If your skin is rough, flaky and generally lacklustre it needs more than moisture. The must-haves for dry skin are hydration-boosting humectants, softening emollients, and ingredients that help replenish the skin’s natural protective barrier to seal moisture in and keep bacteria, dirt and pollution out.
What should you be looking for in products? These are the natural powerhouse ingredients that will help restore dry skin to soft, supple and glowing.Aloe Vera
Packed with calming compounds aloe is a skin-soother, hydrator and conditioner. Rich in polysaccharides it softens, comforts and helps lock in much-needed moisture to rough, itchy and irritated skin.Antioxidants
As dry skin often suffers from a compromised barrier, it’s prone to sensitivity, itchiness, and dermatitis. Antioxidants help soothe and protect against the pollution and irritants that can make it worse.Ceramides
One of the building blocks of skin, ceramides are lipids that bond skin cells together to reinforce the barrier, lock moisture in and help keep skin comfortable, hydrated and protected.Glycerin
Found naturally in the body this moisturizer and hard-working humectant draws water to skin, restores elasticity, and prevents the loss of moisture to keep skin soft and supple.Hyaluronic acid
This mighty humectant attracts and holds water to the skin, giving a temporary plumping effect as it boosts hydration. When skin feels rough and dry treat it to a hyaluronic serum and seal in with a moisturizer for the best results.Isoamyl cocoate
A natural alternative to environmentally harmful silicones this lightweight emollient is derived from renewable sources such as sugar beet and coconut oil. It’s non-oily and quickly absorbed to help form a breathable, protective film and soften and smooth rough, flaky skin.Niacinamide
A stellar all-rounder, niacinamide is superb for dry, dull, irritated skin and barrier repair. With powerful anti-inflammatory properties it calms redness and angry breakouts, and helps increase levels of the fatty acids and ceramides that make up the skin’s protective layer. The result? Soothed, strengthened and protected skin.Panthenol
Otherwise known as provitamin B5, panthenol is a natural humectant that draws water to the skin to help plump, soften, smooth and help restore barrier function.Plant oils & butters
Dry skin naturally lacks the lipids that prevent moisture loss and protect against irritants. To help replenish the skin nutrient-packed plant oils and butters are the go-to. A rich source of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they nourish, smooth, soften, seal in moisture, protect and can even have anti-microbial properties. There is nothing better. Our favorites for dry, stressed, sensitive skin? Stand-out oils include hemp seed, jojoba, sweet almond, apricot kernel, rosehip seed, evening primrose and tamanu. When it comes to plant butters look for shea, cacao, macadamia and babassu.Polyglutamic acid
Another humectant that helps give dry skin back its bounce, polyglutamic acid is so impressive that it attracts and holds more than four times the moisture of skincare favorite hyaluronic acid.Pre and probiotics
The ecosystem of bacteria living on our skin help keep it calm and healthy. If it gets out of balance an overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria overwhelms skin-friendly bugs, which has been linked to dryness, inflammation and eczema. Look for creams with probiotics and the prebiotic ingredients that feed them.Squalane
Here’s where one letter can make all the difference. Squalene is a natural lipid produced by the skin. One of the best natural sources is shark liver, and squalene has been routinely harvested from sharks for cosmetic use. An investigation by All Earthlings found that 89 per cent of products testing positive for shark-derived squalene were sold as vegan and cruelty free. The good news is that squalane, plant-derived squalene, is sourced from olives, rice bran and sugar cane and is an excellent moisturizer for uncomfortable, dry or stressed skin.Vegetable-derived cleansers
Dry skin needs gentle cleansers that don’t strip away protective natural oils. If you like the fresh feel of a face wash look for ultra-mild foaming agents that clean away dirt without leaving skin dry and tight. Look for coconut-derived coco-glucoside, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium lauryl methyl isethionate and gentle sugar-based lauryl glucoside. Make sure to avoid sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), which strips moisture, leaving skin dry, tight and prone to redness and irritation.
There’s an ecosystem of bacteria living on our skin that helps keep it calm, happy and healthy. When it’s out of balance, ‘bad’ bacteria overwhelm skin-friendly bacteria, which has been linked to dryness, inflammation, eczema and acne. Look for creams with probiotics – skin-friendly bugs – and the prebiotic ingredients that feed them.