Cleansing dry skin doesn't have to yield a tight, flaky mess. The right products leave your complexion both clean and soft. Choosing a cleanser for dry skin can feel like a trade-off. You might believe you can have either clean, clear skin or moist, soft skin, but not both.
People with dry skin are keenly aware of the myriad ways cleansers affect their delicate skin. Some have even abandoned cleansing altogether. But you don't have to choose between healthy skin and clean skin. A number of brands make excellent products that won't strip dry skin of too much protective oil.
Why Cleansing Can Be a Problem for Dry Skin
Your skin is lubricated by an oil called 'sebum', but people with dry skin tend to produce less sebum than others. Skin conditions such as eczema may also play a role in dry skin, either causing the dryness or worsening a pre-existing case.
So what does all of this have to do with cleansing? Most cleansers are formulated to strip the skin of excess oil and dirt. That's why your skin may feel tight or squeaky-clean after a cleansing session.
Some cleansers, especially those targeted towards oily or acne-prone skin, are harsher than others, but any cleanser has the potential to become drying. Companies that make cleansers for dry skin aim to compensate by packing their products with moisturising ingredients that offset the harsh detergents.
The Best Cleansers for Dry Skin
Cleansing oils also restore your skin's moisture balance by adding natural oils such as jojoba. Try L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil for a gentle introduction to the world of oil-based cleansers.
If you're not ready to try cleansing oils, your skin is only moderately dry, or you have combination skin, try a moisturising cleanser instead. These products are like a shampoo and conditioner in one, but for your face. Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser 185ml is a great skin-friendly option.
Blogger-Recommended Cleansers for Dry Skin
One of our go-tos for skincare for dry skin, Blogger Karima McKimmie of Shameless Fripperies is the queen of the flawless complexion. She's shared the evening makeup-removal routine that ensures clean and unclogged skin in her Get Unready With Me + Updated Skincare Routine video. Karima explains just how important it is to dedicate an adequate amount of time to makeup removal to keep skin looking fresh.
Karima's routine is thorough but not over the top. If you need any more convincing that complete cleansing is worth the extra time and effort, simply look at her clear, smooth skin!
We spotted some of our favourite products in Karima’s video:La Roche-Posay Lipikar Syndet Cleansing Cream-Gel 400ml andBioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution 250ml.
How to Reduce Discomfort After Cleansing For Dry Skin
It's not just the cleanser that matters, but also how you cleanse. To reduce the drying effects of your daily cleansing ritual, try the following tips for cleansing dry skin:
Don't cleanse more often than needed. Most people with dry skin can get away with a once-daily cleansing, either immediately before bed or after taking off your makeup.
Try using a gentle micellaire cleanser to help with dry skin in the mornings, such as the Bioderma Hydrabio H2O Solution Micellaire Cleanser
Moisturise your skin immediately after cleansing as well as after showering.
If your skin is very dry, consider pre-moisturising before cleansing, to add an additional protective layer to your skin.
You can also try using a cleansing oil for this. You'll still need to moisturise after cleansing.
Run a humidifier in your home, particularly during the dry winter months.
Lower the temperature of your showers, or take only short showers, since hot water can strip your skin of vital moisture.
Speaking of - don't wash your face in the shower!
By cleansing afterward, you can control which products are making it to your face (no shampoo or conditioner on your face!) and you can easily control the temperature of the water.