Dry Skincare Routine According to Dermatologists By Glum

by Miral khattak
Dry Skincare Routine

A dry skincare routine is important for keeping skin healthy and hydrated. If you want to get rid of dry skin and make your skin look healthy and glowing, try this easy routine:

  • “If your face is dry, it can’t protect itself from the outside world as well as it should.” “When the skin is dry, it gets tiny cracks in the top layer that make it hard for it to stay properly hydrated,” says doctor Joshua Zeichner.
  • “Especially if you have dry skin, your morning prep is important to get your skin ready for the day,” he says. And when dermatologists talk about the best skin care practice for dry skin, one thing that they always say is to use products that keep moisture in and UV-rays out. Now, let’s find the best step-by-step skin care plan for dry skincare routine.
  • Corey L. Hartman, MD, is a dermatologist who is board-certified and started Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL.
  • Professor Joshua Zeichner, MD, is an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He is also the director of cosmetic and clinical studies in dermatology.
  • Lian Mack, MD, started GlamDerm and is a board-certified dermatologist.

Things You Should Look for in Dry Skincare Routine

 Dry Skincare Routine

“The best moisturizing cream for dry skin will have a combination of emollients, humectants, and occlusives,” explains Hartman. Emollients are substances that are put on the skin and make the skin layer more moist.

 Emollients are often found in petroleum, shea butter, and cocoa butter. Occlusives moisturize the skin and create a barrier between the layers of skin to stop water loss through the skin’s surface. This keeps the wetness in the skin. Beeswax, argan oil, jojoba oil, and mineral oil are all common occlusives.

To make the skin layer more moist, humectants pull water from the air or deeper into the skin. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are two of the most well-known humectants.

 I used Biafine’s emulsion cream, and it made my very dry skin feel better.

Dry Skincare Routine in the Morning

A Non-Foaming Cleanser is the First Step.

Non-Foaming Cleanser
Item FormCream,Cream-to-foam
Skin TypeDry, Normal
ScentFragrance Free
Material FeatureFragrance Free, Dermatologist Tested, Non Comedogenic

If there is one aspect of our skincare routines that has been the same since we were children, it is the practice of beginning each day with a clean face, in the literal sense. The kind of cleanser that you use to wash your face is an important consideration to take into account. 

“Preparing your skin to face the day when it has a tendency to be dry should involve using a gentle, non-foaming cleanser,” according to Mack. Seek out one that is specifically formulated with components that are hydrating.

 “These products remove dirt and oil without disrupting the outer skin layer the way that some foaming cleansers do,” according to Zeichner. It just so happens that the majority of our favorites are located at the pharmacy.

Step Two: Serum Containing Vitamin C

Serum Containing Vitamin C
Skin TypeAll
Product BenefitsBrightening serum with Vitamin C, Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Lavender Oil to restore youthful luminosity.Brightening serum with Vitamin C, Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, and Lavender Oil to restore yout… See more
Use forFace
ScentFragrance Free
Special IngredientsVitamin C, Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate

Mack recommends increasing the amount of moisture you consume after you have finished cleansing. “I suggest adding a vitamin C serum and layering hyaluronic acid on top for an extra surge of moisture,” advises the dermatologist. “Hyaluronic acid is a well-known humectant for the skin, pulling water to it and ultimately reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

Third Step: Applying Moisturizer

Applying Moisturizer
  • Hyaluronic acid, binds to water & holds it within skin’s surface. Moisturizer contains Natural Moisturizing Factors, including Amino Acids & Electrolytes, to help attract water & hydrate to help restore skin’s moisture balance
  • Designed for dry, sensitive, & acne-prone skin, this gentle face moisturizer delivers 6x more hydration for quenched, dewy skin (vs. untreated skin). The clinically proven 48-hour hydration improves the look & feel of dry skin

“If someone is really dry, consider applying a moisturizer before an SPF of 30 or higher,” says Mack. For some, a moisturizing SPF is enough to get them through the day. “When shopping for moisturizers, look for light moisturizers that have ingredients that can soften rough skin cells, draw in moisture, and protect the skin’s surface,” says Zeichner.

 “Skin oil and skin hydration are two separate issues, and you can actually be way oily in the summer but also lacking hydration,” he says. Newell’s Hydro Boost Water Gel ($22) is a favorite of Zeichner. “This is jam-packed with hyaluronic acid, which is like a sponge that pulls in water… to hydrate and firm the skin,” he explains.

