Next to breakouts, dry skin is perhaps one of the most daunting skin issues to battle with—not just because of the discomfort it brings along with it (ahem, flaky patches and texture), but also because it can wreack havoc on the way your makeup applies. While slathering on a daily SPF moisturizer is essential for sun protection and short-term moisture, your nighttime skin-care routine is where the real magic happens. From humidifiers to overnight face masks, there are a few things you can incorporate into your routine (and some to avoid) that will bring some much-needed moisture to your skin while you sleep. And the best part? They have the added benefit of slowing down the signs of aging, as your skin is more likely to absorb the products you use at night (while it’s in repair mode) versus during the day (when it’s in protection mode). If you’re ready to wake up to a more healthy, glowing complexion, keep reading to learn how to banish flaky skin overnight.
What’s the Difference between Dry and Dehydrated Skin?
While they may sound the same, dry skin and dehydrated skin are vastly different in what causes them, their appearance, and treatment. Dry skin—like oily or combination—refers to a skin type and lacks moisture due to the fact that the skin has insufficient oil (aka sebum) production. Dry skin typically feels itchy and looks rough or flaky in texture, and while it’s most likely a byproduct of genetics, it can also be caused by things like hot showers and over-exfoliation. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, refers to a skin condition and requires hydration due to a lack of water in the skin.
Why is my Skin so Dehydrated?
Dehydrated skin can occur because of a number of factors. The main culprit? A lack of overall hydration. Like our bodies, our skin requires proper hydration to look glowing and stay healthy. If it doesn’t receive adequate hydration (eight cups of water a day should do it), it will begin to experience signs of dehydration. Other causes to consider are lifestyle and environmental factors that cause water to evaporate off the skin (such as caffeine and alcohol consumption, a diet high in sodium-rich or sugary foods, and humidity). Your skin is dehydrated if it appears lackluster, feels tight, or has defined fine lines (think: accentuated under eye lines after a boozy night).
6 Tips to Get Healthy, Moisturized Skin Overnight
Ready to tackle your dry or dehydrated skin head-on? Here are six tips that will help you reveal a glowing complexion come morning.
Exfoliation helps improve skin’s lackluster appearance by sloughing away the dead skin cells to reveal fresh, healthy, smoother skin. This helps your other products penetrate better (rather than sit on top of dead skin). That being said, too much exfoliation can have the opposite effect and can exacerbate dryness. Limit your exfoliation routine to one to two times a week and opt for a chemical exfoliant versus a physical one—they’re far gentler on the skin and they make micro-tears a non-issue. There are two main forms of exfoliants: alpha hydroxy acids (or AHAs, which are suitable for both dry and dehydrated skin) and beta hydroxy acids (or BHAs, which are ideal for oily, combination, or acne-prone skin types). It’s important to use these exfoliants at night after using your cleanser, as they can cause your skin to be more sensitive to the sun if used during the day.
Use an Overnight Face Mask
While some face masks are meant to be rinsed off, overnight masks are formulated to be worn while you sleep and can be effective at relieving dry or dehydrated skin. Similar to nighttime moisturizers in terms of their thicker viscosity, overnight face masks tend to have a number of active ingredients that work together to target your specific skincare concern. And because they’re left on overnight, the active ingredients have much more time to absorb into the skin. Certain ingredients like salicylic acid and lactic acid can also help aid in increasing cell turnover, a process of cell renewal that occurs naturally while you sleep.
Consider a Humidifier
Live in a dry climate? Consider running a humidifier overnight to add moisture back into the air. This can help relieveany cracked areas and can help skin maintain proper moisture levels. Humidifiers are especially beneficial to the skin when used during colder winter months, as this seasonal shift typically involves indoor heating, piping hot showers, and powerful winds, all of which can contribute to dry, flaky, reddened skin.
Retinols are known to be a savior for anti-aging, but if you have naturally dry skin to begin with, you may want to avoid using them. Drier skin types are more susceptible to the side effects retinols can have such as peeling, redness, and stinging. If you must, go for an over-the-counter retinol that has a lower concentration than a high-grade prescription retinol, and take a break if you notice any adverse reactions.
Use an Eye Cream
The skin surrounding the eye area is thin, delicate, and more likely to experience dryness and show signs of aging than other parts of the face. This makes using a nutrient-rich eye cream every night essential for refreshed, glowing skin. For an eye cream to really make a difference, it needs time to absorb into the skin, which is why it’s best applied at night. Sure, a daytime application underneath your concealer may make your products glide on smoother, but you won’t necessarily reap the hydrating benefits of the eye cream itself since it’s being covered with other products. To properly apply, use your ring finger to gently blend the cream underneath your eyes and across your orbital bone.
Apply a Hydrating Serum
Those struggling with dehydrated skin will benefit from hydrating serums that quench their thirsty skin. Especially when applied at night, they work with the body's circadian rhythm to repair skin and promote cell renewal. Try incorporating SiO Beauty’s Cryo System into your nighttime skin-care routine. It consists of the Cryodrop, a skin-toning tool that uses cold therapy to reduce redness and puffiness (both of which are side effects of dehydrated skin), as well as the Energy Serum, which releases water droplets and an antioxidant blend as it’s being applied for smooth, plump, hydrated skin.
Treating your dry or dehydrated skin can minimize the signs of aging, make your skin appear naturally glowing, and make for a smoother makeup application. Figuring out the root cause of your dry, flaky skin can pave the way for a successful treatment plan, as dry skin and dehydrated skin require different things. If you have dry skin, look for moisturizing serums and moisturizers and avoid over-exfoliating and applying hot water to you face. Dehydrated skin should limit caffeine and alcohol consumption and stay properly hydrated throughout the day. Finally, a humidifier can help add moisture back into the air to combat cracked skin if you live in a dry climate. If you’re really struggling with your dry or dehydrated skin, a visit to your dermatologist may be useful.