If you have dry skin, you may be surprised to learn that your daily cleansing routine shouldn't differ much from one for oily skin. The problem with dry skin is that it doesn't produce enough oil and, while that may mean you get fewer pimples, it also means that your skin lacks protection from the elements. You're more likely to show wrinkles, lines and other signs of aging. And seasonal changes hit you especially hard. When the weather turns colder and you kick on the furnace, all of a sudden there's little to no humidity in the air. Your skin looks dull and your hair stands up with static. You might be tempted to skip washing your face and opt to slap on some moisturizer instead.
That would be a mistake. With the right cleanser and a few tips, you can get your skin clean without drying it, even in the winter. Again, the key to cleansing any problem skin is gentleness. Limit your cleansing to once a day. Choose a cleanser that is mild and, if possible, made for dry skin. Never use any type of harsh or overly alkaline soap on dry skin -- that's going to make matters worse. Lotion-type cleansers -- often with the words "cream" or "milk" in the name -- may work well. These cleansers do a good job of cleansing the skin without drying it out.
Use lukewarm water when you cleanse. Hot water will dry out your skin and may cause irritation. Gently apply the cleanser to a wet face. Lather for 30 seconds to a minute. Then make sure you rinse thoroughly (again, with tepid water). You don't want any trace of the cleanser left on your skin. Pat your face dry.
Now for the moisturizer. People with dry skin pay special attention to moisturizer, for obvious reasons. You may want to use a heavier moisturizer in the winter, but make sure you choose one that's meant for facial use. You can apply it more than once a day. Since dry skin is often sensitive skin, find a hypoallergenic moisturizer.
Problem skin is easily irritated, so if you have dry or oily skin, you might find that at times it becomes red and irritated. If that's the case, read on.