10 tips for repairing your skin’s stratum corneum, straight from a dermatologist

10 tips for repairing your skin’s stratum corneum, straight from a dermatologist

If your goal is a smooth, radiant complexion, having flaky skin on your face doesn't make it any easier—just ask any foundation that has experience clinging to dry patches. Between over-exfoliating and using a cleanser that

isn't right for your skin type, there are a few factors that may be exacerbating dry skin on your face. But that doesn't mean you can't tweak your skincare routine, including using some of our favorite face cleansers, to pave

the way for the ultra-hydrated complexion you've been dreaming of.

We know that fighting dry skin can often feel like an uphill battle. That's why we asked celebrity estheticians Renée Rouleau and Shani Darden, along with board-certified dermatologist and Epionce founder Carl Thornfeldt, to

find out what causes extremely dry skin and how we can banish it for good.

01. Determine if you are dehydrated or just dry

The truth is, you might confuse dry skin with dehydrated skin. the difference? Rouleau says dry skin refers to a skin type (just like oily or combination skin), while dehydrated skin refers to a skin condition. Rouleau says dry

skin lacks oil, which may be hereditary, and therefore appears flaky and rough. 1 Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, lacks moisture and appears dull and tight.

According to Rouleau, truly dry skin produces neither oil nor sebum. Rouleau claims that because there's no oil to enlarge hair follicles or harbor bacteria, dry skin has small pores and will never break out. Flawless skin and

tiny pores might not sound that bad, but skin relies on oils to stay hydrated. Without it, your skin tone may appear rough and flaky, and wrinkles may be more visible.

Bottom line: If your skin is oil-free (meaning you have small pores and virtually no acne), you probably have dry skin. Additionally, if you experience flaking and irritation, you may feel more confident about your diagnosis. If

your skin feels tight, dull, or you've been drinking alcohol all night (which can strip your skin of moisture, not to mention increase rosacea and acne2), your skin may be dehydrated.

02. Avoid over-exfoliation

Maybe you’re using a cleansing brush twice a day (too much!) or using too many retinols and acidic serums. Whatever the case, even if you think these habits will improve the appearance of your skin, they can actually damage your

skin's moisture barrier, causing surface dryness and irritation. 3 "Exfoliation of any kind compromises the skin's protective barrier and triggers an inflammatory response in the skin," says Thornfeldt. "While acute

inflammation stimulates collagen and elastin synthesis, long-term inflammation and barrier damage are associated with many skin problems and Condition related - Especially when skin is already dry and the skin barrier is more

damaged, over-exfoliation can exacerbate the problem. "

But don’t let that stop you from exfoliating. According to Dutton, it's still important to exfoliate dry and sensitive skin because without removing surface dead skin, your moisturizer and treatments won't absorb properly. If

you have extremely dry skin, Thornfeldt recommends reserving physical peels for a professional setting (such as microdermabrasion) and instead using low-concentration chemical peels (also known as acids) that won't trigger

harmful reactions. Try these exfoliating pads from Kinship, which are made with glycolic acid (AHA) as well as the brand's botanical probiotics, designed to help maintain the moisture barrier.

03. Use sulfate-free cleaning products

Foam and gel cleansers may look fancy, but Rouleau says many of them are formulated with sulfates (you'll notice on the ingredient list, they are sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth sodium ether sulfate or ammonium laureth sulfate).

"This ingredient is a surfactant, a cleanser that removes oil from the skin," Rouleau says. "These ingredients are so aggressive that they strip moisture from the skin after every wash."

Thornfield agrees, adding that when there is too much oil on the skin, the skin's protective barrier breaks down. "There are important oils in the skin that act like glue to hold the skin barrier together," he explains. "When

these oils are damaged or removed, the skin barrier is more easily disrupted and allows harmful environmental aggressors, such as UV rays or pollution, to enter." While this is true for all skin types, it raises more Challenge

suitable for dry skin types.

