It is not uncommon for many women to experience dry skin, sometimes very severely dry and flaky skin that isn’t just dry, but also itchy and uncomfortable.
For many of us, as we get older our skin tends to look and feel less like the Amazon Rainforest and more like the Sahara Desert. Dry skin requires care and attention, as well as frequent hydration to keep it looking healthy.
If you’re someone who suffers from dry skin, you are not alone. Dry skin is rather common, particularly in dry climates or during the harsh winter months.
There is so much awareness about how to prevent and reduce oily skin and acne, yet there is so little on what to do about dry, flaky skin. The good news is smooth, glowing, and hydrated skin can be yours with just a bit of work on your part. So, don’t get discouraged, the right dry skin treatment is out there.
We gathered a few expert opinions to get the lowdown on the best, serious skin care for dry skin, what you can do to get rid of the problem, and how to repair dry, flaky skin once and for all.
Dryness Skin Causes: Common Causes of Skin Dryness
Unfortunately for some people, dry skin is inherited and they are naturally more prone to flakiness. “Scientists have found many mutations in essential proteins that play a role in forming the skin barrier. These mutations leave people with naturally dry skin,” Doctor Jerome Garden, tells Self.com.1 For people with this problem, dermatologists recommend moisturizers with ceramide, which is a moisturizing protein that people with naturally dry skin easily lose.
2. Health Conditions
Eczema, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis are relatively common causes of very dry skin. They can often cause problems like itching, redness, inflammation, and more, especially during the winter when there is less humidity and dry air.
Moreover, health conditions like thyroid disease and diabetes are also known to cause the dermis to be overly dry. For women with these health conditions, you should be diligent about moisturizing irritated skin and hydrating internally by drinking plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day).
Certain medications can have side effects that affect the health of your skin. “Some meds dry your skin as part of their action, such as acne medications like benzoyl peroxide or retinoids, but other medications used for conditions like high blood pressure can dry your skin as well,” Jerome Garden, MD tells Self.com.1
4. Over-Cleansing or Over-Exfoliating
Although cleansing and exfoliating are important steps of any skincare routine, overdoing both can be a problem. “The skin has a natural barrier, consisting of oil, water, and something called the ‘natural moisturizing factors.’ When we wash our skin with a cleanser, soap, or body wash, it strips all of the good skin hydrators off,” Doctor Lily Talakoub, tells Self.com.1 Exfoliating too often with harsh ingredients also strips away natural oils that provide hydration.
More helpful reading: Alcohol in skin care.
5. Not Drinking Enough Water
Although we’re supposed to drink at least 8 glasses a day, not all of us actually do so. If you’re not drinking enough, you may be causing your skin to dry without even realizing it. “Proper hydration with water is important to keep fluid moving efficiently through the capillaries. It’s easier to get dehydrated when we are not making it a priority, or when it’s cold outside and water is evaporating faster,” Dendy Engelman, MD, tells Self.com.1
More helpful reading on alcohol and skin.
Determining the Different Types of Dry Skin
Determining the best treatment for dry skin might depend on what type of issue you’re dealing with. Before we go into detail about the various dry skin remedies, let’s take a look at the different types of skin issues.
1. Regular Dry Skin
This is the “garden variety” type of dry skin that affects everyone at some point. Things like taking very hot showers or baths, not drinking enough, and swimming in chlorinated pools for too long can all contribute to dry skin that is usually temporary. You can combat it by moisturizing regularly for a few days to restore the natural hydration of your skin.
2. Scaly & Severe Dry Skin
Dry scaly skin is often a symptom of a health condition called atopic dermatitis. This is a chronic dry skin condition that causes scaly patches to appear on your body. Another cause can be contact dermatitis, which causes dryness and scaliness when you come into contact with an allergen like laundry detergent. Even certain things, like wool clothing, can exacerbate contact dermatitis. Usually, a skin condition like contact dermatitis will go away fully with treatment, whereas atopic dermatitis can be treated but may return occasionally.
