Stories from Skin-Care Tips

A derm reveals the most common mistakes in your routine that could be making your skin dry


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Dry skin and cold weather are like two peas in one very uncomfortable pod. When temperatures dip below 40 (and the heat cranks up to full blast) it’s only a matter of time before that chapped, itchy flakiness sets in. But while an icy environment is certainly one reason why your skin is feeling parched, it tends to get far too much of the blame. Instead of cursing the weather for the less-than-radiant complexion you’re currently dealing with, it may be worth taking a peek inside your skin-care cabinet.

In the latest episode of Dear Derm, board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, deep dives on all things dry skin related—from why it happens in the first place to how to treat it once it sets in. But first things first, it’s important to understand what, exactly, “dry skin” is, because there’s a surprising amount of confusion around the term. “When you have dry skin it means there’s not enough water, period,” says Dr. Gohara. “It could mean that there’s not enough water being trapped in, or that there’s too much water leaving the skin.”

There are a few different reasons why this happens, but the biggest culprit, no matter what the temperature is outside, is your skin-care routine. According to Dr. Gohara, your dry skin could be setting in thanks to certain ingredients, like retinol, or methodologies, like over-exfoliating. In fact, she says there are five ultra-common mistakes she sees people making in their regimens that lead to skin dehydration. Watch the video above to find out what they are, plus the easy tweaks that will keep skin hydrated and healthy all year long.

Dry skin really is enough to ruin your day (or season). Here are the three ingredients derms say to double down on during the winter, plus the best hydrating foundations your chapped face will thank you for. 

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