Tip from Byrdie

Mack says to put on skincare products right after a shower or bath “to help lock in moisture,” sleep with a fan on and drink at least 64 fl. oz. of water every day.

Step Four: Put on SPF

Put on SPF
Product BenefitsProvides instant hydration to your skin with Hyaluronic Acid and locks in moisture to keep your skin feeling soft, Non-greasy face sunscreen with Zinc Oxide is designed for daily use and may be worn alone or under makeup, This vegan facial moisturizing sunscreen is fragrance-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free, and noncomedogenic, EltaMD UV Facial Sunscreen hydrates the skin and is best for moderate to dry skin types needing a moisture boost, Travel size sunscreen is TSA-approved, making it perfect for travel and everyday on-the-go activitiesProvides instant hydration to your skin with Hyaluronic Acid and locks in moisture to keep your s… See more
Sun Protection Factor30 Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
Item Weight3 Ounces
Number of Items1

Sun protection factor (SPF) should be used by all skin types, including dry skin. “UV light and pollution cause free radical damage that leads to premature aging,” Zeichner asserts. Search for sunscreens that also aid in the skin’s ability to retain moisture if you suffer from dry skincare routine. 

“Rather than a straight sunscreen that you would use for the beach if you have dry skin, look for a moisturizer/sunscreen combo,” Zeichner advises.

Make careful to reapply every two hours and seek an SPF of 30 or greater for adequate coverage; SPF-containing makeup will not do the trick.

Skincare Routine for the Night

Priming Your Face with a Makeup-Removing Balm and Sunscreen

 Makeup-Removing Balm and Sunscreen
Product BenefitsFirms, Smoothes, Refines
Item FormCream
Skin Typemature
Package InformationTube

Applying a cleansing balm or micellar water to eliminate midday sunscreen and makeup should be your first step in an evening dry skincare routine.

Step 2: Use a Cleanser that Hydrates.

Use a Cleanser that Hydrates.
Item FormFoam
Skin TypeAll
BrandLaboratoires Filorga Paris
Age Range (Description)Adult

After cleaning, use serums and creams that are hydrating and can help lock in even more moisture. Stay away from products that could make your efforts less effective. “If someone is extremely dry, avoid the use of vitamin A derivatives like retinoids and retinol, and reach for your hyaluronic acid serum,” she advises. “Couple that with a hydrating moisturizer.”

Tip from Byrdie

Do not scrub too much. “If you see flaky skin, exfoliating may be your gut reaction, but instead, get your skin what it needs—hydration,” states Zeichner. Use a light cleanser, like Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder ($68), if you have to.

Step 3: Retinol or Spot Treatments that are Specifically Aimed at the Problem Area

Retinol or Spot Treatments
Item FormCreame
Active IngredientsHyaluronic Acid, Shea Butter, Retinol
Unit Count1.0 Ounce

You should put on an “active” chemical like retinol or a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment for acne right after you wash your face. To keep your skin from getting irritated, you should wait at least 20 minutes after washing and drying off before putting on your treatment. This will make sure that the skin is fully dry before you put on the active ingredients, which will make it less dry and irritated.

Step Four: Hyaluronic Acid to Hydrate the Serum

Hyaluronic Acid to Hydrate the Serum
Skin TypeDry
Product BenefitsHydration
Use forFace
ScentFragrance Free
Special IngredientsHyaluronic Acid

Even though you don’t have to do this step, doctors say you should if your skin is always dry and flaky. After using retinol or another focused activity, use a hydrating serum like hyaluronic acid to keep the skin moist. Also, a tip: retinol works best when applied to dry skin, but hyaluronic acid works better when applied to wet skin. That’s why we suggest misting your face before and after you put on your HA serum and retinol. If you think that’s too much work, you can skip this step and just put your HA serum on dry skin. It will still help to moisturize it.

Step 5: Put on Moisturizer

Put on Moisturizer
Item FormCream
Active Ingredientsniacinamide,soy,vitamin b3
Unit Count1.7 Ounce

You should always use lotion in the morning and evening if you have dry skincare routine, but it’s especially important to use it at night because that’s when your skin starts to rest and heal. “For anyone with dry skin, I recommend using a heavier moisturizer cream versus a lotion,” states Hartman. “If you have dry skin, the most important thing to look for in an ingredient is one that is occlusive. A thicker cream is likely to have more of them.” Also, a thicker cream will stay on your face longer than a lotion, which may dry out faster.

Step Six: Use Face Oil if You Want to.

