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Facial Oils and Tips for Keeping Dry Skin Moisturized

Dry skin is tight, dull-looking, and often itchy and irritated. Even individuals whose skin is oilier in the summer often have miserably dehydrated faces in the winter. Getting rid of dry skin is actually fairly easy, as long as the consumer knows what to look for. Facial oils and moisturizers generally do a pretty good job of clearing up the problem; which should not be ignored, as severely dry skin can crack, bleed, and eventually have its functioning seriously compromised.

Beneficial Facial Oils for Dry Skin

Oils should be applied to the face right after cleansing the skin. After they absorb, a thin layer of lotion or cream should be applied. Facial oils are best used at night, as makeup may be difficult to apply over them. Many people swear by olive oil, but it sometimes doesn’t absorb as well as other oils. If olive or almond oils are used on the skin, they should be purchased at a grocery store whenever possible. The ones sold by health food or cosmetics lines are often shockingly overpriced even though they are exactly the same chemically as the supermarket brands.

Good facial oils for dry skin include the following:

- Rose Hip Oil or Rose Hip Seed Oil (may act like a mild, non-irritating form of Retin-A once it is absorbed)
- White Camellia (contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and minerals; don’t use if sensitive to fragrance)
- Argan Oil (rich in Vitamin E and proteins)
- Sweet Almond Oil (contains 18-20% protein plus essential fatty acids)
- Evening Primrose Oil (rich in gamma-linolenic fatty acid; said to be good for eczema and psoriasis; do not get it in the eyes)
- Hollybeth’s Wildflower Dry Oil (rich but quick-absorbing)

Moisturizers for Dry Skin Care

Dry skin care used to involve simply applying a layer of greasy substances to the face. Modern products contain much more elegant ingredients that can help dry skin to function better, and eventually restore it to a healthier state. Products to try include:

- Atopalm MLE Face Cream (contains pseudoceramide, which assists in cell repair)
- Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream (contains retinol; not to be used on sensitive skin)
- Eucerin Cream (inexpensive and very thick, use sparingly)
- Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging (contain niacinamide to help restore cell function to healthy levels)
- Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Mask (great mix of plant oils, humectants, and antioxidants)
- Pomega5 Healing Cream (packed with pomegranate and carrot seed oils; do not use if sensitive to essential oils)

Since none of these products contains a sunscreen, it is necessary to apply sun protection over them if they are used during the day.

Glycerin for Dry Skin Care

Glycerin (sometimes listed on labels as glycerine or glycerol) is a tried-and-true ingredient known as a humectant or water-binding agent; it draws water out of the atmosphere into the skin, and helps keep moisture locked inside the epidermis. For some reason, this ingredient received a bad rap for a while; and information circulated claiming that it actually dried out the skin.

Actually, glycerin protects the skin by attracting water to it while never allowing it to become oversaturated (too much water in the skin can cause as many problems as too little). It also plumps up the skin by filling in the intracellular matrix, allowing it to temporarily appear less wrinkled.

Glycerin is present at varying concentrations in many of the above products, but is the first ingredient listed in Glysolid Glycerin Cream, a thick, salve-like product from Germany. This fragrance- and colorant-free formulation is great for parched skin anywhere on the face or body.

It also soothes inflammation with allantoin, a substance that acts much like comfrey, which herbalists have nicknamed the healing herb. Allantoin is believed to promote the growth of healthy skin cells. Since Glysolid Glycerin Cream contains no preservatives, it is useful for people who are allergic to them, however, the consumer must be careful to use it up or discard it within 60 months. At $10 for a fairly generous amount, this one is difficult to pass up.

Final Tips for Keeping Dry Skin Moisturized

Remember to gently exfoliate dry skin a few times a week prior to applying moisturizer. Non-sensitive skin types might choose an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) product; sensitive skin might try a very light buffing with a product such as Exfolia Beauty Cloth. In the winter, use a humidifier whenever possible and spray face lightly with water before moisturizing. Combining carefully-chosen skincare products for dry skin with the right application techniques should go far toward alleviating chapped and unpleasantly parched facial skin.


Baumann, Dr. Leslie, The Skin Type Solution. New York: Bantam Dell
Winter, Ruth, A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. New York: Three Rivers Press
Hampton, Aubrey, What’s in Your Cosmetics? Tampa, FL: Organica Press

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