Choosing a cleanser is the most important step in your skincare routine, says Rouleau, because washing with a dry cleanser strips moisture from your skin, meaning you have to run fast and apply moisturizer to replenish the

moisture you just took in. We love this moisturizer from Pacifica because not only is it sulfate-free, but it also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid for super plump skin. 4

04. Take care of your skin quickly

After washing your face, Rouleau recommends immediately toning and moisturizing with an alcohol-free formula, like this one from Epionce . "If you leave your skin bare for more than a minute, it starts to dry out," she says.

"Get into your skin care routine quickly and make sure you keep toner moisturized on your skin at all times." Since using a toner or moisturizer right after washing your face can help lock in some moisture, you may not need

to use as many products.

05. Use night cream to repair dryness

Some people avoid using night cream to allow their skin to "breathe," but both Rouleau and Thornfeldt agree that it's important to use a moisturizer at night. Night cream works best when your skin is in repair mode at night,

Thornfield says. During the day, our skin is in protective mode, fighting off daytime disturbances such as UV rays and pollution. 6 "At night, when your skin is at rest, your skin's permeability is at its highest, allowing

active ingredients to be absorbed deep into the skin," says Rouleau. This is when you can really address your skin care issue (in this case, dryness) because your skin is no longer acting as a defense.

A night cream is essentially a moisturizer without sun protection, and you don't necessarily have to use anything specifically labeled a "night cream." Any moisturizer without SPF will work as long as it suits your skin type.

Ranavat's selection of products has a luxuriously rich consistency, perfect for dry skin, and is blended with anti-aging botanicals like poppy seed and lotus flower.

06. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air

In addition to lotions, potions, and creams, solutions to dry skin problems are as simple as plugging in a humidifier. Especially in winter (or in climates that are dry year-round), it's important to increase the humidity in

the air as this will help keep your skin hydrated. 7 Darden recommends this humidifier from Dyson because it helps keep the air clean and in optimal condition. The perfect amount of moisture to help your skin stay more hydrated

and comfortable overnight and throughout the day.

07. Use moisturizing essential oils

Thornfeldt explains that a healthy skin barrier is made up of a mixture of cholesterol, ceramides and free fatty acids. A product’s true effectiveness for dry skin depends on whether it helps restore the skin barrier. To do

this, it must contain oils, especially those found in healthy skin. 8 If you're worried about clogged pores, Thornfeldt says if the oil is pure and contains no ingredients, the product won't clog pores. Impurities. "Remember,

hydration refers to the ability to retain moisture, but since dry skin types don't produce enough oil, adding more water without the oils the skin barrier needs is counterproductive and fails to meet the needs of dry skin. ,"He

08. Always wear sunscreen Dry skin can also damage your moisture barrier, which isn't great. This means tiny cracks can develop in the layers of skin that are supposed to retain moisture and irritants. 9 These cracks can cause the skin to burn and look flaky, Rouleau said. If the damage is not repaired, it eventually leads to the breakdown of valuable collagen and elastin, the substances that keep us looking youthful. Ways to fight fine lines and wrinkles? Protect your skin from the sun – rain or shine. "Wearing sunscreen every day is the most important thing you can do to keep your skin healthy and glowing," says Dutton. "Even if you stay indoors all day, UV rays can filter through windows, so it's important to protect your skin." She recommends using a hydrating sunscreen that doubles as a daily moisturizer to keep your routine simple yet effective. The key is to find a product you like so much that you want to wear it every day, rather than using SPF just for its protective properties. We're fans of this cream from J.Lo Beauty because it's both hydrating and SPF-y. 09. Shower with warm water Although it's hard to resist the temptation of hot showers, especially in the winter, you should shower with lukewarm water. Hot water strips moisture from the skin and can damage the skin barrier - avoid using it if you have dry skin. But hot water can damage more than just your skin. The same goes for your hair. Hot showers can also strip moisture from your hair. It may be difficult to turn down the temperature at first, but a warm shower is good for your entire body, and your skin will thank you. 10. Try home remedies Yes, serums, moisturizers and skin care products designed for dry skin are your best bet for treating sagging skin, but don’t overlook the power of home remedies. Make your own avocado face mask, take a milk bath, or moisturize with plant-based butter. Like shea butter and jojoba oil, these are ways you can use your stash of products to soothe dry skin.

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