My skin is dry and flaky no matter what I do! What should I do?
First, consider whether you’re inadvertently (and unknowingly) weakening your skin’s ability to stay hydrated by poking holes in its moisture barrier.
Any and all cleansers can affect our skin’s natural moisture barrier. The difference between one that supports your skin and one that doesn’t is that harsh cleansers will damage your barrier so much that it won’t be able to repair itself before you cleanse again.
If you can relate to having dry, flaky skin right now, that’s enough evidence to tell you that you need to adjust your cleanser. Go with the mildest cleanser you can get your hands on and stick with it for at least 3 weeks.
My top recommendations for mild, soap-free, non-foaming facial cleansers are:
If you have makeup to remove in the evening, use a micellar cleanser first, followed by one of the evening suggestions.
What you wash with during your daily shower has a huge effect on your skin. Just like our facial cleansers, if you’re using something with harsh sulfates (found in the majority of “off the shelf” body wash), you’ll no doubt experience dry skin as winter conditions take their toll.
If you already have dry, cracked heels (the number one telltale sign of a body cleanser that’s stripping your moisture barrier – all your body wash runs over your feet as you lather up and wash off so they tell you a lot about whether or not you’re using the right body cleanser), it’s time to switch things up!
My top recommendation is:
- Happiness Boost Body Wash – packed with skin-supporting lipid-rich ingredients (lipids are the foundation of our moisture barrier).
Next, it’s time to rehydrate and moisturize your skin.
This is a two-step process because our skin needs hydration (water) to stay below the surface of the skin and a healthy moisture (lipid) barrier to keep that water from leeching out.
Here are my top tips for fortifying your moisture barrier and getting your skin back on track:
- Don’t skip using a dedicated hydrator – these products are applied after cleansing and before moisturizing. They soften skin, help lubricate our pores (so debris and dead skin cells can be purged), and are often the missing key to healthy skin when a moisturizer alone isn’t cutting it. Use this quiz to find one that’s right for your facial care routine. For body care, use our aloe-ver body hydrator.
- Add a serum to your evening routine to give your skin the lipids it needs to rebuild and repair. My top recommendations for correcting winter dryness with serums are:
- Try this experiment: If you’re exfoliating with a scrub every day, try skipping the scrub and layer up hydrating and moisturizing products overnight instead. This will encourage the buildup of dead skin cells to soften and slough off on their own. The reason to try this out is that it can stop the cycle of repeatedly feeling the need to scrub off flakes rather than getting to the root of the problem by softening buildup and moisturizing new layers of skin.
- Don’t be afraid to apply your moisturizer again, mid-day, if you need to!
- Apply Body Butter to legs, arms, etc while your skin is still slightly damp for the best absorption.
- Use a cocoa butter-rich bubble bar to turn bathwater into a moisturizing treatment.
- For dry lips, apply Lip Balm+ each and every night before bed – during the day, try out flavoured lip balm or lip rescue jelly.