The *Exact* Skin-Care Routine to Follow in a Dry Climate
Despite all the glory in its #99Days, the summer can introduce new problems into your skin-care routine. I'm talking about chlorine on your skin and hair and a heightened risk of a sunburn, for starters—but then there's the whole factor of being in an arid state. Dry climates can also be tough on your complexion and lead to serious dryness (I'm getting thirsty just thinking about it).
"Dry climates exaggerate the appearance of lines and wrinkles and rough texture," says Loretta Ciraldo, MD FAAD, dermatologist and co-founder of her eponymous skin-care line. "For those of us who don't live in drier climates, think of your hands in mid-winter (when ambient humidity is at its lowest). Typically they look lined, red, and rough." That's what can happen to your skin when the humidity is zilch.
No need to avoid an Insta-worthy locale like Palm Springs, though—there are easy ways to combat that dry heat and keep your skin glowing, including simple additions to your healthy home like a humidifier, which can help with skin and hair. "For your face, it's also important to use a sulfate-free cleanser, preferably one with hydrating essential oils and peptides," notes Dr. Ciraldo (try Dr. Loretta's Gently Hydrating Cleanser, $35).
Then you pack in the moisture and protect your barrier with specific serums. "The first thing you want to start with is an antioxidant serum," says Ali Finney, senior beauty editor at Well+Good. "If it's humid and dry, you want to put on a vitamin C serum because it's got a lot of antioxidants which nix the free radicals." For this, try Drunk Elephant's C-Firma Day Serum ($80).
Then there's the need for uber-hydrators. "I then cocktail a squalane product with a hyaluronic acid serum," says Finney. "They're two really moisturizing ingredients for all skin types—they're a power couple." Examples include Indie Lee's Squalane Oil ($32) and Osea's Hyaluronic Sea Serum ($88). "
Next up, you lock it all in with a moisturizer—preferably one that's aloe vera-based (since it's super moisturizing). "I like the Herbivore Pink Cloud moisturizer," says Finney. "It creates a nice, occlusive base on your skin and locks in your prior skin-boosting skin-care products."
Of course, the proverbial whipped cream on top is every beauty editor's fave beauty product (and you could say the most important of all): sunscreen. "This one's with zinc oxide," says Finney, who prefers Farmacy's Green Screen SPF 30 ($36). "I really like physical barriers versus chemical barriers because they sit on top of the skin and provide locked-out protection from UV rays."
Besides that, there are other precautions to take when in a dry climate. "Only bathe in tepid water since warm and hot water dries you out even more," says Dr. Cirldo. "And stay in the bath or shower until your fingertips get 'wrinkled,' which means that you've maximally hydrated up the outer layers of skin to their full capacity." She also says it's key to moisturize while your skin's damp, or else your skin doesn't absorb as well. Get these steps down pat and you'll be shining like a glowy mirage in the desert (goals).
Surprisingly enough, here's why dry and dehydrated skin aren't the same thing. But here are the best natural foundations for dry skin to keep things radiant.
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