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The Best Tips for Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin

Written by Irina Webb

Do you know how I knew that my skincare routine was good?  Traveling to the mountains put my skin care products through the ultimate test.  Having dry skin is uncomfortable to say the least. It flakes, itches, tightens, reddens and wrinkles suddenly look deeper.  Having large pores and yet flaking skin is the worst.  Today, you’ll learn about my high altitude-proof skin care routine for dry skin. 

The Best Tips for Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin. The picture of healthful ingredients for skin care such as cucumbers, lemon, aloe vera, and oils.

How can I deal with dry skin?

I think that the best skin care for dry skin starts with asking the question, “Why do I have dry skin?”  Unfortunately, dry skin seems to be a very common condition.  Various things can cause serious and chronic dry skin from not drinking enough water to hormonal imbalances.  It helps to look into that, so you do not rely solely on skincare products to bring you relief. 

In this post, we’ll talk about skincare for dry skin as an important part of improving your skin condition.  Do you know that unintentionally using harsh chemicals in the very skincare products that are supposed to make your skin feel and look better can be a problem?  Thus, it is important to adopt a wholesome approach and choose the best cleanser for dry skin, a toner for dry skin, and a moisturizer for dry skin as part of your skin care routine for dry skin.

Dry skin feels very tight and always seems to ask for more and more hydration.  It is always thirsty because it can’t retain moisture.  We need to fix the skin’s protective barrier.  The best skin care for dry skin starts with the right cleanser.

Choose the best cleanser for dry skin

There are 4 types of cleansers:  cleansing oils, non-foaming crème cleansers, foaming soap-free cleansers, and foaming soap-based cleansers.  In my nontoxic facial cleanser guide, you can learn more about each type.  Generally speaking, if you already have dry skin, soap-based cleansers and bar soaps are very drying for your skin type.  They may strip the little oil your dry skin naturally produces, wreaking more damage on the protective barrier.  Foaming soap-free cleansers might not be the best choice in your skin care routine for dry skin either, especially if you have extremely dry skin. 

My multi-year experience dealing with dry skin tells me that the best cleansers for dry skin are non-foaming crème cleansers or cleansing oils.

Your choice between these two will depend on whether you need to remove makeup.  It is very challenging to find a non-foaming crème cleanser that will remove your nontoxic liquid foundation and safe mascara well.  Cleansing oil to the rescue!  I have found that cleansing oils are the best for dry skin and makeup removal.  They cleanse just as well and replenish the little oil they might be stripping away.  You will remove all your makeup with no effort at all.  Afterwards, your skin will feel clean and soft, not tight at all.

My picks for the best nontoxic cleansers for dry skin

Organic cleansing oils

Badger Balm Cleansing Oil:  It is certified organic and packaged in a glass bottle.  I found that the unscented one is the gentlest and a perfect addition to my skin care routine for dry skin. 

Primally Pure Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin:  All ingredients are certified organic.  It is packaged in a tinted glass bottle.  And you can use the discount code READLABELS10 to get 10% off.

Thesis Beauty Facial Cleansing Oil and Makeup Remover:  All ingredients are organic.  It comes in a glass bottle.  You can use the discount code IREADLABELS15 to get 15% off.

Non-Foaming Crème Cleansers

Mild and non-drying, they are excellent additions to your skin care routine for dry skin.  They do not remove makeup very well, though.  I use a non-foaming cleanser in the morning or at night after a makeup-free day.  If you normally do not wear any makeup, you can use these nontoxic cleansers both in the morning and at night.

Blissoma Mild Rice Cleanser: Creamy and mild, it contains a lot of freshly brewed healing herbs.  All the botanical ingredients, except for essential oils, are organic.  It contains one of the safest plant-based preservatives, populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract.  It is packaged in an opaque glass bottle.

Annmarie Aloe Herb Cleanser: This nontoxic facial cleanser is creamy, mild and non-drying.  It contains the same plant-based preservative, populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract.  All botanical ingredients are either organic or wildcrafted.

