How to Get Rid of Dry, Flaky Skin Overnight

Anyone who’s experienced the discomfort of dry, flaky skin on their face or body wants a fix, and fast. Below you’ll find a brief list of dry skin dos and don’ts, all supported by published research. Read on to find out how to get rid of dry patches on your face, body, and lips.

What to Do for Dry Flaky Skin

Know that dry skin is a skin type, not a temporary or seasonal condition. Because of this, you should use products designed to tackle dry, flaky skin all year round. If you are wondering how to get rid of dry skin on your face overnight it is important to remember that there is not always a quick fix. Consistently using well-formulated skincare products designed for your skin type is the best way to get smoother, more hydrated skin.

Know which skincare ingredients best help boost and/or retain moisture:

  • Hyaluronic acid is present in your skin naturally—plus, as a skincare ingredient, it’s proven capable of holding up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It’s an ideal hydrator for excessively dry skin (and can also help dehydrated skin).
  • Ceramides are lipids (aka fats) that naturally comprise over 50% of skin’s surface. One of their main functions is to prevent moisture loss, so—like hyaluronic acid—they’re virtually unmatched as skincare ingredients when it comes to helping get rid of flaky, dry skin. Ceramides can literally smooth, revive, and secure surface skin cells that would otherwise look dried out.
  • AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid not only exfoliate to remove the top layers of dead, dry skin, but also increase skin’s ability to hold on to vital hydration, easing future signs of dryness. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and can be the fastest way to smoother skin, making it a good option if you are wondering how to get rid of peeling skin on your face fast.
  • Nourishing, non-fragrant plant oils like jojoba, safflower, and sunflower (among a long list of others) can work wonders for moisturising flaky skin on your face that won't heal. But make sure you know the difference between soothing plant oils and fragrant essential oils, which are harsh, irritating, and drying. When in doubt, let our online ingredients dictionary be your guide.
  • Omega fatty acids are also weightless hydrators for dry, flaky skin, with their ability to calm and soothe sensitivity and to reinforce skin’s surface.

How to Soothe Dry, Flaky Skin

To get rid of dry skin, it’s essential to pay close attention to ingredient lists, to swap out products to those more suitable for dry and flaky skin if needed, and perhaps to change some ingrained behaviours—but your newly soft, plumper-looking, smoother-feeling skin will be well worth the effort:

  • Don’t put any fragranced products on your skin (yes, that includes lip and body products). Fragrance is the number one cause of sensitised skin.
  • Don’t use products containing sensitising ingredients like denatured alcohol, essential oils, mint, menthol, and eucalyptus.
  • Don’t use products containing clays and starches; these absorbents won’t damage your skin, but they can be drying if your skin isn’t oily.
  • Don’t use abrasive scrubs to exfoliate; rather, use a gentle leave-on product that invisibly, effortlessly sloughs dead skin. This will allow your moisturising products to absorb more fully and work more effectively.
  • Don’t use very hot water; we know, a hot bath or shower feels perfect in winter, but cooling the temperature a bit will help prevent uncomfortable dryness and flaking. Post-shower, apply a layer of soothing, emollient lotion. If your skin is very dry or even scaly, try a luxuriously thick body butter loaded with non-fragrant, plant-based oils and butters.
  • Don’t use bar soap or bar cleansers, even on your body. Rather, switch to a hydrating cream or oil cleanser. The ingredients that keep soaps and bar cleansers in bar form can leave a residue on skin that keeps your moisturisers from doing their job.

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References for this information:
Skin Research and Technology, August 2015, pages 366–372 Clinical Cosmetic Investigative Dermatology, August 2015, pages 413–421 Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Tisserand, R., Young, R., Elsevier Ltd., 2014, pages 69–98 Journal of Clinical and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, October 2014, pages 2473–2483 Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, July 2014, pages 177–184 Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, June 2014, pages 25–32 Archives of Dermatological Research, March 2013, pages 151–162 Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2012, pages 20–23; and March 2009, pages 38–43

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