7 Ways You Might Be Drying Out Your Skin

by Sienna Fantozzi

Everyone has a unique skin type — dry, oily, combination — but if you have really dry skin, genetics may not necessarily be to blame. There are several things you could be doing, inadvertently, of course, that are drying out your skin, and if you're doing anything on this list, you're going to want to change it before your dry skin causes more problems, like acne or fine lines/wrinkles.

Even if you have the best intentions of caring for your skin, you could be doing other things in your daily life, things not even related to skincare, that are causing excessive dryness. If you are normally combination, normal, or oily, you might be freaking out as to why all of a sudden your skin is so dry. Further, if you already have dry skin to begin with, then you know that you definitely don't want it to get any drier — tight, flaky skin is no fun at all. There are certainly things beyond our control, such as the weather, but there are also things you can definitely curb or change to help mitigate skin dryness.

These seven common things are known for drying out skin, so if any of them are routine for you, your skin type may not actually be to blame.

1. Using Harsh Cleansers

CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion, $8, Amazon

If you're routinely using acne cleansers, bar soap, or any other rough-on-skin washes, it could cause excessive dryness. The main ingredients in acne cleansers are glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid, which can lift natural oil from the skin, so try using these cleansers less often, maybe a few times a week, and use a moisturizer to help restore hydration.

2. Washing With Hot Water

The last thing you want to do in the winter is blast your face with cold water, but rinsing with hot water can dry your skin out. If you can't handle cold water, at least use lukewarm.

3. Not Putting Moisturizer On Immediately After Washing

Ponds Bio Hydratante Light Hydrating Cream, $13, Walgreens

Don't wash your face and get distracted by other things. “The best time to apply moisturizer is right after a wash when skin is damp, so you trap the moisture on its surface,” said dermatologist Karen Kim. You want to maximize your hydration, so put your moisturizer on immediately after washing.

4. Blasting The Heater

Pure Enrichment Humidifer, $40, Amazon

The heat inside your house/apartment is definitely drying, but it's essential in the winter. The solution? Get a humidifier to help add some moisture back into the air.

5. Drinking

A night of drinking is going to cause way more than a massive hangover. Alcohol is extremely dehydrating, so over time, it can cause chronic dry skin. You don't have to quit drinking for good, but everything in moderation, and make sure to drink extra water when consuming alcohol.

6. Traveling

Flying is notorious for causing dry skin and breakouts due to the moisture-free and recirculated air in the plane. If you fly often and experience dry skin, this could be the culprit, so next time you're taking a flight, drink a lot of water and using a hydrating moisturizer.

7. Wearing Matte Lipstick

Burt's Bees, $10, Walgreens

Do you have chapped lips all the time? Your lipstick could be to blame. Matte and long-wear lipsticks dry out your lips, so if you don't want to skimp on wearing them altogether, exfoliate first, then moisturize with a soothing lip balm before putting your lipstick on.

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Images: Fotolia; Amazon; Drugstore; Pexels