Updated: Mar 2, 2022
"Help! With the cold dry weather, it feels like all the moisture (and life!) has been sucked from my skin! No matter the product I lather on, I still feel like a raisin. What do I do?!”
Ahh. Colorado. Majestic mountains, gurgling streams, and crisp, dry (very, very dry) air.
Many people experience dry skin here due to our dry climate. However, there’s other factors that are usually overlooked. So you don’t have to resort to living your life like a little withered raisin yet! Here is a list of some of the other culprits that could be drying out your skin.
Your Face Wash
Many face washes will dry out your skin to an excessive state, stripping away your skins needed protective barrier and essential oils. (I know you heard strip and got excited. But trust me, this is the bad kinda strip.) Try and avoid face washes that have fragrances, alcohol, and dyes. (We’ll save the alcohol for our martini glass, not cleansers.)
Washing your face in the shower or with water that is too hot in general, can also strip the skin of its protective barrier. This barrier is important because it keeps dirt and free radicals like environmental pollution out, while keeping in moisture and a balanced amount of oils.
Your skin shouldn’t feel uncomfortably tight after your done cleansing. If it does feel “squeaky clean” then it’s most likely over cleansed and your skin health is compromised. Instead, aim to have a face feeling dewy instead of taut after washing.
Cleansing & Exfoliating Too Often
Washing that beautiful face of yours more than two times a day can send your skin into a panic response state, which triggers your oil glands into overdrive mode. (Which is confusing, I know. If I clean anything more than twice, I expect a medal of honor. Not a panic attack.) This also goes for exfoliation. Aim to exfoliate your skin only 2-3 times per week.
You can achieve that clean and moisturized skin with a double cleanse! This is done with an oil-based cleanser and then followed with a water-based cleanser. This will balance the skin, remove any dirt, excess oil, and leave your skin clean but not oily! Use the right type of face wash for your skin type and use your fingers to massage upwards in circular motions. (Clean!) Fingertips are ideal because washcloths can be too abrasive for some skin.
Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology published research that correlates adequate water consumption with healthy, balanced skin. So, grab your Nalgene and cheers to a better complexion!
Take your body weight, then divide that in half. That’s what you should be drinking in ounces every day! If it’s hard for you to remember to drink enough, keep a water bottle on you all day and use fresh, organic fruit for flavor! (My favorite is cucumber, mint and lime! But honestly whatever you have slowly dying in your fridges produce drawer is just fine.)
Yes. You heard me. That beautiful little jar that you splurged your rent money on, may actually be doing you dirty. (Talk about the ultimate betrayal!) Moisturizers that are too heavy or have harmful ingredients can lead to worse skin issues, on top of your dryness.
Depressing fact: The majority of skin care products just sit on top of the skin and are not fully absorbed. Leaving your face (and wallet) malnourished.
Okay, so scratch that whole comment about saving alcohol for your martini glass. I’m going to have to be the party pooper that points out that nice glass of wine, even though it may make us feel like Beyonce, isn’t making us look it. Alcohol can dehydrate the entire body, skin included. Fight this off by making sure you're drinking at least a glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have. (The 20 bathroom breaks will be worth it! Plus, the girl’s bathroom after happy hour is always the best place to make a new bestie.)
Not wearing Sunscreen
Sun exposure will certainly dry out your skin and damage it even further. Don’t skip the sunscreen! Opt for a high quality, broad spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every two hours. (I know. Sounds like overkill, but our flawless little baby faces will thank us for it later.)
Seriously. Trust me on the sunscreen.
Mineral Sunscreen is more environmentally friendly as well as a better option for people who are concerned about long-term exposure to chemical ingredients. And even though mineral sunscreen isn't as transparent, it is ideal for children, and anyone with melasma or sensitive skin.
Other Facial Products
Scrutinize whatever you’re applying to your face. Many products, especially those designed to be anti-aging or for acne, will dry out our skin. (Can we just catch a break already!?)