Use Face Oil if You Want to

Item FormOil
Active Ingredientsavocado,lavender,persea,retinol,tocopherol
Unit Count1.00 Fl Oz

As the last step in your evening process, you can add face oil if you want to. If your skin is dry and prone to acne, skip this step. “Locking in your moisturizer with a face oil isn’t always necessary, but can be a nice added step at the end of your dry skincare routine to ensure that your moisturizer stays in the skin where it is needed most,” explains Hartman. “I only think you should lock in a facial oil after using a moisturizer. Your skin needs the combination of two products that will keep it moist.” A face oil will only help your skin hold onto its water content.

Dry Skincare Routine Tips

Stay Away from Hot Water. 

A hot shower or bath may help relax your muscles, but they are terrible for dry skincare routine. Even though you might think that hot water is healing, it can actually remove the skin’s natural oils, making dry or sensitive skin even worse. Instead, wash your face with warm water and put on moisturizers while your skin is still soft. Occlusive ingredients should be used last because they will stop anything else from getting through the skin layer.

Apply Moisturizer to Wet Skin: 

When you put moisturizer on your face while it’s still a little damp, it helps lock in the water, which makes the moisturizer work better.

Use a sheet mask once a week:

Once a week, the use of a moisturizing sheet mask like the 111 face Cryo Depuffing Mask ($32) can really help keep the face moist.

Take Care With Retinol:



Fragrance Free

Skin TypeAll, Oily, Sensitive, Dry
Product BenefitsRefining
Use forFace
ScentFragrance Free
Special IngredientsRetinol

 Hartman says that people with dry skincare routine should take retinol slowly at first. “Use a retinol product 1-2 times a week for the first few weeks in order to give your skin time to adjust,” he advises. It is important to use a hydrating product in the morning (when you are not using retinol) and at night when you are using retinol. 

The ‘Retinol sandwich’ way might help keep your skin moist and lessen some of the irritation that retinol can cause, but it will also weaken the retinol’s effects. Hartman says that you should apply retinol to completely dry skin (at least 20 minutes after washing your face) if you want to get the most out of it without hurting your skin.

Stay Away from Things that Contain Alcohol:

“Avoid anything with alcohol, as alcohol dries out the skin,” states Hartman. “I also avoid using astringents like witch hazel in creams as well, as they can also dry out the skin.”


In conclusion, a structured dry skincare routine is important for keeping skin healthy and hydrated. By doing the same things every morning and night, you can meet the unique needs of dry skin by restoring moisture, strengthening the skin barrier, and stopping it from drying out even more. Your skin will be in much better shape if you use items that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and nourishing oils.


What’s making my skin feel tight and dry?

Things like cold weather, low humidity, harsh cleansers, hot water, and some skincare items that remove natural oils can all cause dry skin. Another reason could be a disease like eczema or psoriasis that is getting worse.

What can I do to tell if my skin is dry?

People with dry skincare routine often feel like their skin is tight, flaky, or has a rough appearance. If your skin is hot, itchy, or looks dull, these may also be signs of dry skin.

Can I treat my dry skincare with the same things all year?

The seasons can change what you need for your face. You might want to change your routine depending on things like humidity and weather. In the winter, you might need heavier items, and in the summer, you might need smaller ones.

Should I look for certain ingredients in skincare items for dry skin?

Yes, it would help if you looked for goods that have squalane, shea butter, jojoba oil, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid in them. These ingredients help keep dry skin moist and healthy.

How often should I scrub my dry skin?

Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells, but too much of it can make dry skin worse. 1-2 times a week is usually enough. Instead of a rough physical scrub, use a light chemical one.

Do I need to use a different lotion at night and during the day?

Creams used during the day often have sunscreen in them, while creams used at night may be thicker to add more moisture and repair. It can be helpful to use a different lotion for day and night, but it’s not necessary.

What you eat can change dry skin?

Yes, drinking plenty of water and eating foods that are high in vitamins, antioxidants, and important fatty acids can help your skin stay healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for you and can be found in foods like fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

How long does it take for a new skincare routine to start working?

Results are different for everyone, but most people see big changes in a few weeks to a month. It’s important to be consistent, so give your new habit time to work.

If my skin is dry, should I stay away from hot showers?

True, hot water can take away the oils that keep your face healthy. For showers and baths, use lukewarm water and try to stay out of hot water for as long as possible.

Does stress make dry skin worse?

Yes, stress can make your face worse. Doing things that help you relax, like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing, can improve your general health, which can show on your skin.

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