If your complexion is seriously dehydrated, it's time to level up your moisturizing routine. Consider solutions like slugging, the moisture sandwich, or overnight masks.

Your moisturizer just isn't cutting it. And when that happens, it's completely normal to reevaluate your beauty routine. This is especially true if you have dry skin, since tending to a dehydrated complexion is no easy task and often requires a seasonal switch-up on the product front. Thankfully, Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon, has a handful of tricks for combatting dry skin. Discover six of her best tips, ahead.

Switch to an Oil Cleanser

What you wash your face with matters. "Facial cleansers can be irritating or further dry out already dehydrated, damaged skin," says Dr. Engelman. "Switching out your regular cleanser for an oil-based one is a great way to clear skin of residual makeup and debris without stripping away natural oils." Her favorite is the Biossance Squalane Antioxidant Cleansing Oil ($30, sephora.com), which effectively washes and infuses the dermis with non-greasy hydration.

Use Ceramide- and Peptide-Rich Formulas

The key to keeping your face hydrated is knowing which ingredients to use to reintroduce moisture. According to Dr. Engelman, nothing compares to ceramides and peptides. "Where ceramides help create a protective barrier on the skin to prevent the permeation of damaging environmental factors [as well as the loss of moisture], peptides work to firm and smooth," she explains, noting that using them together is an effective way to protect, repair, hydrate, and plump.

"Ambari Complex4 Hydrator™ Cream ($96, ambaribeauty.com) is an amazing product that blends ceramides and peptides, along with mushrooms and broad-spectrum CBD, in a super nourishing formula that leaves skin feeling soothed and hydrated," says Dr. Engelman. "I also love Elizabeth Arden's Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum ($100, net-a-porter.com), which delivers a potent dose of hydration and repairing ceramides in an airless single-use, biodegradable capsule."

Use Hyaluronic Acid

As effective as ceramides and peptides are, hyaluronic acid is the be-all, end-all for hydration. "Safe for all skin types but extra-beneficial for dry skin, hyaluronic acid (HA) is the holy grail of skin care—and for good reason," Dr. Engelman says. "Not only does this product effectively moisturize, but it also replenishes cell moisture, quickens the healing of facial wounds, and lessens the appearance of wrinkles."

Apply Morning and Night

For the best results, Dr. Engelman says to apply HA—morning and night—while your face is still damp post-cleanse. "All you need to do is pat a few drops into the skin and gently work it around your face," she says, noting that the Glo Skin Beauty HA Revive Hyaluronic Drops ($90, gloskinbeauty.com) is one of her favorite HA-rich products, thanks to its fast-absorbing formula that leaves the complexion plump and radiant.

applying moisturizer to face
Credit: PeopleImages / Getty Images

Try Slugging or a Moisture Sandwich

Your might not need a new, rich moisturizer to combat your dry skin—rethink its application, instead. According to Dr. Engelman, the best way to combat dehydration is to try the moisture sandwich technique. "This refers to layering products with the purpose of locking in extra hydration," she says.

  1. "First, dampen your face either by spritzing on a facial mist, splashing your face with water, or simply not drying your face after cleansing," says Dr. Engelman. "This small step gives you an extra dose of hydration, because the moisture left on your skin gets partially absorbed along with your products."
  2. Next, apply your lightest liquid product (such as an essence or serum). "Work it into the skin along with the excess water," says Dr. Engelman.
  3. Finish off with the thickest product, like a moisturizing cream.

This process doesn't just apply to your forehead, cheeks, and chin—Dr. Engelman says that your lips can benefit from it, too. "Just wet your lips with water, apply a lightweight balm, and then top it off with a more occlusive product like Vaseline or Aquaphor," she says. This last step is called slugging—it involves adding the heaviest-possible occlusive, like petrolatum jelly, on top—and works on your facial dermis, too, to prevent water loss.

Apply Overnight Masks

Another way to cater to our vulnerable complexions as we sleep? Overnight masks. Unlike regular iterations, these formulas are designed with extra nourishment in mind and address the skin's weakened defenses.

Overnight Mask Benefits

"At night, we lose moisture through a process called transepidermal water loss, which can cause us to wake up with uncomfortably dry, dull skin," says Dr. Engelman. "Overnight masks are a great way to combat this problem, as the thick consistency forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture while you're asleep. They can be used by themselves, or in combination with your other products—just make sure it is the last step of your nighttime routine."

Add a Humidifier to Your Home

Skin care isn't the only way to combat parched dermis. Adding a humidifier—we like the Canopy Humidifier ($150, getcanopy.co)—to your space can help, too. "Turning on a humidifier while you sleep is an excellent and simple way to heal dry skin," says Dr. Engelman. "At night, our skin enters repair mode. This is a good thing, but it lowers our skin's defenses, making us vulnerable to moisture loss. Having a humidifier in the room promotes healthy, glowing skin (and, as a bonus, it also relieves cold and flu symptoms, which helps during the quickly-approaching winter months)."


Be the first to comment!