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10 Reasons Your Moisturizer is Drying Out Your Skin

by Kelsey Lange 3 years ago in face

Can't seem to find a moisturizer that agrees with your skin? Though you might think it's plotting against you, the reasons why your moisturizer is drying out your skin are simple.

Moisturizing might seem like something that will never work with your skin, but it's not the step in your skincare routine that you need to get rid of. Instead, you should turn to the reasons why your moisturizer is drying out your skin. These will rely on you either mixing up your skincare routine, choosing a better product for your skin, or just being more aware of the way you treat your skin.

Having dry skin, it's hard to know how to obtain that glowing from within look that is so popular in the beauty industry right now. The number one way to tackle this problem is to start from the base by improving your skincare. Discover a way to incorporate a moisturizer into your daily routine without feeling like it's doing more harm than good.

On the other end of the skin spectrum, those with oily or combination skin can also suffer from moisturizer reacting harshly. Rather than feeling refreshed and balanced, moisturizer can also dry skin that is typically oily. Oily skin actually needs moisturizer more than dry skin does at times. This is because oily skin produces unwanted oil due to a lack of moisture.

Let's discover what you're doing wrong for your skin in order to perfect your skincare, prevent drying, and provide dewy but natural looking skin, no matter the skin type.

You're not applying moisturizer the right way.

Moisturizer should be the last, or second to last, step in your skincare routine. With this being said, by the final step of your skincare routine, you might become a little lazy with your application. Though understandable, there are a few things to keep in mind next time you reach this step.

If you find that your moisturizer is drying out your skin, the first question to ask yourself is if you are applying your moisturizer onto dry skin. A common mistake to make, your skin should be slightly damp while you apply your routine's last step. Splash your skin with water and dab it with a towel gently before you get to your moisturizer.

If you apply the moisturizer to dry skin, it will be counterproductive. If you apply it to damp skin, this will allow the product to proactively trap the moisture that is sitting on your skin.

Your skincare routine is backwards.

Like we expressed earlier, your skincare routine is crucial to follow for both dry and oily skin. And if your moisturizer is drying out your skin, there is likely something wrong with your routine. To start, you should be incorporating moisturizing in both your morning and nighttime skincare routine. This is because moisturizing is one of the most helpful skincare habits that are actually sustainable, no matter your skin's condition.

For your morning skincare, your routine will be simple with only four steps needed:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner
  3. Moisturizer
  4. Sunscreen

And at night, you will add three more steps, and take away the sunscreen. So it will look like this:

  1. Cleanser
  2. Toner spot treatments
  3. Serum
  4. Eye cream
  5. Moisturizer

If you look at this list and discover that your routine is far off from what we've suggested, this could be a reason why your moisturizer is drying you out.

This is because your moisturizer should always be near the end of your skincare routine. This way, you will not use any drying or harsh products on your skin that will take away the moisture you provided it with, mistakingly making you believe that the moisturizer is the factor that dries your skin.

It's important to add that you should apply your serum, one of the most important skincare steps, before your moisturizer. This will allow the benefits of both the serum and moisturizer to maximize. Also, if you are using an exfoliant in your skincare routine, this could be another cause of drying; so don't over-exfoliate, especially on dry skin.

You're mistaking dry skin with dehydrated skin.

You could be under the misperception that you have dry skin, when in reality, you have dehydrated skin, or vise versa. Dry skin does not produce any oil, resulting in the appearance of the skin looking rough or flaky.

On the other hand, dehydrated skin is a skin condition in which the skin still produces oil, but lacks water content, resulting in the skin having fine lines and feeling tight or flaky. Though these two types may seem very similar, each should be treated differently.

This is because dry skin relies on oil to remain moisturized while dehydrated skin requires ingredients that will produce water production, such as humectants like glycerin. In many cases, people who believe they may have dry skin in actuality need to be treating their skin for dehydration.

One of the most important reasons why your moisturizer is drying out your skin is that you are not applying the correct moisturizer for your skin type. Though moisturizer might seem like one of the most simple steps of your skincare routine, unfortunately, this is not true.

The best way to pick out the right moisturizer for your skin is to find a product that is universal, this way you will avoid irritating or intense formulas. For example, a moisturizer that is advertised for both dry and normal skin will cover the grounds for skin types that need an added boost of moisture, without being too harsh and overwhelming for the skin.

This is a great moisturizer by Belif that will satisfy the common grounds of most skin types, without risking irritation or dryness. Known as the number one selling product in the Korean beauty market, this moisturizer steals the thunder across all selective categories of the beauty world.

As a dermatologist tested formula created with the main ingredient of comfrey leaf, it contributes both healing and hydrating qualities, without the harmful ingredients of sulfates, phthalates, or parabens. And best of all, the moisturizing bomb provides up to 26 hours of hydration.

