Quality moisturizers can help calm and repair dry, itchy, and irritated skin. The moisturizer is an absolute must of any skin care routine. If your skin is dry, it helps maintain your skin’s moisture barrier and protects it from environmental damage. That way, you can really benefit from a face cream for dry skin packed with hydrating ingredients.
But with so many moisturizing creams on the market, how do you find the right one for you? It’s usually a matter of preference. Read this article from The Dermo Lab in collaboration with the dermatologist Dr. Rania Behary to learn how to choose a healthy moisturizer that is right for you.
What is the main cause of dry skin?
According to Dr. Rania Behary, the skin is the largest organ, covering the entire body, confronting the external environment, and being the barrier that comes in contact with clothes, soaps, chemicals, and temperatures.
Dr. Rania Behary lists the potential causes of dry skin:
- Weather. The skin tends to be drier in the winter when temperatures and humidity levels drop. However, the season doesn’t matter in deserts or areas where humidity is low year-round.
- Excessive heat (summer, heaters, stoves, hot air conditioners, long hot baths) dries out the skin and decreases humidity.
- Harsh soaps and detergents remove the natural oil from your skin.
- Dermatological diseases such as eczema and psoriasis.
There are also risk factors for dry skin. Dr. Rania Behary explains that the risk of dry skin is higher if you are over 40, live in a dry climate or if your job requires you to immerse your hands in water or your body in chlorinated water.
When should you apply a face cream for dry skin and how often should you use it?
Dr. Rania Behary states that moisturizing the skin should be a habit, and there are preferred times to do it:
* In the morning: to deal with the countless environmental and irritating factors.
* After showering or swimming: as your skin is ready to absorb moisture.
* Before bed: to repair your skin.
She adds that you should moisturize your face daily. As for how often to do it, it differs from product to product and skin type to skin type. In general, it is recommended to apply moisturizers twice a day, in the morning and evening.
Dry skin can really benefit from moisturizing ingredients. Keep reading to learn about the best face creams for dry skin.
How do moisturizers work?
Not all moisturizers work the same way. In terms of active ingredients, there are three main ways to moisturize the skin:
1- The occlusive way, using products that are usually very greasy, for example, petroleum jelly, which forms an occlusive film on the surface of the epidermis and retains water inside the stratum corneum. Dr. Rania Behary explains that petrolatum is ideal for smoothing and protecting rough skin. Petrolatum is an occlusive barrier that prevents water loss.
2- The emollient way, using formulas based on glycerin, urea, or lactic acid that provide the skin with natural moisturizing components. Dr. Rania Behary notes that glycerin is a humectant that has the ability to plump and soften the skin.
3- The physiological way, with formulas containing fatty acids, sterols, or ceramides, which provide lipids similar to those of the surface layer of the epidermis, in order to compensate for deficits. Dr. Rania Behary points out that ceramides are fats naturally present in the outer layer of the skin and are a major component of the skin’s structure.
Researchers who develop these products usually combine several active ingredients to optimize their levels of action.
Your dermatologist will help you choose the product or range of products best suited to your problem. In any case, remember that regular use is necessary: moisturizing creams must be applied daily to be effective.
When you have dry skin, it’s crucial to find a moisturizer that has the right texture, doesn’t clog pores, and hydrates your skin. We have selected the most recommended moisturizers for dry skin. They are formulated with the most powerful moisturizing ingredients to satisfy your skin’s thirst without extra weight or greasy residue.
Ducray Ictyane Hydra UV Light Face Cream SPF 30
To be applied only in the morning.
Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Rich Hydrating Cream
To be applied in the morning and evening.
Are the ingredients in a face cream the same as those in a night cream?
Dr. Rania Behary affirms that the ingredients are not the same. Night creams are thicker and contain ingredients designed to moisturize and repair damage to your skin. Therefore, Dr. Rania Behary states that the best nighttime face cream for dry skin contains one of the following ingredients:
1- Retinol: It exfoliates the skin, increases skin cell turnover and stimulates collagen synthesis. It is considered the gold standard in anti-aging and skin brightening.
2- AHA: This refers to alpha hydroxy acid. AHAs are water-soluble acids made from sweet fruits. They peel away the surface of your skin so that new skin cells, with more even pigmentation, can appear.
3- Vitamin E and C: Antioxidant properties help your skin stay hydrated and improve your complexion.
4- Hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin.
We recommend the following night cream from Eau Thermale Avene:
Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Aqua Gel
What to do for extremely dry skin on the face?
To soothe your dry and itchy skin, Dr. Rania Behary recommends a few tips:
- Take a shower with lukewarm water for no more than 5 or 10 minutes.
- Don’t use soap, instead opt for a face wash for dry skin.
- Blot your skin with a soft towel.
- Ointments and creams are more helpful than lotions.
- Apply a nourishing face cream for dry skin to damp or wet skin.
- Stay warm in a cold climate.
- You can use a humidifier at home.
Finally, she advises seeing a dermatologist if the itching persists.