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Post in Dry Skin

Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

I’ve had very dry skin on my face for years. I have tried many exfoliants to get the dead skin off my face, and moisturizers, and either nothing helps, or it doesn’t last for long. Can you please recommend something I can try? It’s hard to put my makeup on because my face cracks and peels! Help!😩

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

I found that no matter how good a moisturizer is, make sure before beginning the product layering that the skin isn't dried out. When I need to maximize the skin recovery, I NEED to make sure I have damp skin after cleansing, apply a thick toner/ essence, a serum and THEN lock it all in with the moisturizer (+face oil if you want and, of course, SPF for daytime).
> There are good options for each step that don't have harsh exfoliants to make sure you don't hurt your skin again while it recovers.
> BUT not all actives/ acids are bad when skin is damaged - some are helpful for skin healing. I love The Ordinary Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension Brightening Cream to calm my skin, and Lactic acid based serums are amazing for skin repair - I love the Drunk Elephant Anytime, Anyface Lactic Acid Serum + Protini Moisturizer Duo - both products are amazing. I have tried the Sunday Riley Good Genes Win-Win AHA Lactic Acid Duo as well and that worked a treat on my skin too. A couple of others I used and love are not at Sephora (ask is you want to know what ones they are).
Moisturizers I have tried and tested for skin rescue: Farmacy Honey Halo Ultra-Hydrating Ceramide Moisturizer , Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Refillable Face Cream 3 oz / 90 ml , belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb Hydrating Moisturizer With Squalane , CLINIQUE Moisture Surge™ 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator Moisturizer , DAMDAM Mochi Mochi Luminous Plumping & Hydrating Moisturizer 1.8 oz / 50 g , First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair® Cream Intense Hydration , Drunk Elephant Protini™ Polypeptide Firming Refillable Moisturizer 1.69 oz/ 50 mL , Tatcha The Dewy Skin Cream Plumping & Hydrating Moisturizer 

I will say, no matter what moisturizer you pick, the damp skin + a couple of hydrating layering (like in Korean and Japanese skincare) works beautifully for dry, damage prone skin - whether you use super high end or more budget friendly moisturizer options.
* Make sure you work out for your own skin's needs what you need to dial back on and what actives help skin recovery one at a time to make sure you don't damage your skin more.

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

@JLynn1228  If you've had very dry flaky skin for years and you've never seen a board certified dermatologist or your primary care doctor about it, I recommend you do that if you can. You might have a skin condition that needs diagnosing and treatment. 


Meanwhile, I've got a few other suggestions: 


  • Wear broad spectrum sunscreen, minimum SPF 30, on all skin exposed to sunlight, all year long, regardless of weather or season. UV rays can worsen dry flaky skin. I mean the sun can worsen all skin regardless of its condition, but especially skin that's already damaged. Do you use sunscreen each day your skin's exposed to sunlight? 

  • Resist the urge to exfoliate flakes off your face. Flaky skin's often a sign of a broken skin barrier. Exfoliating a broken barrier makes the damage worse. Instead, focus on healing your skin: stop all exfoliation until your skin's in better shape. Then you can restart exfoliating, but do it just 1-3 times a week and never twice on the same day. 

  • Roll your skincare routine back to basics: gentle cleanser (PM, optional AM), occlusive moisturizer (AM & PM), and sunscreen (AM). What's your current routine (brands + product names)? 

  • Apply moisturizer to damp skin. This will help seal in hydration instead of dryness. When you reach your moisturizer step, tap a little water on your face first. Your skin doesn't need to be soaking wet, just damp. You can also use a hydrating mist if you want; my personal favorites for my mostly-dry combo and reactive skin are COSRX Centella Water Alcohol-Free Toner and Timeless HA Matryxl 3000 w/Cucumber Spray

  • See a dermatologist. I know I already mentioned this but seriously, see a doc about your skin if you can. You might just have very dry skin because it's not hydrated or moisturized enough, sure. But you could also have something like eczema, rosacea, a type of dermatitis, etc., especially if you've had this problem for years. Learning the root cause can help you figure out how to manage or avoid the issue ongoing. 


Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

Perfect advice - Korean and Japanese toners, essences & sunscreens have SAVED my skin honestly - cannot live without them anymore!

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

Which SPF sunscreen would you suggest? I think it’s also due to my many years of tanning in the past. I fear I ruined my skin. The rest of my body isn’t dry and flaky like my face is. My face is also really red.. didn’t know if it’s because I have sensitive skin from products or something else is going on. Hopefully I get some answers during my appt. 