3. Rough & Excessively Dry Skin
This type of dry skin can be found typically on knees, elbows, and feet. Skin is often more likely to be dry and rough in those areas. Feet can get especially rough because of closed shoes like sneakers and boots, which create a hot and humid environment that sucks the moisture out of your feet. It’s important to moisturize these areas with thick lotions regularly, maybe even multiple times a day. There are people who use petroleum jelly but we recommend a solution with more natural ingredients.
4. Flaky & Very Dry Skin
As your skin loses moisture, it is more likely to start peeling and becoming flaky. This can be irritating and annoying because the flakiness is very obvious, and may even be a source of embarrassment. Beyond that, however, dry flaky skin can be very uncomfortable. Eczema and psoriasis can also be causes of flakiness that may sometimes be very hard to get rid of. Occasionally, people with eczema, psoriasis, or extremely dry skin will need intervention from a doctor.
7 Best Remedies for Dry Skin: Try Skin Treatment Explained
Still not sure how to get rid of dry skin? Let’s go over a few of our top tips and natural remedies for dry skin so that you can start feeling relief and get back to having lusciously smooth skin!
1. Use the Right Type of Cleanser and Body Wash
You will want to choose soaps and cleansers that are gentle, hydrating, and natural instead of relying on more chemical-inclined soaps and cleansers that contain sulfates and fragrances that can strip the dermis of its natural oils.
Sulfates are particularly stripping (read: skin drying). Although they are also what cause soaps, cleansers, and shampoos to lather, if you have an extremely dry dermis, you will want to steer clear of anything that contains sulfates. Ever notice how your skin feels extra dry after long showers with hot water? That’s because the hot water (another cause of dry skin) and sulfates from body washes and shampoos strip the natural oils on your skin and cause dryness. This is why it’s important to moisturize as soon as you step out of the shower.
If you’re looking to treat extremely dry skin on face, a great choice is the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, Fresh Soy Cleanser, or a cleanser with essential oils, which is also great for sensitive skin.
Hot tip: If you always pat your skin dry after the shower, try to skip this step and apply moisturizer to your wet skin. It may feel funny at first, this is one of many doctors’ and dermatologists’ top tips to get the humidity from your shower to lock into your skin cells.
2. Use the Right Type of Moisturizer & Serum
If you’re wondering how to fix dry skin, the best way to start is with over the counter products. And, choosing the right moisturizer is so important. You will want products with highly moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and ceramides that will protect the natural dermal barrier and prevent dry skin.
Additionally, if you’re looking for a treatment for dry skin on your lips, find a lip balm containing shea butter or lanolin.
Some women choose to moisturize and treat dry skin with home remedies made up of ingredients like coconut oil, mineral oil, and petroleum jelly. It’s important to remember that what's good for dry skin on one woman, might not be good for another. So, just because home remedies work for some people, doesn’t mean they will work for everyone.
When selecting the products that you include in your routine, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends to avoid using skin care products like deodorant soaps and alcohol-based toners.2 The American Academy of Dermatology also suggests using beauty and skin care products that are fragrance-free.2 These ingredients can cause itchy skin and certain skin conditions, especially irritation and dryness.
Not sure what to choose? One option is First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream that contains ceramides, shea butter, and soothing colloidal oatmeal to help calm that winter itch caused by distressed, flaky, and dry skin.
But, one of our best tips for relieving dry skin is including our own, ultra-hydrating, restorative Taut Intensive Recovery Serum into your daily routine. This is a wonderful choice as it contains 7 powerful botanical herbal extracts with proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to help repair the skin barrier and keep it strong, all year long.
3. Use Humectants (Like HA)
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a naturally occurring ingredient found in our bodies, in places like the joints and eyeballs. But, HA is also found in the dermis and is one of the substances that keep it hydrated (otherwise known as a humectant).
