All Women's Talk

7 Things That Make Dry Skin Worse That You May Be Unaware of ...

By Lisa

Ever wonder if some if your tried and true skin care products and practices are some of the things that make dry skin worse? Believe me, I’ve made my share of beauty and skin care mistakes. But the good news is, once you catch your mistake you’re on the road to beauty recovery! If you suffer from dry skin and seem to have tried every trick in the book to try to improve it, check out some of these common things that make dry skin worse so you can avoid them in future.

1 Scrubbing Skin

Scrubbing your skin while cleansing is definitely one of the things that make dry skin worse! In fact, scrubbing any kind of skin can be detrimental to your skin’s health if you’re not in fact using a facial scrub. Be super gentle with your skin and take your time when you cleanse by using soft, circular motions. Scrubbing your face won’t help your in skin in any way and is most likely aggravating any skin conditions you might have.

2 Frequent Hand Washing

During the winter time, I’ll do pretty much whatever it takes to avoid getting a cold so I wash my hands quite often. The downside to having squeaky clean, bacteria-free hands is that they get dry from so much hand washing. Dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Small of Springfield Clinic in Illinois suggests following up every hand washing with an antibacterial lotion so your hands stay hydrated and clean. If you’re not as germ phobic as me, try using a long lasting moisturizer like Gold Bond or Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve.

3 Fragranced Skin Care Products

I love lotions that smell good and while they make feel pretty, they usually don’t do much for my dry skin. Highly fragranced skin care products, whether it’s a lotion or facial cream, has no room in your beauty bag if you want to improve dry skin. The perfume in these skin care products often irritates skin, making dry skin even worse. Stick to fragrance-free products and you’ll notice a difference.

4 Drying Moisturizer

Your eyes do not deceive you: your moisturizer that’s supposed to help keep your skin hydrated and soft can contain ingredients that pulls moisture from your skin. notes that some moisturizers contain humectants which can end up pulling the hydration out of your skin when the weather is dry. In order to counteract this phenomenon, use a moisturizer that contains both humectants and occlusive so you’re sealing in moisture. Look for humectant ingredients like glycerin, AHAs, hyaluronic acid and urea and occlusive ingredients like shea butter or lanolin.

5 Avoiding Exfoliation

I mentioned that scrubbing your skin is bad, but please don’t confuse scrubbing with exfoliating! Exfoliating your skin gets rid of the buildup of dry skin cells so you can moisturize fresh, new skin and definitely should be in your skin care routine. If you avoid exfoliating because of dry skin, you’ll just be trying to moisturize old, dead skin and your new skin underneath won’t get any of the hydration.

6 Using Oil-based Makeup

Oil-based makeup might seem like a good way to keep your skin hydrated, but might be doing you more harm than good if you have dry skin. According to, oil-based makeup can clog up your pores and absorb your skin’s natural moisture as a result. Mineral makeup and tinted moisturizers are thought to be better choices if your facial skin is dry, despite using a hydrating makeup formula.

7 Worrying about Your Skin

Stress plays a huge role in how your skin looks and feels so if your dry skin is constantly on your mind, it might be making it worse! Discovery Fit & Health notes that stress can cause skin to produce the stress hormone cortisol, which can cause an increase in oil production. But, it can also dehydrate the skin and even interfere with its ability to heal itself after it has been damaged. Whether you have oily or dry skin, stress is bad news for your skin. If you have skincare issues, see a professional about it and try your best not to fixate on it which can make it worse.

Were you surprised by some the common things that make dry skin worse? I know I was. I never thought to think about layering a humectant and an occlusive so that’s going to be next on my skincare to-do list. Do you know of other ways that we might be unknowingly making dry skin worse? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


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