Why Is My Skin So Dry Even When I Moisturize?

Despite daily moisturizing, you may notice that sometimes – much to your frustration – your skin still feels tight and dry. But never fear! There are a few simple things you can do to make your skincare routine work for you. 

Why Is My Skin So Dry Even When I Moisturize?

Below, we’ve listed some common mistakes that lead to persistent dryness, and the solutions for comfortable, moisturized skin.

Using a harsh cleanser: Cleansing is a crucial part of every skincare routine. To prevent unintentionally drying your skin out though, it is important to pay attention to the ingredients and properties of your cleanser.

For example, cleansing milk, lotions, and creams are great for dry skin types. Meanwhile, gels and foams are more suitable for oily skin.

Everybody’s skin produces an oil called sebum that keeps our skin supple and is an important contributor to our skin health.

However, your particular skin type will determine how much sebum your skin produces. 

Some cleansers, particularly foam ones, are designed to strip these oils from your skin.

This may be just what you need if you have oily skin, but if not these cleansers will strip the good oils from your skin and leave your face feeling tight and uncomfortable. 

Moisturizing at the wrong time: A skincare routine can have many steps, from cleansers to toners to serums to moisturizers, and it can be hard to know what’s too much, not enough, or what order to use them in. 

We recommend moisturizing twice a day. Once when you wake up and again when you go to bed, as your skin regenerates and heals while you sleep.

But no matter what products you use in your routine, you should always finish with your moisturizer, and gently press it into your skin with your palms.

Dead skin cell buildup: Our skin is always regenerating and repairing itself, but this process slows down while we age.

Combined with environmental and lifestyle factors like pollution and smoking, this all leads to a pile-up of dead skin cells that stops your skin from fully absorbing skincare products.

Mechanical and chemical are the two types of exfoliators. Mechanical scrubs have a rough texture and work by manually loosening build-up.

Meanwhile, chemical exfoliators dissolve the buildup with chemicals like Alpha Hydroxy acids.

Not drinking enough water: It’s a crazy thought, but your skin is your largest organ. Unfortunately, though, it’s not the most essential. This means that when your body becomes dehydrated, it will derive water from your skin and other non-essential organs to function.

This leads to dry, flaky, and dull skin and increases visible fine lines. While general advice is to drink up to 8 glasses of water a day, for most people drinking water when they’re thirsty is an adequate way to stay hydrated.

Dehydrated skin: While dehydration can cause your skin to feel dry, dry skin and dehydrated skin are two separate things.

Firstly, dehydrated skin is caused by a lack of water, whereas dry skin is characterized by a lack of sebum. Also, dry skin is a skin type, while dehydrated skin is a skin condition.

Dry skin characteristics are red, scaly, tight, and irritated skin, while dehydrated skin characteristics are itchy, dull, and sunken skin as well as dark circles under the eyes. 

How Can I Improve My Dry Skin?

There are two main things to keep in mind when trying to improve dry skin.

Firstly, don’t use too much moisturizer. It may be tempting to use more moisturizer if you’re not seeing the results you want.

But using more products will not make the product work any better and can lead to clogged pores and blackheads.

Instead, apply a small amount of moisturizer to your cheeks, forehead, and chin with your ring finger and massage gently.

Secondly, use a serum. We’ve already mentioned the importance of serums, but they are not just great companions to your moisturizer, they’re handy for dealing with specific skin conditions too.

There are plenty of serums out there targeting many skin concerns like dark spots, dullness, and fine lines.

How Do You Get Rid of Dry Skin On Your Face Overnight?

Although it may sometimes feel like an arduous process, your skincare routine needn’t be difficult. In fact, you can do it in your sleep!

Our tips to improve the look and feel of dry, flaky skin while you’re sleeping include:

  • Trap moisture after a shower: After a nighttime shower, don’t get rid of all that moisture by drying off straight away. Apply some moisture to your skin before drying off with a towel. 
  • Wear non-irritating pajamas: Ultra-soft, non-irritating fabrics such as cotton, flannel, or silk nightwear may feel less rough against your skin, and we also recommend washing pajamas with ‘hypoallergenic’ detergent that are free of perfumes and dyes.
  • Change up your pillowcase: Your pillowcase can play a huge role in your nighttime skincare routine. Yes, really! The wrong materials can absorb the creams you spent so long applying, and some can just feel rough against your skin. Silk pillowcases are not only luxurious but kind to skin too.
  • Consider a humidifier: When the humidity decreases the air becomes dryer which can lead to dehydration. Placing a cool-mist humidifier by your bed after you’ve moisturized increases the water vapor in the air and can repair dry skin.
  • Update your make-up removal routine: If you have dry skin, the thought of removing make-up may fill you with dread, as it can usually leave your skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. But instead of forgoing removing make-up, consider an oil-based makeup remover instead.

How Do You Treat Dry Sensitive Skin?

You can treat dry skin by making sure the affected area is moisturized. A moisturizing cream or ointment applied two to three times a day will not only help restore moisture but stop your skin from drying out in the future.

You should also try to use a fragrance-free moisturizer designed for people with sensitive skin. 

To cleanse your skin, use a gentle, soap-free cleanser that won’t get rid of healthy oils, and to moisturize use a gentle, fragrance-free cream-based moisturizer that helps skin retain moisture and protects it. 

For your body, try a natural oil that won’t irritate your skin. Shea butter, for example, is known to be soothing. 

Why Is My Skin So Dry and Flaky?

While uncomfortable and irritating, dry skin isn’t usually a serious issue. It is often caused by factors such as hot or cold weather, low moisture, and soaking in hot water.

Dry skin – or xerosis, to use its medical term – usually has an environmental cause, and occurs often in the winter. Certain diseases can also affect your skin.

The most common causes of dry skin, however, are:

  • Weather: As we’ve mentioned, dry skin occurs most often in winter, when temperature and humidity levels drop. However, if you live in desert regions then the seasonal factor may not come into it.
  • Heat: On the other hand, warm temperatures can also contribute to dry skin. Central heating, space heaters, fireplaces, and wood-burning stoves all reduce humidity which dries out your skin.
  • Harsh soaps and detergents: Many popular soaps, detergents, and shampoos remove natural oils from your skin, which causes it to dry out. 
  • Hot baths and showers: Taking long, hot showers or baths can also contribute to dry skin. Frequent swimming, particularly in heavily chlorinated pools, can also dry your skin out.
  • Other skin conditions: People with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema are also prone to dry skin.