Nobody wants dull and dehydrated skin — but you might be doing some things that are dehydrating your skin, and not even know it. If you’re specifically looking to get more hydrated skin that is plump and healthy, here are nine tips that will help you do just that, from applying moisturizer twice a day to avoiding harsh products that might be drying out your skin.
Drink Sufficient Water
It doesn’t matter if your skin is hydrated from the outside in if it’s not hydrated from the inside out as well. You should be drinking plenty of water each day to help your skin stay plump and healthy; most adults need 3-4 liters of fluid a day to stay hydrated. In addition to plain water, you can drink other hydrated beverages like decaf herbal tea that are flavored but still hydrating. Watch out for excess consumption of beverages like alcohol and caffeine, which can have a dehydrating effect.
Use a Gentle Cleanser
Cleansing can be the most stripping part of your entire skincare routine if you choose the wrong face wash. If your skin tends to be dry, prioritize milk and cream facial cleansers, which will wash away sweat and dirt without stripping away your skin’s natural oils. These cleansers typically don’t foam up, so they may take some adjustment if you are used to gel and foam cleansers. However, making this switch will help your skin to become more hydrated almost instantly, so it’s definitely worth it.
In order to stay hydrated, you should be moisturizing your skin every time that you rinse or wash it, which for most people means twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. You should also apply a lip mask to hydrate the delicate skin on your lips, which is very prone to chapping. Many people prefer to use a lightweight gel moisturizer or lotion in the morning and a heavier cream at night to help prevent moisture loss while they sleep. You might also want to use lighter moisturizers in the summer and heavier ones in the winter, since winter weather tends to be more drying.
Use a Humidifier
If you live in a very dry climate, there simply might not be enough water in the air for your skin to stay hydrated, period. You might need to give the local air a little help by running a humidifier at night while you sleep. Humidifiers put water back in the air and can be a real lifesaver for seriously dry and cracked skin. However, they’re not necessary if you live in a very humid area where there is already a lot of moisture in the air. You might only need to run a humidifier seasonally; many people use one in the winter but put it away in the summer during hotter weather.
Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Sun exposure doesn’t just cause sunburn and contributes to the formation of wrinkles — it also seriously dries out your skin. To that end, you should apply a face moisturizer with SPF every single morning, and reapply every two hours when you are outside. You should apply the sunscreen not just to your face but to all exposed parts of skin, including your neck, chest, arms, hands, legs, and feet. If you’re going to be sweating or getting in and out of the water, we recommend choosing a water resistant sunscreen that won’t immediately wash away.
Avoid Hot Showers
We love a hot shower as much as everyone, but unfortunately hot water is pretty drying for your skin. If your skin has been dry recently, then try showering in lukewarm water and keep your showers as short as possible, 5-10 minutes at most. Avoid soaking in baths, hot tubs, and other situations where your skin is exposed to hot water for a long period of time. This same logic applies to washing your face, by the way — choose lukewarm water rather than hot water to stop drying it out. For an extra boost of hydration, apply your skincare products or body lotion while your skin is still damp to lock in that moisture.
People with dry skin do need to exfoliate away the dead skin that leads to flaking and peeling, which makes skin look dull and dehydrated. However, they need to be careful not to over-exfoliate, which will dry their skin out more and compromise their skin even more. Most dry skin types only need to exfoliate 1-2 times a week max, and definitely should avoid exfoliating every day. They should also choose gentle exfoliating products, whether that is scrubs or chemical exfoliators, as opposed to products targeted towards people with oily skin that need stronger exfoliating.
Hydrating Face Masks
If your skin needs an extra boost of hydration, then you can’t go wrong with a hydrating face mask or hydrating facial spray. Facial sprays are great for a quick boost of moisture throughout the day, since you can just spray it on your face and go. Meanwhile, face masks make for the perfect addition to a longer self-care routine at night. They are typically applied after cleansing but before the rest of your skincare routine; after leaving it one for the amount of time specified on the label, simply wash it off and continue with the rest of your hydrating skincare products.
Avoid Harsh Products
Your skincare products might be working against your hydration goals, and you might not even know it: Certain ingredients like fragrance and denatured alcohol can be very drying to the skin, especially when they are present in large quantities. Instead of using many of these products, look for labels that are high in natural skincare ingredients that will be soothing and hydrating to your skin.
If you follow these tips, you will get healthy and hydrated skin all year round, even if your skin is prone to dryness. What are some other of your favorite tips for getting hydrated skin? Let us know in the comments below!