4-step, fuss-free plan for dehydrated skin

Your skin feels tight and dry, and starts to flake and itch around the lips.

The culprit: The long hours you spend in low-humidity, air-conditioned environments.

“Fixing dry skin isn’t as simple as applying more moisturiser,” says Dr Andrew Iichyshyn, a consultant dermatologist.

“You need to go deeper into the skin layers.”

Get the moisture under your hide with this plan.

Step 1: Cleanse deep, but gently

Avoid using harsh facial cleansers that’ll strip your skin of even more moisture.

The best way to clean your face without drying it out is to apply a cleanser after a lengthy steam bath, says facial therapist Claudia Mendez.

This will help open your pores, so you can clean deeper than usual – ridding yourself of blackheads and blotches.

No time for a soak in a tub? Try holding a hot towel to your face for a minute to get the steaming effect, suggests Mendez.

Then apply a gentle cleanser such as Lab Series Mild Foaming Face Wash ($41 for 100ml, Lab Series counter at Isetan Scotts, Tel: 6235-2052).

Step 2: Scratch the surface

Most people think exfoliating dry skin will worsen the condition.

But the truth is, removing the dead cells on your skin’s surface can help unblock your pores and reveal fresher, newer skin underneath, says spa therapist Sarah Cole.

The key here is to use scrubs that don’t feel like sandpaper on your face.

Try Clinique Skin Supplies For Men Face Scrub Exfoliant Visage ($46 for 100ml, Clinique counter at Robinsons, #03-01 Raffles City Shopping Centre, Tel: 6334-6422). Cole advises using the scrub twice a week after your morning wash, for smooth skin (without the red face).

Tone up

Step 3: Tone up

“Toning is an important step in rehydrating your skin, especially after shaving,” says Dr Iichyshyn.

“But stay away from alcohol- based ones, as they exacerbate your skin’s dryness.”

Water-based, fragrance-free toners such as Gatzmen Oil- free Aqua Toner ($39 for 220ml, Whathewants, #01-06 The Cathay, Tel: 6738- 6903) help keep yours moist without drying it out.

Step 4: Add water

Applying the right type of moisturiser is an essential step to fixing dry skin.

“You’ll need one that can penetrate the surface layers,” Mendez says.

“And apply it by making long strokes on your face from the inside out. This relaxes your skin, so it’s more receptive to hydration.”

Try Biotherm Homme T-pur Intense Extra-matifying Moisturizing Fresh Gel ($65 for 75ml, Biotherm counter at Metro, #02-28 Paragon, Tel: 6835-3322).

Or if you’re keen on splurging a bit more, go for the La Mer Creme De La Mer Moisturizing Cream ($645 for the limited edition World Oceana Day 100ml jar, La Mer counter at Level 1, Takashimaya D.S., Tel: 6737-4107). 

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