I learned my skin care routine from my mother, who has the exact opposite skin from mine (in type, shade, you name it). So it took me more than two decades to truly figure out how to keep my skin healthy and happy (and it’s an ongoing process, as age, pollution, allergies, shifts in weather, etc change things up every year).
If you have dry, flaky skin that doesn’t respond well to over-the-counter products, here’s how I work with mine…might be worth a shot for you:
In addition to drinking plenty of water, eating well, getting moderate exercise, and always wearing SPF when going outdoors for any length of time, dry skin needs two things- moisture, and exfoliation.
Exfoliation is necessary to slough off dead skin cells, so that your skin can absorb that good moisture. But too harsh exfoliation can abrade skin, causing inflammation, scarring, redness, etc.
I found the best exfoliation is to make a baking soda paste (baking soda and a small amount of water), and apply it to my moist face three times a week. Just a few swipes to apply it evenly everywhere (avoiding the eye area), then rinse off with warm water. Dry your face by gently blotting (not rubbing) with a soft, clean towel.
In between exfoliation days, I clean my face by just splashing water on it and blotting dry. Seriously- this is all you need.
One day per week, after cleaning by splashing water on my face, I use a mask (for sensitive skin). My current favorite is Boots “Botanics Ionic Clay Mask”. It’s a clarifying mask designed to deep clean without pulling out what little natural moisture is in your skin. Yay!
(my weekly cheat sheet is Mon- just water, Tues- baking soda scrub, Wed- just water, Thurs- baking soda scrub, Fri- just water, Sat- baking soda scrub, Sun-just water & then a mask)
I use coconut oil is my sole moisturizer. I’ve tried countless over-the-counter moisturizers, and they did a lot of irritating my skin, clogging my pores, and only superficially moisturizing my skin. Coconut oil, on the other hand, I’ve had zero issues with. It absorbs easily and fully (I apply morning after cleansing & evening before bed) and has never cause zits or irritation. I make sure to apply it under my eyes and rubbed into my eyebrows, two dry areas that suffer from my constant eye rubbing (yay allergies).
I apply it directly after washing and patting my face dry, and then I try to avoid touching my face throughout the day.
A note on coconut oil: It absorbs well, but will block anything else from absorbing, so that may affect the appearance of your foundation (depending on what type it is).
That’s it! Simple as pie. Of course, it takes 4 weeks or so after switching to any new routine for your skin to fully adjust, so be open to altering things as needed after that initial adjustment period.