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

@JLynn1228  Quick BIC tip: be sure to @ the person you reply to on BIC threads, so that person will get a notification. Otherwise they might never see your reply. 


It's never too late to start wearing sunscreen! 🙂 Doesn't matter if the sunscreen's chemical, mineral/physical, or hybrid (both chemical and mineral): they all work largely the same way, and one type's not generally "better," "safer," or "healthier" than the others. Which one's right for you depends a lot on your personal preferences, budget, and skin or eye sensitivities. 


I have a "medium-deep to deep" skin tone and hate the white/grey cast caused by most mineral sunscreens. There are a few mineral sunscreens I can use though: Native Unscented Sunscreen SPF 30 (available at Target and Native's site) and Dermstore Collection Daily Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 (available only at Dermstore's site). Since most US chemical sunscreens make my eyes sting, I sometimes apply one of those 2 mineral sunscreens around my eyes and use a chemical sunscreen everywhere else. 


Most of my sunscreens are chemical ones because they're invisible on my skin. One of my favorites is the popular Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ 2.5 oz/ 73.9 mL which leaves a natural skin finish and can double as a makeup primer. I also like Eucerin Age Defense SPF 50 for its thicker lotion texture: it's less likely to run into my eyes when applied to my eyelids. That sunscreen leaves a moderately shiny skin finish. A very inexpensive but effective option is Trader Joe's Daily Facial Sunscreen SPF 40, touted as an Unseen Sunscreen dupe. This sunscreen's a bit thicker and noticeably shinier/greasier than Unseen Sunscreen, but it's a great low-cost option. La Roche-Posay makes some good sunscreens, particularly their Anthelios line. 


If you want a tinted sunscreen that'll act as a tinted moisturizer or sheer foundation, consider Saie Slip Tint – Lightweight Tinted Moisturizer with Mineral Zinc SPF 35 and Hyaluronic Acid Six (I can't tag it without picking a specific shade), Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 30 2W1 Natural (had to pick a random shade to tag), or NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Marrakesh (sigh... tagging products is so frustrating lately). Just remember that you must apply it generously: there's no such thing as "a little goes a long way" with sunscreen. I've used all 3 of those tinted sunscreens, applying my usual 2-3 fingers of product on my face, and none of them wound up looking like I'd pancaked my face with foundation. 


I hope your dermatologist appointment goes well and yields answers! Your doc might ask what you currently use on your skin, so be sure to make a detailed list of all your skincare products to show them. And remember to ask them any skin, hair, and nails questions you might have (derms cover all those areas): might as well get your money's worth from your appointment while you've got a medical expert's attention. 

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

I made an appointment with dermatologist for next week. I’m thinking I do have something going on. Thank you so much for recommending that.

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

Hi @JLynn1228. What’s your current routine like right now? It could be too much exfoliation causing your skin barrier to be damaged.


As for skin hydration, I really love The INKEY List Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL and SEPHORA COLLECTION All Day Hyaluronic Acid Hydrator Moisturizer on top. If there’s an Asian beauty shop near you or you’re willing to search online for one that ships to you for a decent price, Etude House Soon Jung Cica balm is really great for sealing in moisture without being irritating. 

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

Also, thank you for the products you suggested. I don’t care about the prices as long as it works. Seems like it helps at the time.. my face will be dewy and glowing.. but after an hour or two it will be dry again. My face is eating up all the products. I haven’t been able to wear makeup due to this.

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

I use Kate Somerville cleansers and moisturizers.. I  also use Paula’s Choice, Skinfix peptides, recovery serums… maybe I should try something else.. I heard Dr Dennis was good. I don’t exfoliate everyday.. I’m not trying to ruin my skin barriers.. I made an appt for a dermatologist to see what’s going on

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

@JLynn1228 Thats a great idea. Some dermatology clinics also have aestheticians on site who can help you with skincare routines specific to your skin once you’ve got a diagnosis from the doctor. Not sure if yours does, but it’s worth inquiring. 

Also, Sephora doesn’t automatically inform people when you’ve replied. We usually get around that by using @ to tag them. Otherwise messages can get missed. I’m glad so didn’t miss yours. 🙂

Re: Help! My face is extremely dry. I need a moisturizer

Thank you! I ordered these products! 🤞🏼 

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