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How to Hydrate Dry Skin

If you suffer from dry skin, you'll know all about it feeling uncomfortable and itchy, especially during the colder months. Here's your guide to why that is, and what you should add to your skincare routine to help soothe your skin.


What is causing your dry skin?

Unlike dehydrated skin, which can affect everyone, dry skin is a skin type rather than a condition. It can be difficult to decipher whether you're suffering from dehydrated skin or dry skin, and although both are different, the skincare products to reach for are extremely similar. Dehydrated skin is linked with water loss and can happen to all skin types including oily skin, combination skin and normal skin. It's usually a temporary state but skin will often look dull, and you might have irritated skin patches or flaky skin. Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient that helps to improve dehydrated skin by pulling water into the skin and holding it there, try adding Ultra Pure High-Potency Serum 1.5% Hyaluronic Acid to your skincare routine. Apply every morning and evening gently smoothing over the skin before applying moisturiser.

Dry skin is when the skin lacks the natural oils, fatty acids or lipids that keep it hydrated, smooth and radiant. It can be due to genetics, but the skin may also change at any point and start to become dry. We naturally produce less oil as we age, and also if the skin barrier or stratum corneum becomes damaged.

While your face is probably the first place you notice if your skin is on the dry side, dry skin can affect your whole body, from your shins to your hands. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way. Switching up your skincare routine and making a few changes to your routine in general can help make irritated, dry skin on your face and dry hands feel healthy again.


How to avoid dry skin

Although a long, hot shower may be a great way to unwind or warm up on a winter's day, the hot water can strip the skin of essential natural oils, drying it out. For softer, healthier, hydrated skin, turn down the temperature and opt for short, warm showers instead and always wash your face with lukewarm water. Post-shower, water evaporates quickly off the skin, so gently pat dry before applying body moisturiser, such as our Creme de Corps on damp skin to lock in moisture.

Look for gentle products that won't be too harsh or irritate your skin further and hydrating ingredients including hyaluronic acid and glycerin to replenish essential moisture and restore the skin's natural barrier function.


A skincare routine to soothe and protect

Although soap can dry out the skin and strip it of natural oils there's no reason to avoid washing your face altogether. The natural skin barrier needs daily cleansing and protection to avoid damage and to lock in both water and oil for properly hydrated skin. Opt for a gentle cleanser, a serum with hyaluronic acid that helps improve skin hydration and always moisturise with a cream rich in fatty acids. If you're suffering with irritation, dry patches and uncomfortable skin, reach for our Ultra Facial Advanced Repair Barrier Cream. Formulated for ultra dry and sensitive skin, this intensive barrier repair cream relieves uncomfortable skin and supports skin barrier recovery.


The best cleansers for dry skin

Our mildest facial cleanser, Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser is pH balanced and suitable even for sensitive skin. It hydrates your skin while gently removing any dirt and impurities. In the evening to take off your day and any makeup, our Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil is a lightweight cleansing oil that transforms into a cleansing milk with water to melt away makeup and dirt without over-drying your skin.


The best serums for dry skin

Combining potent formulas with lightweight, ultra silky textures, serums concentrate on specific skincare concerns, so incorporating a serum rich in hydrating ingredients into your routine is a great way to give a dry face an extra hit of moisture. Our Super Serum earns its name from its skin-strengthening formula – it contains our smallest form of hyaluronic acid that can penetrate up to eight surface layers.* Our formula helps leave delicate skin feel protected from external aggressors as skin’s barrier function is boosted. Hydro-Plumping Serum Concentrate is an intensely hydrating serum infused with 15% glycerin that also helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and dull, tired-looking skin.

*Based on a clinical study of 25 panelists measuring the penetration of the full formula via tape stripping.


The best moisturisers for dry skin

No good dry skin routine would be complete without a moisturiser to help keep skin hydrated throughout the day. Our lightweight Ultra Facial Cream is our #1 best-selling moisturiser across the globe thanks to its amazing benefits for dry and dehydrated skin. The unique lightweight texture helps to keep skin hydrated for up to 24-hours and it leaves dry skin feeling softer, smoother and visibly healthier. Apply every morning and evening after your serum. For those with more mature skin, try our Super Multi-Corrective Cream, an anti-ageing cream that supports hydration levels for all skin types including sensitive skin, while also diminishing 7 key visible signs of ageing. We're talking fine lines and wrinkles, loss of elasticity and uneven tone and texture. For more advice on choosing a moisturiser that will keep skin healthy, read our article Our Best Moisturisers For Dry Skin.


Night time hydration for dry skim.

For hydrated skin come morning, try our Midnight Recovery Concentrate, the perfect night time treatment for dry skin. Enriched with cold-pressed botanical oils including Evening Primrose Oil, the formula is rich is lipids and essential fatty acids and helps to nourish and quench dry skin. Overnight moisture loss is reduced, meaning that you wake up feeling rested and refreshed with boosted radiance.


Lifestyle Tips To Help Dry Skin

While a skincare routine that balances moisture levels and comforts the outermost layer of the skin is key, there are a few small lifestyle changes that can help too. For those with dehydrated feeling skin, drinking plenty of water will make a difference. The 8 recommended-by-experts glasses of water per day build up cumulatively, so even if you have one day of dehydration, it will have an effect on the way the body functions and that includes the skin. Eating more water-rich foods like watermelon and cucumber can help boost your water intake, while avoiding salty food is also helpful. For dry skin, foods rich in natural oils such as nuts, avocado and olive oil should be regularly on the menu.

If you’re looking for some bespoke skincare advice for your dry or dehydrated skin, then book a complimentary 1-1 session with one of our Kiehl’s Skincare experts. Available via live video call or in-store, this 30-minute consultation will leave you feeling confident about the right skincare regime for you whether you have sensitive skin, dry patches, irritated skin or any other skin issues.

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