Yes, it’s March, but winter is still roaring like a lion in most parts of the country, and that likely means your skin is having a hydration freak-out. If you’ve been diligently reaching for your regular moisturizer but are still experiencing dryness and flakes, experts say there are reasons your favorite products may be failing. The good news is that they’re all easy to fix.
1) Your skin isn’t damp.
Moisturizer is best absorbed by skin with a small amount of water on it (much like a damp sponge absorbs better than a dry one). If you want to help skin drink up as much as possible, either act quickly and apply moisturizer within a minute for optimal results, or lightly mist your face with a water-based facial spray before applying your cream or lotion.
2) You’re using the wrong type of product.
Even though there’s now a plethora of serums labeled as hydrators, they’re better used to layer more moisture on skin and shouldn’t be looked at as a primary source—they’re too lightweight. If you’re on a lotion, it could be time to kick it up to a richer cream, while existing cream users can try intense balms until the barometer rises again. A lot of women are using the same moisturizer from years ago, but as you age, you need to upgrade the thickness to meet the new moisturizing demands of your skin.
3) The air is working against you.
Don’t be so quick to blame your skin; it needs more than about 30 percent humidity in the air to retain moisture and stay supple. Homes, offices and other indoor spaces with heated air can cause those levels to plummet and hover at less than 10 percent all season long. The result is that even healthy skin that is regularly moisturized has trouble holding on to hydration. A relatively easy fix is to buy a humidifier. Try sleeping with one on to help your moisturizer work better, and you’ll wake up with comfortably quenched skin.