Sensitive skin dries out when it’s exposed to irritants and not adequately protected. For example, beauty sites recommend never washing your face with soap. The main reason is that soap is alkaline. It attacks the slightly acidic lipid layer that protects your skin. The lipids normally keep liquid loss to a minimum and keep irritants at bay. But if they are damaged, skin cells are exposed to UV radiation, dry air, and pollutants.
That’s why sensitive skin products like moisturizers are essential to maintaining a defense against dryness. If you regularly protect your skin, you’ll seal in moisture. And you’ll run less risk of reacting to makeup, cold weather, dry air, fragrances, and other potential irritants.
If you want to heal dry skin, especially on your face, try these steps:
- Wash with a gentle cleanser that’s free of sulfates, parabens, alcohol, and fragrances
- Use lukewarm water and never scrub hard, then pat dry, don’t rub
- Exfoliate with a soft washcloth or use a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid once a week
- Avoid granular or physical exfoliators
- Apply a nourishing night cream before bed and a moisturizer with sunscreen in the morning
- Try a vitamin-packed serum each day for a week