Silk Therapeautics Refresh Facial Cleanser:  This gentle silk- and olive oil-based face wash leaves my skin hydrated, balanced, and soft, which is what you need in your skin care routine for dry skin.  It has sodium anisate, one of the safest plant-based preservatives.  Please use the discount code IRLFY25 to get 25% off.  Visit my Silk Therapeutics review for more information about this brand.

Nontoxic toners for dry skin

You do not have to use a toner.  A toner acts to restore the pH balance of your skin after a cleanser.  In other words, if you are using a mild pH balanced cleanser, you do not need a toner to bring your skin back to its normal pH.  Your skin won’t need its pH balanced, as the cleansers we talked about above are acidic.  Thus, they won’t disturb your skin’s natural acid mantle.

On the other hand, you might need a toner for two reasons.  First, if you are planning to use an oil as your main moisturizing product, you definitely need to use a toner.  The toner will provide the moisture and then the facial oil will seal it in.  If you only put oil on dehydrated skin, it won’t moisturize your dry skin.  Missing this step can undermine your skin care routine for dry skin.  You will learn more about that when we talk about hydration versus moisturization.

Second, if you have some irritated skin or blemishes, some anti-inflammatory herbs in a toner can help soothe and calm the skin.

If you must use a toner for one of these two reasons, I highly recommend avoiding astringents.  Normally, astringent toners contain witch hazel as their main ingredient.  Instead, please look for hydrating and conditioning ingredients in your toner such as glycerin, sodium PCA, and aloe vera.  It can make a big difference in your efforts to create the best skin care for dry skin.

My picks for the best nontoxic toners for dry skin

Annmarie Neroli Toning Mist: Its main ingredient is aloe vera which is great for conditioning and hydrating.  Use it under an oil to seal the moisture.  I believe it is also helpful in reducing inflammation and irritation.

Blissoma Ion Hydrating Tonique:  This toner contains sodium PCA that helps to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day.  Sodium PCA increases the water content of the skin by drawing moisture from the surrounding air (source).  You can spray it on to your skin anytime to give it a boost of hydration.  What I like about Blissoma is that its products contain freshly brewed herbs that heal and calm the skin.  Thus, this toner can be a perfect addition to your skin care routine for dry skin.

Blissoma Serene Sacred Waters Tonique: This toner is perfect if you have dry and very sensitive skin.  It contains healing freshly brewed herbs and no essential oils.  Use it during the day to refresh your dry skin.

Exfoliate with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)

What is the best way to exfoliate dry skin?  No, it is not apricot or sugar scrubs.  The best exfoliators in your skin care routine for dry skin are glycolic acid and lactic acid because they effortlessly dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together.  When they are gone, dry patches disappear, and your complexion gets a radiant glow.  Thus, it makes your toner and moisturizer work more efficiently.  

My best picks of exfoliators for dry skin

Silk Therapeutics Renewing Peel Gel Exfoliator:  It contains glycolic acid and lactic acid.  My skin looks and feels so soft and radiant after each application.  I love the fact that it refines the pores on my nose, too.  You can learn more about it in my review of this safe exfoliating peel.  Please use the discount code IRLFY25 to get 25% off. 

Silk Therapeutics Gel Peel/Brighten:  This is a more affordable version of the peel.  It contains only glycolic acid.  I have not tried it.  Currently, it is on sale.  You can also use the discount code IRLFY25 for it.

Hydration and moisturization for dry skin

If you have been following me for many years, you might remember that I used to love facial oils.  One of the reasons I loved them was that they did not have any unpronounceable ingredients or ingredients with limited safety data.  Since then, a lot has changed.  More and more companies started looking into non-ethoxylated emulsifiers and plant-based preservatives.  When Crunchi, my favorite makeup company, started making a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, my skin care routine for dry skin made a dramatic turn for the better.

I wholeheartedly believe that the best way to hydrate dry skin is with hyaluronic acid (or its close cousin sodium hyaluronate).  It has the greatest capacity to hold water in our skin (source).

You can find it in plenty of moisturizers.  The trick is to find it in moisturizers that do not have any ingredients associated with irritation, allergy, hormone disruption, or even cancer.  It is also not easy to find hyaluronic acid-containing moisturizers that contain antioxidants and soothing ingredients.

My top picks for nontoxic moisturizers

Crunchi Daylight Cream: This is the cream that I fell in love with.  It has become a staple of my skin care routine for dry skin.  In my review of this hydrating face moisturizer, you can learn my analysis of its nontoxic ingredients.  It comes in a glass bottle.

Silk Therapeutics Purely Radiant Hydrating Serum:  In addition to hyaluronic acid, this toxin-free serum has silk and panthenol to deliver anti-aging properties.  It has one of the safest plant-based preservatives, populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract.  Please read my Silk Therapeutics review for a detailed description of the brand ingredients.  You can use the discount code IRLFY25 to get 25% off. 

Pure Haven Hyaluronic Acid: It contains aloe vera along with hyaluronic acid.  It has healing organic botanical extracts.  It has one of the safest preservatives, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate and comes in a glass bottle.

My top picks for facial oils

Facial oils do not hydrate the skin very well.  Instead, they seal in moisture, which can be helpful in your skin care routine for dry skin.  But it is very important to have the moisture to seal in.  At the very minimum, it is important to apply oils on damp skin.  Better yet, you can apply them after you use one of the non-astringent toners we talked about earlier.  If you suffer from extremely dry skin, I think you can benefit from using them on top of the hyaluronic acid skin care products making this the best skin care for dry skin. 

Primally Pure Plumping Serum:  Primally Pure uses the ingredients that help fight free radicals and signs of aging.  Most ingredients are organic, and it comes in a tinted glass bottle.   You can use the discount code READLABELS10 to get 10% off.

Thesis Beauty Facial Recovery Serum for Dry Skin: All the oils and extracts are organic.  It is packaged in a glass bottle.  You can apply the discount code IREADLABELS15 for 15% off.

Blissoma Timeless Vitamin C Reconstruction Concentrate: It is perfect not only for dry skin but also ultra-sensitive skin.  It contains no essential oils and comes in an opaque glass bottle.

Annmarie Anti-Aging Facial Oil: The oils are infused in an array of beneficial plants.  All botanicals are either organic or wildcrafted.  It is packaged in a tinted glass bottle.

Conclusion about the best skin care for dry skin

This concludes our conversation about skin care routine for dry skin.  I hope you have found it helpful.  Please share with us what nontoxic skincare products described here you have tried as well as your personal favorites in your skin care for dry skin.

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13 thoughts on “The Best Tips for Skin Care Routine for Dry Skin”

  1. Thanks, Irina, this is helpful. I wonder what you suggest for the rest of your body. I have great products for my face (some are on your list) but the rest of my body gets very dry in the mountains and/or winter and it seems hard to find clean and affordable products to use in larger quantities. Maybe you’ve addressed this in another blog?

    Thanks, Karen

    1. Not yet. Thank you for letting me know what your interests are, Karen. I’ll take that into consideration when I plan my blog content. ~Irina

    1. Hi, Katherine, last time, I checked they did not disclose ingredients on the website. Do they disclose them now? ~Irina

  2. Hey Irina,

    I tried to use your discount code on Primally Pure’s website and it didn’t work. I’m not sure if it expired. But if it didn’t, I just want to let you know!

    Thanks, Leah

  3. Hi Irina.

    I am also interested in learning the product routine for body skin. I realize until reading the article that it was just for facial skin. Thank you for your review of facial skin products for dry skin. I did learn the reasons for using different products and the results of using certain ingredients.

  4. Janelle Huffman

    I have a 11 year old son who deals with severe eczema. We have determined that he is allergic to a few things like DL alpha tocopherol, propylene glycol and hydroperoxides of linalool. If I ask for a consultation, can you guide me in finding appropriate lotions, soaps, shampoos, etc…

    1. Hi, Janelle: Sorry to hear about your son, Janelle. I can help you but my first availability not until June. ~Irina

  5. Hi, I really appreciate your research on skincare products for dry skin. Organic skincare products are the best for nourishing the skin in the long run. Thanks for sharing your skincare routine, Irina!

  6. Hi Irina! Great post, thank you! I haven’t noticed any Mineral Fusion products in your posts. They show up pretty well on the EWG’s Skin Deep site. They have a non foaming creme cleanser. I wonder what you think about that product line? Thanks for all you do!

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