Many people have dry skin, but for some more than others, it can cause a lot of discomfort and insecurity. Whether it’s due to a condition or it’s just the natural state of your skin, dry skin has an inability to produce enough oil to keep itself supple, leading to it having a rough feeling to the touch. Dry skin can be caused by multiple things; it can be that you’re just genetically inclined to produce less oil/sebum than a person with normal or oily skin, or it could be that you have a dry skin condition like eczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis. Frequent washing with harsh soaps and hot water can also cause dry and scaly skin. Dry skin can often be a symptom of irritated skin and people with dry skin tend to also have sensitive skin. The priority for dry skin is to use products and chemicals that lock in moisture and are not too irritant. If you have severely dry skin or a condition, it is best to follow the advice that a doctor or dermatologist gives you.
Hyaluronic acid has become a very popular skincare ingredient. It is naturally produced throughout our own bodies and is a great humectant. Humectants are chemicals that are able to pull/attract water from its surroundings and bind to it. Its use in skincare will allow moisture into the skin and will hold water on the top layer of your skin, preventing dryness and hydrating the skin. It’s also non-irritant and non-greasy. However, it is important when using this chemical (if it’s not part of your moisturiser already) to seal it in with another moisturising product. If you don’t do this, then the hyaluronic acid is likely to evaporate and draw water out of your skin which can make it dryer, so this ingredient needs to be properly incorporated into your routine.
Here’s a list of products containing Hyaluronic acid:
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Dear, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
NEUTROGENA® Hydro Boost Water Gel Moisturiser
Urea is naturally produced by the body but can also be artificially produced and added to your skincare routine. Just like hyaluronic acid, it’s a humectant, which can pull water from the atmosphere to your skin to help with moisturising and hydrating the skin, making the skin look plumper. Urea is also able to break up dead skin cells allowing the moisture to penetrate deeper layers of the skin due to it being keratolytic. It also has anti-fungal properties.
Here’s a list of products containing Urea:
Eucerin UreaRepair Replenishing Face Cream 5% Urea 50ml
The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
Ceramides are natural molecules found in the skin. They are lipids that makeup around 30%-50% of the skin. A deficiency in ceramides can cause dryness and lead to a compromised skin barrier. Adding ceramides to skincare can help your own skin replenish the ceramides it has lost, which of course helps with dryness.
Here’s a list of products containing Ceramides:
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer
CETAPHIL Intensive Healing Lotion with Ceramides
Mario Badescu AHA & Ceramide Moisturiser
Dimethicone is a type of silicone and is great for people with combination, oily and dry skin. It’s lightweight, reduces water loss from the skin and unlike petrolatum allows sweat to evaporate. It also doesn’t cause as much shine as other moisturising ingredients.
Here’s a list of products containing Dimethicone:
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Body Lotion
Petrolatum is a very common skin ingredient for a reason. It reduces water loss out of the skin making the skin hold on to moisture for longer. It’s also great at creating a protective barrier around sensitive areas to prevent irritants from reaching the skin allowing for faster healing. There is a worry that Petrolatum is carcinogenic, as the European Union has several petrolatum compounds banned, only allowing highly refined ones. However, it is still a mostly safe product to use and there is not much data to say that petrolatum directly causes cancer, it is one of the best skincare ingredients for dry skin.
The best few products that contain Petrolatum are of course:
Isabel is a writer and editor with a passion for reading, art and philosophy. She often spends her time pondering the meaning of life and performing her rigorous skincare routine.