Tips For Dealing With Dry Facial Skin

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At our Wilsonville skin care clinic, our dermatologists understand that some people are simply more prone than others to experience dry skin on their face. Fortunately, gentle treatments and certain home remedies can alleviate dry facial skin, while also working prevent it from developing again in the future.

As our dermatologists will tell you, patient experience dry facial skin for a variety of reasons, including changes in temperature or humidity, using soaps with harsh chemicals, and skin conditions like eczema.

While in most cases, patients with dry facial skin can eliminate the problem with the use of over-the-counter treatment, it’s also important to note what causes dry facial skin, the different treatment options patients may have, and what home remedies could work.

Let’s take a look.

What Causes Dry Facial Skin?

Our skin naturally produces an oil called sebum. When our facial skin produces too much sebum, breakouts can occur. However, having our skin produce the right amount of sebum plays an important role in keeping our skin hydrated and helping to prevent infection.

Skin can become dry when it doesn’t produce or replenish enough sebum.

Dry skin may appear bumpy and flaky, and it may feel itchy. That’s because dehydrated skin lacks water, causing it to appear rough and dull. Additionally, when dehydrated, skin can start to itch and flake.

Some potential reasons why skin can become dehydrated or dry include:

  • Dry air
  • Cold weather
  • Unbalanced skin pH
  • Smoking
  • Excessive sunlight exposure
  • Over-washing the face
  • Using products that contain harsh chemicals

Fortunately, patients have several options for treating dry skin. The best options for you will depend on what’s causing your facial skin to feel dried out. Treatments will also vary among people with different skin types.

Daily Moisturizing

Creams, ointments and moisturizers all improve the skin’s natural barrier which promotes better water retention.

Moisturizing overnight can also provide some additional benefits. Plus, you can always apply a moisturizer to the face before bed and wash it off in the morning using a gentle cleanser.

However, there are a lot brands on the market, so it can take some time to find the moisturizer that works best for your skin.

For those with sensitive skin, face-friendly moisturizers often contain the following beneficial ingredients:

  • Colloidal oatmeal
  • Ceramides
  • Hyaluronic acid

Conversely, some moisturizers and other types of skin care products may contain drying agents that can make dry facial skin feel even worse. Consider avoiding using products that contain the following ingredients:

  • Petroleum
  • Dioxane
  • Artificial colors or fragrances
  • Alcohols

Some patients even prefer to use natural moisturizers to help alleviate dry skin. These often contain:

  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Pure aloe vera

However, shea butter and coconut oil contain natural oils. Patients with oily, normal, or combination skin types may experience breakouts after using these types of products.

Rinse with a Gentle Cleanser

Soaps that contain fragrances, colors, and other types of chemicals can dry out and irritate the skin. Typically, it’s better to use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser or facial soap and avoid products that contain artificial colors, plastics, or alcohol.

Some of the different ingredients you should avoid include:

  • Triethanolamine
  • Monoethanolamine
  • Diethanolamine
  • Parabens
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate

Use Better Bathing Habits

As usually the case with dry skin, bathing in hot water will only further contribute to the problem. Hot water works to strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving a dry face feeling even more itchy and inflamed.

Spending too long in the shower can also lead to the loss of sebum from the skin. To help heal dry skin, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends limiting showers and baths to no more than five or ten minutes.

After you finish bathing or washing your face, it’s important to immediately apply a moisturizer to help lock in the water and keep your skin hydrated.


Hopefully these tips will help you to alleviate the feeling of dry facial skin. Check back with our blog next week as we finish our two-part series on how to treat dry facial skin.