A solution for dryness as well as a loss of firmness and elasticity, this moisturizer is raved about by beauty bloggers with dry to normal skin. And with almost a perfect five-star rating from 1,000 tough Sephora reviewers, we'd say this is an A+ moisturizer.

Your other facial products are stripping your natural oils.

Are you sensing a common theme among these reasons? Taking an even closer look at your skincare routine, your other facial products may be the culprit of your dry and uncomfortable skin. Soap is the number one product to consider swapping out if you feel dry skin affecting you after you moisturize. Avoid bar soaps, harsh foaming cleansers, and irritating exfoliators.

Each of these products will strip your skin of its natural oils, either resulting in dry and flaky skin or over-productive oil glands. Either way, once your skincare routine is complete, you will feel as if your skin is stiff and uncomfortable, sitting on your face as if it's being stretched. This feeling is not the norm, and you should look straight to the rest of your facial products to eliminate it.

You're washing your face with hot water.

This is especially true for people who tend to wash their face in the shower; who ever wants to turn that shower knob all the way to the right? That's a common shower mistake that's ruining your skin. One of the main reasons your moisturizer is drying out your skin is that you are washing your face with hot water before applying your moisturizer.

If your skin has dried out once you step out of the shower, or right after washing your face, this is because the water you are using is too warm. Though uncomfortable, cool or cold water used to wash your face will allow your pores to close and limit the way that water will strip the skin of its oils.

This is also true for prolonged exposure to water in general, hot water or not. Washing away those important natural oils is done easier than you think.

You're using an oil rather than a moisturizer.

As a more common mistake than you think, using an oil to fill your moisturizing step in your routine is not a dupe. Though you may think of moisturizing lotions, water-based or oil-based, as providing moisture no matter the type, an oil-based product is much more likely to just treat the surface of the skin.

A standard moisturizer will be water-based, compared to oil-based. Oil-based products are typically used to clean the surface, while water-based moisturizing lotions will draw water molecules into the skin.

However, if a moisturizer like this is not enough for your skin, an added step to your routine is possible; just don't replace the step with your oil completely. Add an oil on top of your regular moisturizer during the day and at night for any needed extra moisture.

You're not drinking enough water.

We know you probably hear this reasoning for nearly any issue you can think of, but drinking enough water will also transform your skin. You may grow up your entire life thinking you have desperately dry skin, just to change your diet and water intake to watch your skin change before your eyes.

As one of the main reasons why your moisturizer is drying out your skin, your skin is trying to tell you something; it won't even react to a moisturizer. That's a sign that your skin needs something else besides skincare.

Your body is almost always dehydrated if you aren't regularly taking in water. And at the point that you finally feel thirsty, this is your body's sign that it's in pure dehydration mode. Don't let your body get to this point, and treat your body with the same care that you do with your entire skincare routine.

You can't expect your skin, the body's largest organ, to look and feel flawless if you aren't feeding it correctly.

You're using a moisturizer that contains alcohol, perfume, or retinol.

When choosing a moisturizer, you should always consider the ingredients in the product. Frankly, with any skincare product, you should understand what makes up the product's ingredients, so you're aware of what you're truly applying to your skin.

Alcohol, perfume, and retinol are just three of the main ingredients you want to steer far, far away from. Also on the list are heavy oils and petrolatum. Fragrances will often cause irritation while retinal has a history of causing inflammation and dryness on the skin.

Instead, you should look to moisturizers that are not heavy with ingredients that will force your skin to overproduce sebum, become irritated and flaky, or even break out. Some moisturizers have harmful chemicals that can cause allergic reactions.

And for oily skin, you should look into oil-free moisturizers, and avoid oil-heavy products at all costs. The best path to take when considering this tip is to find a moisturizer with the least amount of ingredients available. Go scan your moisturizer's ingredients pronto.

You’re overusing moisturizer.

To finish off our list of the reasons why your moisturizer is drying out your skin, we had to end on the most simple, yet most common mistake. Especially true for those who suffer from dry skin, you may be adding too much product to the skin as a whole. Over-moisturizing will result in your skin reacting poorly.

No matter how dry your face might feel, it does not need a huge glob of product straight to the skin. A pea-sized amount will do, and we actually mean this measurement in this rare case.

This way the product will be able to completely soak into the skin and draw water molecules into the face, without being drowned. If the skin is overwhelmed with too much moisture, it will not know what to do with the excess, and react oppositely to what you are trying to achieve.

On top of this, you may also be using too much force while applying your moisturizer. This process should be gentle, and in an upwards motion using your fingers to massage the product into your skin.

Aggressively rubbing your moisturizer into your skin will produce that dry and rugged feeling after the application that you may be dealing with. Using a gentle application will also help you avoid tugging or pulling the skin at delicate sections such as the skin around eyes.

Kelsey Lange
Kelsey Lange
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Kelsey Lange

Passionate about writing, animals, makeup, movies, friends, family, learning, exercising, and laughing!

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