisturizing facial oil and apply directly to your skin before catching some Z’s. This overnight treatment will quench thirsty skin, so you can wake up to a soft and hydrated complexion. So start incorporating facial oils into your nightly routine—it’s a dream come true.

My recommendation: Good Molecules Ultra-Hydrating Facial Oil , $10

Made with a highly concentrated blend of antioxidant-rich camellia oil and nourishing sea buckthorn oil, this fast-absorbing potion revives parched skin while you rest for a dewy glow come morning. Did I mention it’s only $10?

Use a weekly hydration mask

At least once a week, make sure that you treat your complexion to a moisture-replenishing facial mask. Think of this as your time to relax and deeply rejuvenate your complexion so you can start over with a clean slate. Much like those deep conditioning hair formulas, complexion-conditioning treatments improve texture, prevent dryness and strengthen skin against damage from free radicals.

My recommendation: Farmacy Honey Potion Antioxidant Hydration Mask , $38

This massage-activated formula nourishes and repairs skin in just fifteen minutes. Infused with a healing cocktail of locally sourced honey, royal jelly, and potent antioxidants, the gel-to-cream mask warms up when gently massaged into the skin (that’s how you know it’s working) for hydrated radiance after rinsing.


Would You Swap Your Facial Cleanser for Bar Soap?

Bar soap has gotten a bad rap over the years. It’s thought to be unhygienic and full of harsh ingredients that dry out your skin. While it’s true some bars probably aren’t best suited for the skin on your face, there’s a new wave of cleansing bars out there that may make you rethink your holy-grail cleanser. Not only are they made with gentle, nourishing ingredients that cleanse without stripping, they also last longer, cost less and are more eco-friendly (no plastic bottles or tubes to toss!) than facial cleansers of the liquid, gel, oil or balm variety.

Still, we know it’s hard to kick bar soap’s negative reputation. So we challenged two intrepid beauty editors to swap out their usual cleansers for bar soap for a week. Victoria V., whose skin is on the drier side, took Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Ultra-Rich Cleansing Bar out for a spin. Jana D., whose skin is more oily, tried Sisley-Paris Soapless Facial Cleansing Bar. Read on to see if bar soap managed to win their hearts—and a spot in their showers.

First Impressions

“The Cold Cream Ultra-Rich Cleansing Bar has a lightweight feel and suds up well enough for me to use with an exfoliating loofah pad. My skin feels really soft after washing without that typical residue that bar soap is known for. I’ve also noticed that my skin has softened a bit and my foundation applies more smoothly.” — Victoria

“So far, so good! The Soapless Facial Cleansing Bar is super gentle and nourishing. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling stripped, which is important to me.” — Jana

The Test Drive

“I would classify [Cold Cream Ultra-Rich Cleansing Bar] as sensitive/dry skin-friendly—it hydrates without stripping or leaving a weird chalky feeling. It’s hard to explain, but I do feel this light layer of moisture after washing. Maybe it’s just the ‘protective film’ that the bar claims to deliver. Sometimes ‘film’ can have a negative connotation, but in this case I think it’s great for dry skin types. If I wash with the cleansing bar, my foundation goes on smoothly without settling into dry patches (yay!). It does a decent job of removing my foundation; I just needed a little extra help with taking off my mascara (I like to wear waterproof on the daily).” — Victoria

“I was honestly surprised at how comfortable and hydrated my skin felt after cleansing with the Sisley-Paris bar for a week. I will say that it wasn’t the best at removing makeup, so I started double-cleansing with another cleanser. I also wasn’t exactly sure how to store it. I didn’t want to just leave it out in the bathroom, but I also felt like I shouldn’t leave it in a completely closed container.” — Jana

Final Thoughts

“While I probably can’t completely switch out my face wash for this particular bar soap, I definitely prefer to use it for its skin-softening properties.” — Victoria

“I really liked how it made my skin feel clean without any dryness or tightness, but I think I’d need to invest in a soap dish that lets the bar drain while covering it up. Altogether, I liked the actual formula of the soap, but there are some logistics I’d have to work out.” — Jana