HA is renowned for its ability to retain a tremendous amount of moisture. That’s remarkable, and the reason why it’s found in so many moisturizers and serums. You can use an HA serum first before applying your moisturizer for maximum hydration.
What are fillers? Renew Alliance explains.
4. Use a Facial Mask or Hydrogel Mask
A facial mask can quench your skin’s thirst efficiently when used regularly. Facial masks are loaded with hydrating ingredients and plant botanicals that soothe and nourish the skin. You can use one daily or a few times a week.
Our Taut Hydrogel Collagen masks (made of a gel that holds 99% of liquid) are great for soothing sun-damaged skin, invigorating fatigued skin, and boosting collagen. These masks help lock in moisture to fully hydrate dull, dry skin and remove flakiness for a smooth complexion. Hydrogel masks also allow for your dermis to absorb all of the nutrients and benefits from the mask (because of their high-quality material), as opposed to regular sheet masks.
You can also try a HydraFacial, which is a treatment that combines cleansing, exfoliation, and hydration by infusing skin with loads of hydrating and deeply moisturizing serums. "Many dermatologists are wary of offering traditional facials in the office, as outcomes can vary, with some patients getting quite inflamed, or even scarring from overly aggressive techniques, but the HydraFacial is consistently safe and effective," Arash Akhavan, MD, tells Allure.com.3
More helpful reading:
5. Drink Lots of Water
As mentioned above, being dehydrated can lead to dry skin. So, if you’re curious about how to cure dry skin in the most natural way - drink more water!
We cannot stress how important it is to keep your hydration levels high. You may even need to drink up to 10 glasses a day if your skin is especially dry. Keep a big bottle nearby while you’re working or set a reminder on your phone or smartwatch to tell you when it’s time to have another drink. This can go a long way when it comes to hydrating your skin.
6. Load Up On Healthy Fats
Omega 3 fatty acids also help nourish the body and keep the skin well-moisturized. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in seafood like salmon, mackerel, herring, and oysters.
Other foods that contain omega 3s include flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans. Even if you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can make sure to supplement your diet with plenty of these hydrating foods.
7. Retain Moisture with Humectant Ingredients
Although applying a humectant onto your skin can help, it can be even more helpful to supplement your diet from within with HA. Fifty percent of HA in the body is actually found in the skin, giving it its bounce and elasticity while also keeping it moisturized.
As we age, HA begins to diminish. This is why older people often have drier skin than younger people. By taking a supplement containing this humectant regularly, you can make sure you keep the supply of this remarkable substance replenished in your body.
Our Taut Hydrate supplement is vegan and includes grape seed extract to hydrate your skin from within, plumping it up and making it look younger while also improving texture and elasticity. Moreover, this supplement works on the entire body to penetrate deep into the dermis where it can be the most beneficial for the skin. Still doubtful? Clinical studies have shown that oral supplements of HA can replenish moisture and inhibit wrinkles.
Transform Your Complexion With the Highest Quality Skincare Products
For anyone struggling with dry skin, we’ve put together the perfect bundle so that you can treat your winter skin from the inside-out, our Taut Collagen Ultimate Transformation.
This luxurious and effective collagen skin care program combines the hydrating power of our HA supplement and 3 boxes of our best-selling Taut Premium Advanced Formula Drinks. Each bottle of our rejuvenating marine collagen drink is packed with 13,000mg of 100% pure premium collagen peptides derived from wild-caught red snapper from the Indian Ocean.
The marine collagen is paired with other skin-loving ingredients like marine elastin peptides, grape seed extract, HA, and vitamin C. These powerhouse ingredients join together to give you plump, hydrated, luminous, and absolutely glowing skin.
So, whether you’re going through a phase of excessive dry skin, as many of us do during the winter, or simply were born with a permanent lack of moisture, there is always something that can help your skin feel hydrated and moisturized — and therefore, supple, soft, firm, and radiant. Start with our tips and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your skin will revive itself!
Looking for more health information about how to treat dry skin on face and your body? Check out this resource: