11 Mistakes You’re Making That Are Drying Out Your Skin


I was raised by a musician whose hands cracked so severely in the winter, he ­succumbed to crazy glue. That’s not a joke, or an exaggeration. He needed his hands to be well-enforced so he could play guitar on gigs, so he put Krazy Glue on them. Thankfully, my hands are nowhere near that sensitive, but genetics did rear its head with the skin on my face, arms, and legs. It can get super dry and itchy, especially in the colder months, and it makes moisturizing and morning makeup routines a nightmare. If you’ve ever tried to apply a powder foundation over already-dry skin, you know what it’s like to go about your day looking and feeling like a reptile woman constantly who's wondering, why is my skin so dry ?

Dry skin happens for a whole multitude of reasons, some of the most common being harsh weather, hot showers, sun exposure, indoor heating, over-washing, and allergens in your surroundings. The bad news? Some of your go-to products for moisture and hydration might be exacerbating the problem with irritating ingredients that strip the natural oils from your skin. The good news? There are changes you can make to your habits and beauty routine so that your skin stays moisturized and healthy, no matter the cause.

Exfoliate Without Irritating Skin Further With Coffee Scrub

Pure Body Arabica Coffee Scrub, $15, Amazon

It’s imperative to use a scrub with only natural ingredients, like this Organic Arabica Coffee Scrub. Instead of irritating perfumes and additives, it has ingredients like grape seed, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and cacao extract, so not only does it remove the dead skin on the surface, but it nurtures and moisturizes the new skin underneath. In the middle of the winter, some people reach straight for the exfoliant, but it’s important to realize that if your skin is dry and flaking, it’s probably because it’s already agitated.

Don't Use Just Any Toner, Soothe Your Face With Argan Oil

RejuveNaturals Organic Argan Oil, $15, Amazon

Commercial toners might even out your skin, but they also contain ingredients like alcohol and synthetic astringents, which suck all the moisture right out of your pores. RejuveNaturals Argan Oil moisturizes skin without any alcohol, parabens, preservatives, or fragrances. It’s packed with vitamins and antioxidants to keep skin clear, even, and hydrated without feeling particularly heavy or greasy. It’s also 100 percent USDA-certified organic, so you know it’s the good stuff.

Add Humidity Back Into The Equation

Avalon Ultrasonic Humidifier, $70, Amazon

Indoor heating is one of the biggest blessings of the modern age, but it can be really tough on your body. This Utrasonic Humidifier adds moisture back into the air, so your skin (and, added bonus: your sinuses) won’t dry out while your heat is cranked way up. Unlike most brands, it’s sleek and easy to clean, and it comes with a built-in aroma diffuser for your essential oils. Also, no big deal, but it changes colors. (Actually a huge deal.)

Remove The Chlorine From Your Shower Water

Culligan Wall-Mount Filtered Shower Head , $40, Amazon

Ever notice how your hair and skin are extra brittle after a summer at the pool? Chlorine is one of the worst things for dry skin, and unfortunately, it’s found in our water supply. This No. 1, best-selling shower head filter removes 99 percent of chlorine, as well as sulfur odors and other impurities in water that can strip moisture from your skin and hair. People love its easy installation and multiple spray settings, which aren’t usually an option with other showerhead filters.

Ditch Mainstream Soap, Go All-Natural With Paleo Spearmint Soap

Spa-Grade Spearmint Natural Soap , $9, Amazon

While most people are okay with stripping bacteria from their skin, mainstream soaps wash away a lot more than just germs. They also strip essential nutrients and oils, and that’s why this Natural Spearmint Soap Bar is ideal. It’s made with 100-percent organic ingredients, and it’s aligned with the paleo and primal lifestyle, which means that this soap has only the most gentle and skin-friendly ingredients — no harsh chemicals or artificial fillers, whatsoever.

Shave With Coconut Oil, Instead

The Finest Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, $10, Amazon

Little-known trick: Use this No. 1 best-selling organic and cold-pressed coconut oil once, and you’ll never buy another can of shaving cream again. Not only is this pure coconut oil free of pesticides and bleach, but it’s ridiculously moisturizing, so dry post-shave skin is no longer an issue. A little goes a long way, and you’ll be in awe at how smoothly your razor just glides along. It’s also naturally antibacterial, so you’re less likely to get an infection from your razor.

Stop Using Perfumed Lotion, Moisturize With Shea Butter

Raw African Organic Ivory Shea Butter, $14, Amazon

While some moisturizers are great at taming dry skin for now, they’re filled with perfumes and unnatural chemicals that actually dehydrate skin over time. This Raw African Shea Butter is a great replacement because it’s rich in vitamins A, D, E, and F without any of the harmful additives. It’s unrefined and organic, which means that it’s in its most natural form — ideal for dry and cracking skin, but also great for wrinkles, blemishes, cellulite, and eczema.

Clean Your Clothes With The Concentrated Allergen-Free Detergent

Mrs. Meyer's Laundry Detergent Lemon Verbena, $16, Amazon

Ever get dry, itchy patches, but you’ve got no idea where they came from? People are a lot more sensitive to their detergents than they might realize, and when residual substances stick around on your clothes, they can wreak some serious havoc on your skin. This Clean Day Laundry Detergent is made solely from plant sources and essential oils, but it still packs a punch when it comes to removing dirt and stains from clothing. Definitely a win-win.

Remember The Sunscreen, But Forget The Drying Chemicals

Beauty By Earth Mineral Sunscreen, $14, Amazon

This mineral sunscreen is made with 100 percent organic and natural ingredients: It smells great, it’s non-greasy, it’s easy to apply, and it’s effective, making it one of the best all-natural sunscreens out there. It's a smart investment, as everyone knows the dangers of excessive sun-exposure, including peeling and flaking skin. (So when common sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters that are essentially baking into your skin, it's time to level up.)

Take A Bath With Aluminum-Free Baking Soda

Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda, $9, Amazon

Detox baths are one of the best things you can do for your body, and your skin. Use a few cups of Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda in your tub to renew and soften your dry skin. Because the hot water makes your skin more porous than it already is, you’ll want something that’s extracted without any chemicals — using only water. This brand is also all-natural, as well as aluminum- and gluten-free, unlike some other big-name baking sodas.

Restore Your Skin’s pH Balance With This Apple Cider Vinegar

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar , $5, Amazon

If the skin on your face is dry, odds are it’s because it’s too alkaline, and it can use some all-natural pH balancing. The holistic health community is absolutely obsessed with this brand of Apple Cider Vinegar. It’s 100 percent organic, raw, and unfiltered, which means there are tons of natural benefits for your skin: less acne, less dryness, and fewer blotchy patches. Your skin’s pH should be a little bit acidic, and moisturizers and makeups can often throw off its natural balance.

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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (11)