If your skin currently feels patchy, dry, tight, or just lacks the radiance needed to face the month ahead with a smile, you’re not alone. As the temperatures drop and the remnants of December’s indulgence cling to our faces, it’s time to reclaim control and do something simple that we all can—hydrate. Below are five simple techniques to help you quickly rectify dry skin.
1. Try the “Moisture Sandwich” Technique
Moisture layering, also known as the “skin sandwich,” may sound like a trendy TikTok invention, but it’s actually a quite effective hydration technique. Starting with damp skin after cleansing, the idea is to layer different moisturizing formulas, similar to juicy layers in a sandwich, and then seal it all in with a moisturizer. Originating from Korea, this technique essentially helps push moisture into the skin. The trick is to build lighter, more watery formulas and finish with a thicker, lipid-rich formula to prevent transepidermal water loss.
2. Avoid Stripping Your Skin
You might not realize it, but your skincare routine could be causing and exacerbating skin dryness. Avoid over-cleansing and opt for formulas that omit stripping and drying ingredients such as surfactants, alcohol, and potent active ingredients to protect the skin barrier. Also, reduce the frequency of exfoliation per week. The gentler, the better for your daily routine.
3. Nourish Your Skin Barrier
A healthy skin barrier ensures that the skin stays hydrated and smooth, rather than dry and flaky. To rebuild a compromised skin barrier—essential if you suffer from dryness—look for ingredients like ceramides, which act as the building blocks within the skin and work to regenerate the natural barrier.
Other barrier-friendly ingredients to incorporate into your daily care when the skin is dry include niacinamide, panthenol, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring moisturizer in our bodies, is an excellent choice as it also attracts moisture and prevents transepidermal water loss, increasing the overall hydration levels in the skin.
4. Hydrate from Within
Research suggests that drinking enough water—aim for at least eight glasses a day—can improve skin health. Consuming electrolytes, whether through coconut water or foods like watermelon and avocado, also helps maintain internal hydration. If you’re a caffeine enthusiast, consider reducing your intake, as caffeine acts as a diuretic.
5. Steam It Up
Yes, they’re diametrically opposed, but the cold outdoors and the warm central heating indoors have something in common: they usually come with a lack of moisture. To reintroduce moisture into your environment (and your skin), consider using a humidifier. Another technique to try is to make your bathroom steamy during a shower and then lock in the moisture with skincare products (as mentioned in the moisture sandwich).