How to Treat Dry Skin on Face 2024 – A Comprehensive Guide

Disclaimer: Content is intended to be used for general information only and not to provide medical advice or replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.

Dry skin on the face is a common issue that many people experience. It can leave the skin feeling tight, flaky, itchy, and irritated. Thankfully, there are many effective home remedies and lifestyle changes that can provide relief.

What Causes Dry Facial Skin?

There are a few key causes of dry facial skin to be aware of:

Environment – Cold, dry air in the winter months draws moisture away from the skin. Hot showers and baths can also strip moisture.

Genetics – Some people are just prone to dry skin based on their genetics. This determines the amount of natural oils their skin produces.

Age – Skin naturally loses some ability to retain moisture as we get older. Dryness often increases after age 40.

Medications – Certain medications like diuretics, antihistamines, retinoids, and acne medications can cause dry facial skin as a side effect.

Skin Conditions – Skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis can also lead to dry, flaky skin on the face.

Tips to Hydrate and Moisturize Dry Facial Skin

The main remedies for dry facial skin involve providing extra moisture through quality hydration and moisturizers. Here are some of the most effective ways to treat the problem:

Cleanse Gently

Harsh soaps and cleansers can strip natural oils from dry skin. Opt for a gentle, creamy cleanser without fragrances, alcohols, or sulfates. Wash with lukewarm water and avoid scrubbing. Gently pat the skin dry.

Apply a Hydrating Serum

Serums with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin provide an extra boost of hydration by drawing moisture to the skin and sealing it in. Apply a few drops before heavier creams.

Use a Moisturizer Made for Dry Skin

Look for a facial moisturizer specifically formulated for dry or sensitive skin types. Ingredients like shea butter, dimethicone, and jojoba oil help nourish and hydrate. Apply morning and night.

Try a Humidifier

Running a humidifier at home and the office adds moisture back into the air to prevent moisture loss from the skin. This helps facial skin and mucous membranes stay properly hydrated.

Eat Foods Rich in Healthy Fats

Foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, fish, and olive oil contain essential fatty acids that help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water also helps.

Exfoliate 2-3 Times a Week

Gentle exfoliation removes dead, flaky skin to allow moisturizers to better absorb. Use a soft washcloth, a konjac sponge, a scrub with soft beads, or a chemical exfoliant with alpha hydroxy acids.

Use Light, Hydrating Night Creams

Look for a night cream designed for dry, sensitive skin. Many provide nourishment and hydration while you sleep when the skin repairs itself. Avoid anything too heavy that may clog pores.

Apply Eye Cream

The skin around the eyes is thinner and more prone to dryness. Use a nourishing eye cream morning and night to hydrate this delicate area.

Avoid Harsh Ingredients

Steer clear of products containing ingredients like alcohol, fragrances, retinol, benzoyl peroxide, and acids if they cause redness, stinging, or excessive dryness. Always do a patch test first.

Protect Skin with SPF

Sun exposure can exacerbate dryness. Apply a moisturizer with SPF 30+ even on cloudy days. Choose a formula labeled for dry or sensitive skin. Reapply as needed when outdoors.

Home Remedies for Dry Facial Skin

Natural home remedies can also help provide soothing relief for dry skin:

Coconut Oil – Contains fatty acids to repair skin’s moisture barrier. Use sparingly to avoid clogged pores.

Honey – Honey is a natural humectant that seals in moisture. Mix with a little water and apply for 15 minutes.

Aloe Vera – Soothes dry skin and inflammation. Apply pure gel directly from the leaf.

Avocado – Rich in hydrating fatty acids and vitamins. Mash pulp and let sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

Argan Oil – Absorbs quickly without clogging pores. Packed with vitamin E and fatty acids.

Rosewater Spritzer – Acts as a gentle toner and pH balancer. Spray rosewater and glycerin mix onto clean skin.

Yogurt or Milk Compresses – Help moisturize while soothing dry skin. Apply for 5-10 minutes then rinse.

Oatmeal – Helps relieve dry skin itching and irritation. Make a paste with water and let sit for 5-10 minutes before washing.

When to Call the Dermatologist 

See your dermatologist if your dry skin doesn’t respond to over-the-counter remedies, or if it’s accompanied by:

  • Severe cracking, scaling, or peeling
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Itching that disrupts sleep or daily life
  • Suspicious spots or changes in existing moles

A dermatologist can properly diagnose the underlying cause and provide prescription strength treatments if necessary – like intensive moisturizers, oral medication, chemical peels, laser resurfacing treatments, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the fastest way to get rid of dry skin on the face?

For quick relief, apply a hyaluronic acid serum followed by a rich, fragrance-free moisturizer within 5 minutes of getting out of the shower while the skin is still damp. Occlude with a layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor to seal in moisture.

How can I permanently get rid of dry skin on my face?

There is no permanent cure for dry skin. However, the consistent use of hydrating and moisturizing skin care products, avoidance of drying ingredients/behaviors, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and using a humidifier can help significantly minimize dryness long-term.

What deficiency causes dry skin on the face?

Dry facial skin can be caused by a deficiency in essential fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, or emollient natural moisturizing factors that maintain the skin’s barrier function. Dehydration and a lack of water intake can also contribute to dryness.

Can dandruff cause dry skin on the face?

Yes, dandruff is a form of seborrheic dermatitis that can sometimes spread from the scalp to the face. It appears as red, flaky patches with visible skin cell shedding. Treatment involves medicated shampoo for the scalp along with prescription antifungal or steroid creams for the skin.

Can stress cause dry skin?

Yes. High stress levels raise cortisol production which impacts skin barrier function, accelerates water loss, and reduces essential oil production – leading to dehydration and dryness. Stress management techniques along with proper skin care can offset this.


While dry facial skin can be bothersome and frustrating to deal with, having a good moisturizing regimen with hydrating skin care products and natural remedies can help restore a healthy, glowing complexion. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, moderate cleansing/exfoliating, avoid irritants and protect the skin from sun damage as well. See a dermatologist if OTC measures fail or any suspicious changes occur. With some trial and error, you can successfully learn how to treat dry skin on the face.

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