Our Skin Starts To Dry Out at Age 40—These Are 4 Basic Products Derms Recommend To Increase Hydration

Photo: Getty Images / Lucy Lambriex
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The older we get, the dryer our skin gets. Sun exposure and lifestyle habits can cause this dryness to happen sooner, but generally, widespread dryness starts around age 40. Maral Skelsey, MD, a Maryland-based dermatologist, says there are a few reasons why age-related dryness occurs.

"As skin ages, oil production slows down," says Dr. Skelsey. "Oil glands become smaller and fewer in number, and lowered hormone levels affect how much oil is produced. Sweat production also decreases. In addition, the skin cells themselves don't turn over or get replenished as frequently."

Dryness can make skin look rougher and less taut while accentuating the look of pores and wrinkles. Luckily, getting on top of this dryness isn't terribly difficult—it all comes down to the products you use, explains Ranella Hirsch, MD, a dermatologist in Boston.

Experts In This Article

"Healthy, robust-appearing skin is skin that is well hydrated," says Dr. Hirsch. "There is a reason why just moisturizing takes five years off! "

To help keep your skin moisturized as you age, both Dr. Hirsch and Dr. Skelsey recommend stacking your routine with dry skin facial products for mature skin. Among these? A hydrating cleanser, a hyaluronic acid serum, a creamy moisturizer, and a cream-based sunscreen.

Shop dry skin facial products for mature skin

Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser, dry skin facial products
Avène Gentle Milk Cleanser — $20.00

This milk cleanser from Avène is a favorite of Dr. Hirsch. It gently removes make-up, dirt, and oil while keeping your skin’s protective barrier intact, leaving it smooth, soft, and supple.

How to use hyaluronic acid serum
Photo: Glow Recipe
Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Serum — $60.00

Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, and using a serum that’s packed with the ingredient—like this one, which delivers five different types of the stuff—helps draw moisture deep within the surface of your skin. Apply it ahead of your moisturizer for peak hydration.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration, dry skin facial products
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration — $16.00 to $46.00$

This is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin, explains Dr. Hirsch. It’s fast-absorbing, yet rich, and made with colloidal oatmeal to protect the skin while relieving itching and minor irritation caused by eczema, rashes, and other skin conditions. It also includes vitamin-and-mineral-rich shea butter to moisturize and protect the skin barrier, and allantoin to calm and soothe skin.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 100
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 100 — $25.00

Sunscreen is an essential part of any skin-care routine, and Dr. Skelsey is a big fan of this chemical-based SPF 100 formula. “It’s a good all-around, fragrance-free sunscreen that you can use safely on your face and body,” she says. “It’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t cause breakouts.”

Get more tips for caring for dry skin:

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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