Welcome to Getting Into Beauty where we talk beauty tips and tricks from the Redenim world.
I want to be real with y’all for a minute. I suffer from really dry skin. If I’m being honest, I also have dry hair, nails, my face is dry…. but yeah, dry skin is a huge problem for me.
And the reason I want to talk about it isn’t just because dry skin looks bad, but it’s honestly very uncomfortable for me under clothes and is particularly pronounced in the winter months.
And I know I’m not alone in this. Dry skin is a widespread problem that everyone is talking about. Given my struggle, I’ve developed a quick, simple, and inexpensive routine to combat dry skin without a million products or hours spent coddling my skin. And because we here at Redenim believe style and beauty go hand-in-hand, I wanted to share it with you!
Here is my exact routine for treating and preventing dry skin plus an unexpected shaving lifehack for razor bump-free shaving. Check out the video or read more after the jump.
Quick note before we get into it: if you have severely dry skin or suffer from allergies or skin conditions such as eczema, please consult with your doctor or health care provider for a routine that will work for you.
Right on, getting into it…
I have a morning routine for managing my dry skin that I go through every day and will explain in a minute, but maintaining healthy skin starts with something that everyone should be doing throughout the day and that is hydrating!
Part 1: Hydration
This is pretty obvious.
We think of dehydration as being a summer or warmer weather problem when the reality is you’re just as likely to suffer dehydration in the winter months.
Dehydration in the winter is marked by two things that we almost always associate with cold temperatures: dry skin and chapped lips. If you suffer either of those regularly, it’s a good indication you’re not drinking enough water.
This happens for a couple reasons.
First, you lose fluids through sweating and in colder, dryer winter air, your sweat evaporates faster than in warm weather so much so that you might not even realize it’s happening, especially if you’re bundled up.
You also lose more fluid from breathing in colder weather. You know when you can see your breath as a big cloud in the cold? Yeah, that’s precious water leaving your system and more of it is lost in cold, dry air than in warmer, more humid air.
Another important thing to know is that your thirst response is actually diminished in colder weather up to 40% so you’re less likely to voluntarily drink throughout the day. Once you know that, you can actively manage your fluid intake to ensure you’re getting enough even if you don’t feel thirsty.
Drinking enough water (not soda or juice) is key. The amount of water you should drink in a day depends on a lot of factors such as your weight and level of activity, but a good rule of thumb is 2 liters per day.
Important to note, limiting alcohol consumption is also a good idea. Or at the very least, you want to make sure you’re still drinking plenty of water while enjoying a beverage — or two — to stay hydrated and, frankly, beat the hangover.
We all know this, but the reason is actually pretty interesting. Even though alcoholic beverages are technically liquid, they are dehydrating because your body will flush itself with stored fluid to clear out excess alcohol and sugar resulting in faster dehydration than if you were to drink the equivalent amount in water.
Part 2: The Routine
Ok, now that we’ve got hydration covered, let’s get into my actual routine. I do this every morning to heal and prevent dry skin throughout the day.
Step 0: I do this before anything else including reaching for coffee or hopping in the shower, I have an 8 ounce glass of water. Hydration!
Ok, actual step 1: Dry brushing. Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like and I do this for about 10 minutes before hopping in the shower. Using a dry, natural bristle brush, I brush over my skin in small circles starting from my legs to my arms and moving upwards to my core avoiding sensitive areas from the neck up. I use a brush that I found at my grocery store with a long handle for reaching my back.
Why dry? Dry brushing creates more friction than a wet brush which is what we need to sweep the skin of dead cells, toxins, and to move fluids through the lymphatic system. Dry brushing is fantastic for exfoliation and lymphatic drainage.
I’m going to be real with y’all. The benefits that I’ve personally seen in my practice is reduced flakiness in the skin, a reduction in stretch marks around my thighs where I’m prone to them, cellulite reduction, and an overall tightness and resilience in looser areas like my belly.
I like to clean my brush once a week in a warm water soak with a drop of tea tree oil, mild shampoo, and a good rinse which helps keep it soft and sterile.
I’ve never experienced any extreme irritation with dry brushing but this may not necessarily be for everyone so if you’ve never dry brushed before, feel it out first to make sure you don’t have any extreme reactions to it.
Here’s an additional resource on dry brushing to explain the benefits a little more as well as how to actually do it.
Step 2: I hop in the shower. I set my water temperature a little cooler than hot. Not cold, but not that satisfying scalding hot that’s super tempting in colder weather.
Hot water is notorious for drying out skin and can set you back in your routine so it’s important to not over-do it with the heat.
I also use a mild, unscented body wash that’s formulated for dry skin. My go-to is CeraVe hydrating body wash which is gentle and has no scent. While added fragrances are known to cause allergic reactions in some people and can result in dry skin, I prefer scent-free products mostly because I don’t want a body wash to clash with my signature perfume scents. I also tend to get bored with scented body washes or lotions if I’m using them every day for a few weeks so having scentless options prevents that.
Side note on shaving practices, and a bit of a life hack for you: I also find that shaving cream dries out my skin and I flat out hate the way most of them smell. Instead, I use Shave Butter from Dollar Shave Club which is actually formulated like hair conditioner.
And If I don’t have that, I will just use, well, a gentle hair conditioner! Obviously conditioner doesn’t foam up, but it provides a soft, fluid barrier between your razor and skin that results in a closer, cleaner shave with fewer instances of razor bumps and irritation.
Shaving at the end of the shower also means your skin is softer and easier to maneuver around with a blade. Never shave immediately after hopping in the shower!
Step 3: After I hop out I gently pat dry with a clean towel. Immediately after drying off, I apply moisturizer all over and this happens in two steps with two products. It’s important to do this right out of the shower to lock in any water your skin has absorbed while you were in there.
First I go over everything with lotion. My go to is CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion which is oil free, contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides for skin resilience, and has no scent. It’s weightless, doesn’t feel sticky, and absorbs quickly.
This is actually so mild, I use this on my face as well but that routine is a whole other post.
After lotion I follow up on problem areas such as my ankles, knees, hips, and elbows with CeraVe Moisturizing Cream which packs a little bit more of a punch than lotion for these delicate spots.
I recommend combining a lotion with a cream for a moisture barrier that holds up throughout the day for severely dry skin.
Once I’m all lotion’d up, I’ll let it absorb for about 5 minutes before getting dressed for the day. I’ll throw on a loose robe or wrap a dry towel around myself so I’m not rolling around my apartment in the buff, although I won’t say that doesn’t happen from time to time. Freedom!
And that’s it! When I started this routine, I noticed longer lasting hydrated skin almost immediately with no need to reapply during the day and no indication of drying out by bed time.
Consistency is key to heal and maintain dry skin so making this part of your routine will ensure that you’ll beat year-round dry skin whether you contend with extreme flakiness during the winter or just want your skin to look smooth and healthy in the summer.
Best of luck in your battle! We hope you enjoyed these tips.