If you’re battling dry skin, especially during the winter months, you’re in good company. The combination of colder temperatures and decreased humidity can be harsh on skin, leaving it feeling flaky and tight, explains Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS) in New York.
Of course, dry skin is not a winter-only issue. In fact, dry skin is considered a skin type, and can be caused by genetics, conditions like eczema or psoriasis or simply because “some [people] make less oil to hydrate and seal the skin,” explains Dr. Papri Sarkar, a board-certified dermatologist in Boston. Skin also becomes drier as we age. “Older patients have drier skin because they have an impaired skin barrier layer, produce less oil and have decreased supporting tissues in their skin,” Dr. Sarkar says.
Whether your dry skin struggles are seasonal or year round, one thing is for sure: choosing the right skin care products is key, starting with your face cleanser. “Cleansers are designed to eliminate excess oils, dirt, debris and build up on the skin, but it is important that a cleanser does not strip the skin of its natural oils, as this can subsequently dry out the skin,” says Dr. Garshick. She recommends finding a face wash that gently cleanses, while still supporting the skin barrier and restoring moisture—like one of our favorites, below: