Most of us suffer from dry skin from time to time, especially when the cold, dry weather sets in and we spend more time indoors with central heating, or soak in hot baths for too long. (Although blissful, hot water can wreak havoc with your skin, sadly!)
Although dry skin is classified as a skin-type that requires long-term care and maintenance, your skin can also become dehydrated and lack moisture at the same time. If your skin is prone to dryness and dehydration, you might have to add in that extra bit of moisture into your skincare routine, regardless of the season, to keep it soft, plump and hydrated year-round.
ALSO SEE: 6 moisturising foundations for dry skin
Causes of dry skin
Researchers have found that dry skin can also be caused by:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Household cleaners, detergents and products
- Drying soaps and body washes
Other conditions such as eczema or psoriasis can make seasonal dryness worse, and if you’re in your 40’s or older, studies have shown that you may experience more skin dryness as more than 50% of older adults have dry skin.
The good news is, scientists and skincare experts are constantly discovering new ingredients and formulations to combat dry skin, and ease dehydration. Even better, many of these products tackle skin ageing, pigmentation and general dullness so that you can get your glow back in no time.
We have rounded up the best moisturisers to tackle dry skin this season, from masks, gels and lotions to lightweight moisturisers and richer blends, you’re bound to find the right one for you!
Find the right moisturiser for you
When it comes to finding a moisturiser you love – texture is key. If you don’t like how it feels on your skin, you won’t commit to using it long enough to see the results.
Love to pamper your skin? Try a luxe oil or a rich, moisture-quenching mask like Dr. Hauschka Hydrating Mask, R895 for 30ml, which, although pricey, is designed to rejuvenate mature skins and combat redness, thanks to soothing rose wax and replenishing almond and avocado oils.
If you prefer something lighter, a gel is a good idea. Try a lightweight gel that hydrates but absorbs quickly such as Bioderma Hydrabio Gel-Creme, R299,95 for 40ml.
Key ingredients for dry skin
Not sure what you should be looking out for on the ingredients list? We’ve made decoding the back of the pack easy…
These are essential fats that naturally make up 50% of our skin. They work a little bit like cement- holding skin cells together to form a protective barrier. When they’re compromised, moisture can sneak out, and external aggressors like pollution can make their way in. Ceramides are also great for restoring balance to dry, distressed skin.
In its natural form, lanolin is secreted from the sebaceous glands of sheep. But stick with us here… as an emollient, it’s purpose is to protect the wool by locking in moisture. Carrying the same function over into skincare, lanolin keeps skin moisturised without clogging up pores.
Having long played a supporting role in our skincare, niacinamide is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Also known as vitamin B, it has a lot of benefits for the skin including the ability to reduce the appearance of pores and restore glow to lacklustre complexions. One of its biggest benefits is how compatible it is with other ingredients, which is important if you’re also using skincare-friendly acids or retinol.
A hero hydrator with the ability to hold up to 1 000 time’s its own weight in water, hyaluronic acid works by drawing moisture from the atmosphere and putting it back into your skin. As it sits on the surface of the skin, it works really quickly to plump and rehydrate thirsty complexions.
Essential moisturisers for dry skin
For dry/combination skin
If your skin tends to be puffy in the morning, then slather on the lightweight Goodleaf Morning Moisturiser, R445 for 50ml.
It sinks in quickly, so you don’t have to wait long before applying make-up (if you’re wearing any), and promotes healing while it hydrates thanks to hyaluronic acid, green Rooibos tea and CBD oil.
For dry/sensitive skin
With cold-spells on the way, you can count on Avene XeraCalm A.D. Lipid-replenishing Balm, R320 for 200ml, to become your dry skin saviour.
It’s creamy enough to feel luxurious on the skin, but not so heavy that make-up slides off. Forming a barrier on the skin, it shields from both cold or dry air, locking in moisture. All Avene products are gentle with hydrating thermal spring water and vitamin E to leave skin soft and comfortable. The range is also suitable for stressed-out, sensitive skin.
For dry/dull skin
pHFormula B3 Vita Cream, R976 for 50ml, contains 5% niacinamide to help improve skin’s luminosity while decreasing signs of redness, leaving skin feeling plump, smooth and even-toned.
For very dry skin
This skin type requires a cream that is rich and comforting. We love Kalahari Lipid Recovery Plus, R355 for 50ml, because it’s an affordable, dry-skin loving gem that contains botanical lipids like shea butter and jojoba oil to boost the skins moisture barrier.
Decleor Lavande Fine Night Balm, R710 for 50ml, is another favourite, as it’s made from 100% natural ingredients including firming iris essential oil.
Words: Jess Beech. Additional Words: Martinique Stevens