How to treat dry skin with your skincare routine 

Vanessa Gibbs

Those of us with dry skin, know we have dry skin. It feels tight, sore, irritated and it may even look dull, red or flaky, too. Dry skin can range from something that simply affects the look of how makeup sits on the skin to something more severe where discomfort and dryness start impacting our day-to-day life. 

But thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do from home to help ease the feeling and appearance of dry skin. Getting the right skincare routine is one of them. 

At Face Dr, our team of experts have worked with hundreds of clients with all kinds of skin types, including dry skin. We also know just how daunting the skincare world can be when you don’t know where to start, especially if you’re concerned about aggravating already irritated skin. To help, we’ve rounded up what your skincare routine should be if you have dry skin.

woman with clear skin

Want to skip the research and get an expert-approved routine made just for you? We offer free online skincare consultations where you can do just that. Our experts can analyse your skin, assess just how dry it is and then build the ideal skincare routine to help. 

While finding the right routine and products can go a long way to treating dry skin, severe cases may need some extra help, so be sure to speak with a skincare expert who can refer you to a medical professional if needed. 


Here’s what we’ll cover: 

  • What dry is 
  • Products you should use for dry skin 
  • Products you should to avoid for dry skin 
  • Which skincare products to use for dry skin 

Want to find out more about dry skin? We’ve covered the best in-clinic treatments and how much treating dry skin will cost

What is dry skin? 


Before we dive into the routine, how do you know if you have dry skin? Most of us can easily tell. Your skin may feel tight, especially after cleansing or showering, and you may notice dry or flaky patches, or even red and cracked areas in more serious cases. 

Most of the time, dry skin is simply a skin type. Whereas some people have oily, combination or normal skin, a portion of us have dry skin. Other times, dry skin can be caused by something in our lifestyle or environment like: 

  • Overly harsh skincare products and makeup 
  • Heat from central heating or hot water
  • Cold, dry weather 
  • Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis
  • Health conditions like diabetes or hypothyroidism 

Skincare routine to treat dry skin  

woman applying skincare product for dry skin

Luckily, the right skincare routine can work wonders on dry skin. Here’s a deep dive into what to avoid, what to go for and what exactly you should be using every day and week in your skincare routine. 

Products to avoid 


Harsh products can actually cause dry skin or make an existing condition worse, so be sure to avoid strong chemicals, alcohol and  fragrances. Astringents, which remove oil from the skin, may be great for oily skin types, but for those with dry skin they can dry the skin out even more.  

Products to go for 


Look for products which are designed especially for dry skin. As it’s a common skin type, this isn’t too hard, though those with more severe cases may want to speak with a skincare professional to get tailored recommendations to suit them. 

Many brands out there have moisturisers, cleansers, serums and other products for dry skin that are hydrating and gentle. Opt for high-grade brands with top notch ingredients for the best results. 

Speaking of ingredients, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, botanical extracts and vitamins are your friends. These all provide a hydrating boost to the skin and work to reduce dryness and rebuild your skin’s moisture barrier to decrease its sensitivity and dryness overtime. 

Which skincare products to use for dry skin 

woman applying mask for dry skin


The first step in any skincare routine is the cleanser, especially at night when you want to remove makeup and dirt build-up from the day. Avoid soaps and cleansing wipes, which can irritate and dry out the skin. Depending on how dry and sensitive your skin is, you may want to avoid foaming cleansers, too. Instead, choose a balm or cream cleanser and wash your face morning and night with warm—not hot—water. 

Product to try: ZO Skin Health Hydrating Cleanser 


Those of us with dry skin need to be careful with toners. Many toners on the market contain alcohol or other drying ingredients, so be sure to opt for one made with dry skin in mind. Rebalancing and hydrating toners are ideal, as are those that come in ranges made specifically for dry skin. 

Product to try: PCA Skin Hydrating Toner £12 


Though it can be tempting to slather dry skin with moisturiser, it’s again important to opt for the right type of product. Look for a cream-based thick moisturiser rather than a lotion and be sure to apply with a gentle touch to avoid rubbing and pulling at the skin. 

Product to try: ZO Skin Health Hydrating Creme 


Serums are great for adding a concentrated dose of ingredients for a hydrating boost. They can also help to heal the cause of extra dry skin and reduce irritation. Opt for an oil-based serum and, if your skin is especially dry, avoid any which are overly exfoliating and instead opt for those which focus on hydration and healing. 

Product to try: iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum £50 


Depending on just how dry and irritated your skin is, exfoliating regularly can help to remove dry flaky patches and revitalise dull looking complexions. However, be sure to opt for a gentle exfoliator and start using it just once or twice a week, if it’s a daily product. Some people may find that physical exfoliators are too harsh on their skin and gentle AHAs are better, whereas others find chemicals too drying so opt for a gentle physical exfoliator instead. It’s all trial and error, so be sure to patch test.  

Product to try: ZO Skin Health Exfoliating Polish 


A once or twice a week mask treatment not only feels indulgent, but it can help to deliver an extra dose of hydration to your skin. Opt for those with hydrating ingredients to lock in moisture and again be sure to check for overly harsh chemicals or strong exfoliants.  

Product to try: iS Clinical Hydra-Intensive Cooling Mask £70


Sunscreen is an important step in any skincare routine as the sun’s UV rays can cause all kinds of unwanted effects on the skin, including dryness. Be sure to use a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection with at least an SPF of 30. And remember it’s not just for the summer, protect your skin year round. 

Product to try: ZO Skin Health Broad Spectrum SPF 50 


Need help choosing the right products? 

Face Dr expert giving skincare consultation for dry skin

Ready to find the right skincare routine to tackle your dry skin? Our skin experts are on hand to help with a free online skincare consultation. With years of experience in the industry, our team at Face Dr can help figure out the severity of your dry skin and what products to use in your skincare routine to help. 

On a 30-minute video call, they’ll be able to analyse your skin, determine just how dry it is and give you tailored recommendations for a routine. 

Whether you need to build an entire routine from scratch, or you already have a few favourite products and simply want to upgrade with some new treatments, our team can help to build the perfect routine. With the right products, you can tackle dryness, heal irritation and get your skin hydrated, healthy and glowing. 

Plus, if you have any other skincare concerns along with dryness—like ageing, acne or hyperpigmentation—our experts can recommend products and a routine to tackle these too. 

We only ever recommend products that we know and trust, so you know you’ll be investing in something that actually works. 

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