If you have dry skin, you’re familiar with the uncomfortable tightness and rough aspect that can come from it. Although one can be more prone to developing dry skin or have dry skin since a young age, it is a skin condition, not a skin type.
The uppermost layer of your skin, your skin barrier, helps fight against UV light, infection, irritants, pollution, and locks in hydration. It is made up of skin cells, lipids, and natural moisturizing factors like amino and fatty acids.
In dry skin, your skin's barrier function is weakened and adding moisture to the skin with serums/lotions is not enough. You need to help restore the skin's ability to retain this water. This is why a healthy protective barrier on the surface of the skin is so important to prevent dryness.
You need to be especially wary of irritating ingredients in your skincare and treat your skin as if it’s extremely sensitive even though you may not have visible reactions to products. Irritation and signs of skin sensitivity come from an inflammatory response which leads to further disruption in the skin barrier, causing more dryness (It can also make your skin more acne-prone). Tips:
Treat your skin as extremely sensitive (don’t over-cleanse).
Limit your shower time and avoid too hot of showers (overly strips your skin of its natural oils).
Use properly formulated moisturizer with humectants (glycerin, hyaluronic acid) and emollients (linoleic, linolenic acids, mineral and non-fragrant plant oils, ceramides).
Avoid common irritants in your skincare. This includes formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, essential oils, natural and synthetic fragrance.
Go slow on powerful actives like Retinoids, Ascorbic Acid and don't over-exfoliate.