When it comes to skincare, it’s important to invest in products that will cater to your specific skin type. However, it can often be hard to find the right product in an industry that never seems to stop releasing new products every second. In the case of dry skin, which is often accompanied by uncomfortable feelings of peeling and irritation, it’s most likely that you’ve gone through products that have promised to soothe as well as moisturize.

Although the products may claim to be suitable for dry skin, the ingredients they contain may simply aggravate the problem. As opposed to searching out for a particular brand or product, it’s important to learn to start taking note of the ingredients found listed in the product so that you can make an informed decision as to what you’re going to put on your skin. There’s no need to do an extensive crash-course on cosmetic ingredients suited for dry skin – simply read on to discover which key ingredients you need to look out for that will definitely get the job done. Remember quality over quantity.

Key Ingredients For Dry Skin

Antioxidants

Aside from protecting the skin against the premature aging effects of free radicals antioxidants also act as anti-inflammatory agents, helping to reduce and soothe the
symptoms of dry skin such as inflammation, redness, and itching. Examples of antioxidants include vitamins C and E, green tea, and coenzyme Q10.

Ceramides

Our skin has its own natural protective barrier composed of skin cells and a binding composition – almost like glue. This glue holds and binds together the top layer. By doing so, the glue helps the skin appear smooth, supple, and soft.

However, this “glue” is quite fragile and can easily be damaged due to stress on the skin as a result of ultraviolet rays, bad weather, excessive exfoliation, and other things that are stressful for the skin. Once the skin loses its protective barrier, it can become dehydrated, dry, flaky, and itchy. Luckily, this can be prevented through the constant maintenance and restoration of the glue. One such way would be to use products that contain ceramides. The body does contain ceramides but the levels decrease as we age. Dry skin can be attributed to this loss. Ceramides in your skincare products will help to protect the skin barrier as well as attract moisture to it.

Glycerin

In caring for dry skin, one important step would be to prevent moisture loss. Thus the addition of humectants -an ingredient that retains or preserves moisture – to any product would be perfect. One such humectant is glycerin which not only helps to attract moisture into the skin, but it also has a softening and soothing effect on the skin. Another common humectant to look out for would be urea.

Glycolic Acid

Not only does it exfoliate but glycolic acid also attracts moisture into the skin. Furthermore, due to its small molecular structure, glycolic acid is able to dissolve the dry skin cells of the surface of the skin, encouraging a stronger, protective barrier.

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is definitely one of the best ingredients for dry skin. This compound can offer immediate hydration due to its ability to hold up to a thousand times its weight in water. It also contains great anti-aging properties.

What to avoid:

Not that you know what ingredients to look out for- it’s equally important to know which ones to avoid.

Alcohol

Alcohol is an ingredient that’s commonly found in many skin-care products as a result of its ability to help the product better penetrate the skin. However, in the case of dry skin, alcohol can extract out all the moisture from your skin leaving you with dry skin. Any ingredient listed that ends with -ol is a form of alcohol. Try products that contain no alcohol or at least the ones that have it listed at the far end.

Benzoyl peroxide

This ingredient is another one that’s perfect for acne but hell for dry skin. It can cause irritation, redness, peeling, and itching.

Fragrances and preservatives

As sweet as it can make your products smell, fragrances (along with preservatives) do can cause irritation leading to dry and flaky skin. Opt for fragrance-free and
preservative-free products.

Retinoids

If you suffer from acne-prone skin or a skin condition like psoriasis, retinoids are more than likely the holy grail of ingredients. However, if you have dry skin, retinoids can be extremely harsh on your skin, encouraging both dryness and irritation.

Salicylic acid

Once again, this exfoliating ingredient (which can also be listed as willow bark) is great if you have acne-prone skin but not so much if your skin is dry. Salicylic acid can not only irritate but also deplete moisture and dry out the skin. Thus it’s important to avoid this ingredient (unless it’s been specifically recommended by a licensed dermatologist). Click here to find out when you should make a visit to the dermatologist.

Surfactants

These ingredients are responsible for the foaming actions that accompany many skincare products such as body washes and lotions. As appealing as foam can be, this action can dry out the skin. Examples of surfactants include tallowate, sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, and cocoate.

By devoting a little more effort when it comes to choosing your skincare products, you can be sure that you’ll have dry skin under control in no time.

Want to know more?

Click here to find out more about how cannabis in skincare and how it can have an anti-aging effect.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.