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Dry, flaky, scaly facial skin is not something you can simply cover up with makeup. In fact, foundation and powder will only accentuate dry skin as well as fine lines and wrinkles, making it more obvious to others. The only way to get rid of dry skin is to treat the cause. If you're experiencing dry skin, and want to learn how to treat it overnight - keep reading! But first, in order to treat the dry skin on your face, you have to determine whether it is truly dry, or just dehydrated.

How to Diagnose Your Dry Skin

Dry skin is a skin type, and is more common as the skin ages. Take a look at your skin. Does it look oily? Does it ever look oily on the surface or protective barrier? We all have natural oils in our skin, however, if the answer is no, then your skin is dry. It is prone to feeling tight, dry and sensitive. You can also have underlying skin conditions like clogged pores or flaky skin, which are dead skin cells . Dry skin is less prone to acne breakouts as it lacks sebum (oil), but it can be more sensitive than other skin types because of a weakened skin barrier. Since dry skin is low in sebum, it must be replenished with oil in order to heal.

If you have dry skin, you can dramatically improve it overnight by taking these steps:

3 Tips to Cure Dry Skin Overnight

1. Use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser to remove dirt and makeup

It’s necessary to have a skincare routine that is formulated for your specific type and issues. Start by cleansing your skin to fully remove dirt, toxins and makeup from your skin everyday. However, many cleansers can exacerbate dry skin, especially if they contain Sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). If you have dry skin, you need to use a sulfate-free cleanser so that you won’t dry out your skin.

2. Use a face oil

Gently pat your skin dry after washing your face. Immediately apply an intensive face oil. If you do not have a face oil, even olive oil from your kitchen will help in a pinch. Dry skin lacks sebum, and the only way to restore it is by putting oil back into your skin. Face Oils are designed to do just that.

3. Use a thick moisturizer

Once you’ve applied your face oil, follow it with a rich, more viscous moisturizer, perhaps one with shea butter or ceramides. Do not worry about massaging it in completely. It is ok for there to be a layer of lotion on your skin. You may want to sleep with a towel on your pillow to protect your sheets. You really want to deeply moisturize your skin overnight.

How do Diagnose and Cure Dehydrated Skin

If your skin is dehydrated, the previous routine will not cure your dryness. Dehydrated skin is lacks water. The trademark of dehydrated skin is that it will still have oil, so people with dehydrated skin may experience acne and breakouts with surface oil, and have tight, dry skin beneath. Dehydrated skin can also lead to sensitive skin or have underlying issues such as fragrance sensitivities or atopic dermatitis.

Flaky, Oily Skin?

If you are perplexed by your complexion because it is both oily and flaky, your skin is dehydrated. The best way to replenish water to dehydrated skin is to apply humectants like Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin.

1. Take a lukewarm shower

Do not use hot water. Make it as cool as you can tolerate. Gently cleanse your face with a non-foaming cleanser and rinse with warm or cool water.

2. Pat your skin to remove water droplets

As soon as you are out of the shower, make sure to pat your skin in order to remove water droplets, but do not dry it all the way. Your goal is to trap the water from the shower on your skin.

3. Immediately apply a Hyaluronic Acid or Glycerin based Serum

Do this immediately to trap moisture on your skin. By adding humectants you will also help to draw moisture from the air into your skin.

4. Follow with a gel-based, moisturizing face mask, and leave it on overnight

Apply an intensive, gel-based moisturizing mask, preferably one that contains Hyaluronic Acid or Collagen. Leave it on all night long. Again, you can use a towel to protect your sheets if necessary.

How to Cure Both Dry & Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated and dry skin are not mutually exclusive, so it’s also possible to have both issues. Whether you have dehydrated skin dry skin on your face, or if you're looking for advice on how to cure your skin concerns, you’ll want to abide by these simple tips we've compiled for you below.

Tips for Curing Dry or Dehydrated Skin

1. Avoid skin care products that contain alcohol, menthol or fragrance

These ingredients can break down the skin barrier and increase transepidermal water loss (TEWL). They can also sensitize your skin by making it more reactive to allergens and bacteria.

2. Avoid hot water

Avoid prolonged contact with hot water, especially long, hot showers and baths. The heat aggravates dry skin and makes it worse.

3. Avoid SLS, especially if you have hard water

Hard water is not as effective at washing residue off your skin, so products get left behind. Avoid products with sodium laureth sulfate, or any sulfates. These act like detergents and can leave residue that literally dissolves the lipids in your skin, exacerbating dryness. You’ll want to make sure you use a sulfate-free shampoo and body wash. Body washes and shampoo formulated for babies can help neutralize hard water.

4. Do not over-exfoliate

If you must exfoliate, chemical exfoliation is always preferable. While exfoliating will address dead skin cells and dry patches, try to avoid scrubbing your skin with harsh exfoliants that contain particles and microbeads. This will only irritate your skin and make it less effective at holding in essential moisture. If you're not sure what to do, you can always consult a dermatologist.

5. Invest in a humidifier

Ambient humidity has a major effect on the moisture levels of your skin. Low humidity can affect more than just hydration, reducing elasticity and increasing wrinkles as well. Sleeping in an air-conditioned room can also skin issues due to the dry air.

6. Drink lots of water

You may hear this advice so much that it loses its meaning, but the truth is, water intake can improve skin density. It’s possible that the thicker and healthier your skin, the lower your rate of TEWL (transepidermal water loss), so drinking water really will help with skin hydration.

Now you know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, and you have all the tools you need in order to promote a soft, healthy and glowing complexion overnight.