How to Get Rid of Dry Skin, STAT

Augusta Falletta
How to Get Rid of Dry Skin, STAT
Photo: Imaxtree

Dry skin—ain’t nobody got time for that. It’s seriously the worst. Dry skin itches, flakes and it makes it way harder to effectively apply makeup. And sometimes products that are labeled especially for dry skin actually make things even worse. Not Cool.

But, just like any other beauty issue we deal with, there are definitely ways to stay on top of the problem. Whether your dry skin is genetic or you’ve got some bad habits you need to let go of, we’ve put together seven of our favorite dry skin remedies that work to give you smooth, hydrated skin.

1. Start using coconut oil

Besides the fact that you’ve already got some in your kitchen and it’s completely natural, coconut oil is one of the best topical treatments for dry skin. When you rub coconut oil into your skin, it’s absorbed very slowly, taking in every last drop of moisture. Plus, if you’ve got eczema or psoriasis, coconut oil helps to calm those conditions, too. It’s a win, win.

MORE: The Absolute 9 Best Facial Moisturizers for Every Skin Type

2. Quit the steamy showers

Much like heat styling can dry out and damage your hair, long, steamy showers can really dry out your skin. This doesn’t mean you need to take cold showers in the morning, though. It simply means that warm showers—not hot—will dramatically improve the amount of moisture that stays in your skin.

3. You need to exfoliate

Many people with dry skin believe that exfoliating does more harm than good, but dry, dull skin needs to be buffed away from the surface so that fresh, clean skin can shine. Look for exfoliants that are gentle and small, as opposed to harsh and large, to use on your face. Exfoliate two to three times per week for optimal results.

4. Take 1 teaspoon of flaxseed oil each day 

Rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, it helps hydrate the skin, bringing your dry, flaky skin moisture from within. You can also take capsules of flaxseed oil if you prefer, but your body will absorb it more easily in pure oil form.

5. Ditch the bar soap

Plain white bar soap is just about the most drying agent you can put on your skin, so if you’ve already got dry skin, switch to a body or face wash that’s moisturizing as well as cleansing.

MORE: Your Excuse to Not Wear SPF on Your Face Ends With These Sunscreens

6. Don’t skip moisturizing

Many of us (dry skin or otherwise) will skip the moisturizing step of the beauty routine. Whether it’s because it takes longer, or you don’t like the feel of lotion on your legs or anything else, skipping moisturizer when you’ve got dry skin shouldn’t even be an option. Use a spray alternative to lotion if you want something quicker, or a body oil for something a bit more heavy-duty.

7. Obvious, but necessary: Drink more water

If you’re more bias towards coffee or adult beverages than water, you’re likely drying out your skin. Coffee is a diuretic, which means it causes your body to lose fluids, while alcohol is dehydrating in every way possible. All in all, you should be upping the amount of water you drink per day to at least eight glasses, so that your skin can be hydrated from the inside out.

Originally published August 2013. Updated July 2017.