Everyone's skin type is different, so it's pretty obvious that a face wash that works for one skin type may not work for another. And then there's dry skin. Sometimes itchy, sometimes flaky, and generally tight, finding the right face washes for dry skin is a task, to say the least.
And since cleansing the face with the wrong kind of formula can strip the skin's natural oils away, a lot of people with dry skin consider skipping face wash to be the answer to all their problems. But is that the case? Of course not! Just because you have dry skin, doesn't mean your skin is immune to all the grime, dirt, and impurities your face garners during the day. But cleansing the skin can often cause more harm than good for dry skin.
Basically, dry skin is a result of low sebum levels in your skin. When the skin’s sebaceous glands aren't as active, they produce very less oil and dry out the skin. This is an annoying process that you essentially have no control over, and most cleansers on the market don't help.
Since they are created to remove the oil and dirt from your skin, they can be a little harsh on dry skin — which is also infamous for being sensitive — and strip off the skin's natural oils. So what do you do then, when it seems like even your ride-or-die products aren't on your team?
Luckily, we've got you covered. We've figured out your complete guide to picking the right kind of face washes for dry skin, so read on ahead and take notes.
What to look for in Your face wash
If you have dry skin, finding a cleanser that’s gentle, that won’t clog pores, and is hydrating is crucial. And there are a few ingredients and criteria that the face wash needs to meet in order to gain the dry skin stamp of approval. Here's what you need to look for in your face wash if you have dry skin.
1. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is a solid skincare ingredient through and through. A great humectant, the ingredient manages to draw moisture from the atmosphere and locks it into the skin. Plus, it has great water retention capacity, meaning that your skin is going to experience all the hydration, stay clean, and not dry out anytime soon.
Similar to hyaluronic acid, glycerin is also a humectant. Acting similarly, the ingredient manages to balance dehydrated skin without making it feel oily or greasy. Glycerin basically strengthens the skin's moisture barrier, increases skin hydration, and protects the skin from environmental irritants. It's also non-comedogenic, and won't block out your pores, making this a solid ingredient to look for in face washes when you have dry skin.
Apart from anti-ageing benefits, ceramides are also extremely hydrating for the skin. By creating a barrier to prevent permeability, the ingredient manages to lock in moisture into the skin, thereby helping prevent dryness, irritation, and environmental damage too. When included in a cleanser, ceramides can strengthen the barrier and prevent water loss, so you can rest assured that a ceramide-based cleanser will do wonders to revive dry skin.
4. Aloe vera
We're just going to say it — out of all the natural skincare ingredients, aloe vera may just be our fave. Aloe vera has healing and hydrating properties, and is an ideal choice for dry skin since it provides the skin with adequate moisture. Apart from its intense hydrating properties, the ingredient also contains soothing and softening properties, so if you have trouble with flakiness, sensitivity, and itchiness along with your dry skin — an aloe-based face wash may just be your holy grail.
Niacinamides are being talked about quite a bit, and it's all good news! The ingredient can improve skin texture and strengthen the protective barrier function of the skin, which then helps reduce dryness. It does so by increasing natural lipids found on the skin surface and reducing water loss, meaning goodbye dry skin!
6. pH-balancing properties
You need to pick a cleanser that is pH balancing! Your skin has a thin protective layer on the top called an acid mantle. It contains sebum that mixes with lactic acid and amino acids from the sweat to create the skin’s pH, which is around 5.5 (slightly acidic). An ideal cleanser should not strip your skin of its natural pH, so always look for face washes that balance out your pH.
What to avoid in your face wash
Sometimes, knowing what to avoid is more helpful than knowing what to look out for. Here are the top few culprits that dry out your skin when you wash your face with cleansers that contain them.
1. Salicylic Acid
While salicylic acid has its place in the skincare world and works really well for oily skin, face washes containing them can often do more harm than good. These cleansers can have a drying effect, since they encourage exfoliation, peeling, and cell turnover. This can cause your face to dry out even more than normal, and even make your skin peel — so steer clear of face washes with salicylic acid if you have dry skin.
Fragrances are another big no-no for people with dry skin — especially when you throw sensitive skin in the mix too! While fragrances make for a very tiny percentage of a product, they can aggravate skin conditions for people with sensitive skin or existing skin issues, causing irritation and flakiness. It makes dryness even worse, so avoid face washes with fragrances at all costs.
Here's another baddie right here! Alcohol literally sucks all the water from within the skin, dehydrating it in the process, thus managing to negatively effect the skin barrier function. This can create irritation, redness, sensitivity and even eczema on the skin. If you have dry skin and see a face wash with alcohol in it, do yourself a favour and run in the opposite direction instead!
Parabens are a beauty baddie if there ever was one, and for good reason. When it comes to dry skin, these baddies can elevate cellular level damage caused by UV exposure, over-sensitise the skin, and may even result in contact dermatitis, which is a serious type of skin inflammation characterised by rashes, blisters, and burning skin. People with dry skin have it bad enough, we don't need this in our lives! Always look for a parabens-free face wash to keep your skin safe.