How to Get Rid of Dry Skin on Your Face

Dry skin on your face is irritating and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are simple strategies that can help. Changing your facial cleansing routine may reduce dryness in your skin. You can also reduce the amount of moisture you lose by doing things like taking shorter showers and using a humidifier. Adjusting your diet and trying supplements may also help. If all else fails and you are still dealing with dry skin, see your doctor or a dermatologist.
[Edit]Steps [Edit]Adjusting Your Cleansing Routine Choose a gentle cleanser free from fragrances, alcohol, and dyes. These ingredients may further dry out your skin. Check the label on any facial cleanser you are considering buying to ensure that it does not contain these ingredients. Opt for a cleanser meant for dry skin for best results.[1] For example, you can purchase a soap-free cleanser, such as Cetaphil or Aquanil. Wash your face twice daily with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser. Wet your face with cool or lukewarm water by cupping the water in your hands and splashing it onto your face. Work the cleanser into your skin with your fingertips using small circular motions. Then, rinse the soap off of your face by wetting it again.[2] Do not scrub your skin with a sponge or washcloth because this will strip extra oils from your skin and dry it out even more.[3] Don’t use hot water to wash your face as this may dry out your skin even more. Pat your face dry with a clean towel. After you finish washing and rinsing your face, get a clean, dry towel and pat your face with it. Do not rub the towel against your skin as this will dry it out more. Gently pat your face all over with the towel to dry it off.[4] You can use a regular towel, or try a microfiber towel or T-shirt for an even softer option. Select a moisturizer that includes oil or shea butter or other emollients. These ingredients work well for treating dry skin on your face. Look at the label to check for 1 or both of these ingredients. You may also want to choose a cream or ointment moisturizer rather than a lotion. Look for something that is labeled as “intensive” or that is meant for treating dry skin.[5] Other ingredients that may help to moisturize dry skin include dimethicone, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, and urea. Check the ingredients on moisturizers you consider buying to see if it contains any of these ingredients. Apply moisturizer to your face right after cleansing. This is the best time to lock in moisture and get rid of dry skin. Apply enough moisturizer to your skin to fully coat it, and then let the moisturizer sit on your skin until your skin absorbs it. Use your fingertips to smooth the moisturizer all over your face and neck.[6] You may only need a pea-sized amount to cover your whole face, so start with that amount and then apply more moisturizer if needed. Apply aloe vera gel to your skin for extra moisture. Using pure aloe vera gel on your skin once or twice per day may help to reduce dryness. Use aloe vera gel in place of or in addition to your usual moisturizer after you wash your face. Apply enough aloe to coat your skin and allow it to absorb.[7] You can purchase pure aloe vera gel in a drug store or grocery store. Make sure that the aloe gel does not contain any other ingredients, such as fragrances, dyes, alcohol, or lidocaine (for numbing a sunburn). These are likely to irritate your dry skin. Treat your skin with a weekly mask of manuka honey. Using manuka honey on your skin may help to reduce dry skin on your face.[8] Apply a thin layer of manuka honey to your skin after cleansing it. Then, let the honey sit on your skin for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Repeat this once or twice weekly for a deep moisturizing treatment.[9] You can buy manuka honey in specialty food stores and online. If you cannot find manuka honey, use regular honey instead. [Edit]Keeping Moisture in Your Skin Run a humidifier whenever you’re home. A humidifier adds moisture back into the air, and this may help to reduce dryness in your skin. Keeping a humidifier running while you’re home may help to lock more moisture in your skin and reduce dryness. Try running a humidifier in your bedroom at night to promote a moister environment.[10] You can also run your humidifier during the daytime if you’ll be home for a few hours. Place it in whatever room you are in and switch it on. Limit your showers and baths to no more than 10 minutes. Long showers and baths may be relaxing, but they can make dry skin worse. Time yourself and try to keep your showers and baths between 5 and 10 minutes to reduce their drying effects.[11] Avoid sitting directly in front of a heat source to stay warm. If you’re cold, put on warm clothing and wrap yourself in a blanket to keep warm. Don’t sit directly in front of a fireplace, space heater, or heating duct as this may dry out your skin even more.[12] On extra cold nights, try using an electric blanket to stay warm. If you don’t have one, toss a blanket into the dryer for 5 to 10 minutes to warm it up and then wrap yourself up in it. [Edit]Using Diet and Supplements Drink water whenever you are thirsty. Staying well-hydrated can help to promote healthier skin that is less prone to dryness. Drink a glass of water whenever you feel thirsty and at times when you would normally drink something, such as at mealtimes and after exercising.[13] Try keeping a reusable water bottle with you and refilling it throughout the day. Avoid alcohol or limit your intake to no more than every other day. Drinking alcohol dries out your skin because alcohol is a diuretic, which means it pulls water from your body. If you suffer from dry skin and you drink alcohol regularly, cutting it out can have a dramatic effect on your skin’s appearance. Try to limit yourself to no more than 1 to 2 drinks every other day if you do drink.[14] It might take a few weeks before you notice the effects of not drinking on your skin. Eat vitamin C-rich foods to promote healthy skin. Vitamin C is a potent nutrient for skin health. If you suffer from dry skin on your face, start eating more vitamin C-rich foods to see if this helps. Some good options include:[15] Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, lemon, and limes Kiwi, mangoes, and papaya Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries Cantaloupe and honeydew melon Broccoli, cauliflower, and kale Potatoes and sweet potatoes Red bell peppers Try taking a hair, skin and nail vitamin to promote overall skin health. Hair, skin, and nail vitamins may help to promote healthier skin and reduce dryness if you take them over time. Look for a multivitamin that is meant to promote hair, skin, and nail health and take it daily according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These supplements usually contain a combination of vitamins A, B, C, and E, but some may also contain omega-3 fatty acids and other ingredients.[16] Check with your doctor before you start taking any supplements, especially if you regularly take a prescription medication or over-the-counter drugs or supplements. [Edit]Seeking Medical Help Call your doctor if you notice redness, itchiness, cracking, or bleeding. If your skin is red, itchy, cracking, or bleeding, call your doctor to make an appointment as soon as possible. These may be signs that your skin is infected or that it may become infected if left untreated. Your doctor may treat any cracks in your skin with a combination of medication and wet-dressings.[17] See a dermatologist for a prescription dry skin cream if it’s severe. If your dry skin does not improve no matter what you try, you might need to see a dermatologist for help. They can prescribe a special cream or ointment to help rehydrate your skin and reduce irritation.[18] If you have a condition, such as psoriasis, that is contributing to your dry skin, your doctor may also prescribe something to treat that. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid. Hypothyroidism, which is when you have an underactive thyroid, can also cause dry skin. This condition requires a diagnosis from a healthcare professional and your doctor will prescribe medication to treat the underactive thyroid if you have it. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include:[19] Fatigue Sensitivity to cold Weight gain Puffy face Thinning hair Heavy periods Depression Impaired memory[20] [Edit]Tips You may need to try a few different facial cleansers and products before you find something that works for you. If the first thing you try doesn’t help, try something else. If your lips are dry, use a moisturizing lip balm, too. [Edit]References [Edit]Quick Summary ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑ ↑