Physical exfoliators are one means of getting rid of dry top layers of skin, but friction can actually strip the skin of natural moisture, meaning exfoliation through scrubbing isn’t always the best option. While occasional buffing can prove useful in removing dead skin, don't forget about other forms of exfoliation to take the dead skin off and restore your skin’s natural shine.
Don't overdo it
Scrubs and exfoliants that contain harsh abrasives can leave skin red and tender. Opt for a gentler product such as John Masters' Jojoba & Ginseng Exfoliating Face Cleanser, which contains jojoba beads that exfoliate without scratching and irritating the skin's surface.
The most powerful part of your skin care regimen starts on the inside. When you're not adequately hydrated, it can affect everything from your energy levels to the appearance of your skin. Doctors say that on average, you should get at least six to eight glasses of water a day, or more in a dehydrating environment like the dry winter air. If you're suffering from a winter cold or flu, make sure to drink more water to keep hydrated and recover quicker.
Take a nice, warm (not hot) shower
Hot showers feel glorious in the cold winter months. But, water that is too hot can strip your skin of moisture and leave your skin dry and flaky. Turn your shower temperature down to warm to maintain more of your skin's natural hydration.
Exfoliate without scrubbing
Exfoliators like MyChelle's Incredible Pumpkin Peel contain natural fruit acids that remove dry, dead skin without irritation. Any time you use a fruit acid peel, do a patch test first; some people are sensitive to these products. Always follow up with moisturizer to nourish your skin.
Use gentle skin products
Deep cleansers can feel good, but if you're naturally prone to dry skin, lighter, gentler cleansers are actually a better choice. Dry skin is typically more delicate and prone to damage, and “heavy duty” cleansers can strip your skin of vital protective oils that are already in short supply. Weleda's Gentle Cleansing Milk is a great cleanser that helps preserve natural moisture and strengthen skin. Make sure to use an alcohol-free toner after cleansing, since alcohol can trigger a dry, painful reaction.
Invest in a skin cleansing system
Traditional methods of cleansing can still leave dirt and residue on your skin. Skin cleansing systems such as those from Clarisonic gently remove makeup, dry skin and other impurities. Sonic technology allows Clarisonic to more deeply penetrate the skin, remove more than six times the amount of makeup than a washcloth, and can minimize the appearance of pores. A quality cleansing system will help your skin retain elasticity, and look and feel silky and smooth.
Find a winter moisturizer
A high-quality moisturizer should be a part of your skin care regimen year-round, but is extra important in winter conditions. And don’t forget, the best moisturizer for you isn't necessarily the most expensive one—you may need to experiment before finding the right moisturizer for your skin.
By adjusting your skin care regimen to fit the season and the current state of your skin, you can kiss dry, flaky skin goodbye, and enjoy a fresher and younger-looking you!