How to Treat Dry Skin On Your Face

Dry skin happens when the temperature drops and the humidity begins to fall. The cool, dry air accelerates water loss from the skin, leaving skin looking rough, dry, and dull. For many, the worst areas of dry skin we experience are those most exposed to the elements, like our face and hands. A proper skincare routine for dry skin is essential to help counter skin dehydration and keep your skin looking radiant and fresh.

Cleanse and Moisturize

A skincare routine for dry skin starts with selecting a mild, hydrating cleanser for the face and a gentle body wash. It is important to avoid long, hot showers, which can lead to even further dehydration of the skin. Instead, use lukewarm water and limit showers to 10 minutes and only once a day. After washing, pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer, making sure to reapply throughout the day. 

Use a thick, cream-based moisturizer for the body to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated. For the face, use a facial moisturizer that will protect and hydrate without clogging the pores. Using a humidifier to increase the air’s moisture can also help reduce water loss from the skin.  

Hands and Lips

Hands and lips, in particular, can become very dry and cracked during the winter, as the lack of oil glands in these areas can make them difficult to keep moisturized. Avoid frequent hand washing and instead use an alcohol-free hand sanitizer. When you wash, moisturize immediately after with a thick hand cream to minimize cracking and keep your skin soft. When going outside, wear gloves with a cotton liner. Cotton gloves can also be worn overnight after moisturizing to help increase the absorption of your moisturizer. For the lips, use a thick ointment or protective balm with SPF, and reapply it throughout the day.


Dehydrated skin can show signs of dryness, including flaking, scaling, and cracking. Dead skin cells can prevent moisturizers from absorbing completely, so use a mild exfoliator once or twice a week to prevent buildup. Avoid using harsh peels, toners, and astringents which can remove oil from the skin. Instead of foaming scrubs, use hydrating scrubs to gently remove old skin cells without stripping the skin of its moisture.

If your dry skin worsens, no matter what over-the-counter products you try, the board-certified dermatologists at Forefront Dermatology are here to help. Find a clinic near you today.