My Favorite Products for Dry Skin and How You Can Combat Facial Deserts

12:40 PM Moi Sanom 0 Comments

Dear Batlings, I might not make many requested posts but I really enjoy doing so.
Writing about subjects or products that are requested feels less aimless than trying to guess what all of you even want to read about.
So please feel free to request post anytime and I am happy to oblige if I can. On that note I want to also mention that sending me questions (on any social media if comments are not desired) is also always welcome!
I am saying this because this post was requested on reddit after talking a bit about what products I find essential for dry skinned folks.
I honestly don't know why I haven't written such a post yet so thanks for giving me the push to finally write one up.
Now we come to the hard part, how can I make a list of products that I consider essential for dry skin if all skin is different. 
Well, I really can't. 
So this will be a mix of product types that I noticed helped my dry skin be less painfully dry and products in that category that worked the best for me in that regard. And once again just because one product has created near miraculous results for me does not mean it will for you as well. 
I hope it will of course, since I assume that is the reason why you would purchase them after reading someone's recommendation.
If you are interested in other things you can do to that have helped me with both my dry and dehydrated skin you can also check out the Dry skin secrets Skinesodes

Oils and why I consider them essential

One of the most important type of products to use when having dry skin is oils. 
After all dry skin lacks natural oils. If not it wouldn't be dry but normal. I have noticed that many dried skinned folks rely on a cream as the only product to make their dry skin feel good but most moisturizers have an insufficient amount of oil for dry skin even if the product is targeted at dry skin in particular. Obviously this varies from dry skin to dry skin. But if you feel like your creams don't bring it and your skin is still tight, sallow or lacks the extra oomph try out some facial oils.
There is a lot of variation and I am still experimenting myself with what works best for my skin. 
For years I have used everything from pure “natural” oils to oils blends from all around the world. 
My favorites are oil blends since they often feel lighter and also give you more benefits from different fatty profiles (see here). I have also noticed that I am much fonder of Asian oils since they tend to be lighter and less greasy yet effective. So here are my current top three favourite oils from thickest to lightest:

The Saem Urban Eco Harakeke seed oil: 
This is the heaviest oil of the three but compared to others it is still very light. I really love this stuff since it makes my skin feel great and is light enough to be used by itself. 

Graymelin 100% Natural Facial oil: 
Until recently this was the lightest oil I tried and with its neutral smell and its dry feeling it was one I grabbed on a daily basis. 

Mamonde Age Control Camellia oil: 
This is the latest addition to my oil stash and boy oh boy is this stuff good! The first time I applied it I thought I was dreaming. Not only is this a super dry oil that still gives you the benefit of using an oil but it smells like heaven. Lemony dessert heaven to be precise. This stuff feels super luxurious and I can't wait to buy some more since I have sadly already run out.

Cleansers and why different types can make a huge difference

After having jumped into what I consider the most important addition to a dry skin routine I will continue following the usual routine steps. Which brings me to cleansers. For a long time now have I been trying to tell people to give cleaning milks and creams a try. If your skin is super tight, itchy or it feels like no matter how much you slather on it, doesn't change from its super desert like state, try changing up your cleansing routine. I have noticed that sometimes when my product line up is great and suits my skin well just changing the cleanser from a cream to a foam can wreak quite a bit of havoc on my face. And yes I also mean low PH non drying foam cleansers. 
I have talked about it here that going waterless as much as possible has really helped my skin be less dry. I also know that some folks have really hard or bad water which has less than positive effects on their complexions. Using milk and cream cleansers is also very convenient since they act as makeup removers at the same time. If you still want to double cleanse or feel that you don't remove all of the product with a cloth try using a cleansing water as the second step to make sure all is removed properly. 
Unfortunately I have not found a cleansing cream/milk that I loved since most of them have been quite similar but this is a selection of products I have enjoyed using.

Innisfree Green Barley Cleansing Cream: 
This is quite a light cleansing cream. A mix of a milk and a cream really. It is quite moist and not as thick as most of the creams on the market. It smells lovely and fresh and is easy to remove due to its lightness. Still usable to do facial massages with but a little more product needs to be used.

Ziaja Goat's Cleansing milk
This is a polish product that I actually picked up in Sasa a few years ago. The brand is know worldwide though and quite loved in some circles. I liked it because it was a nice change to the thicker cleaning creams and was very gentle to my eczema prone spots.

Bifesta Cleansing Water: 
I have tried quite a few cleansing waters/micellar waters by now but my favorite is this one from Bifesta. Not only is it cheap and comes in a large bottle with a pump (love the pump) but I have a feeling it actually removes makeup a little better than the others I have tried (haven't tested it yet but will soon). It is scentless and feels just like using water but it actually cleanses your face. I use it by its own, to remove eye makeup before foam or gel cleansers or as a second step after milk and cream cleansers.

Toners and why they may or may not be necessary

Toners are pretty meh kind of a product for me but they can be useful to add some extra hydration to a very thick creams and oils heavy dry skin routine. Some people love toners and to be honest some of them can be fantastic. Even though I don't consider them necessary if your routine has all the important steps already yet you think you could add a little bit more oomph a toner might be just the thing. For dried skin people I would stay away from astringent toners because they will likely dry your skin out even more. If you have acne, spot treating might be the best choice if you still want to use them. Luckily there is a lot of hydrating toners on the market that target a lot of different skin concerns besides just dryness.

Dear Enprani Moistful Booskin: 
This is still my favorite toner after so many years. It simply is the most effective one I have used and I am still sad that it is so hard/super expensive to get in Germany.

Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Essence aka First Essence Toners
I love this stuff and I have said why in the review I posted a while ago. But to be honest first essences are pretty good stuff in general. 
I have tried quite a few my favourites being the Cosrx one and Iope's Bio Essence as well. 
I have to say that my skin seems to quite like fermented products and I believe the big dose of Niacinamide that most of these have helps with the hydration content of my skin. First essence toners differ from regular toners that they are generally filled with fermentation goodness of all kinds and are sometimes meant to be used before the regular toner. I believe that one can use them anytime in the routine though and don't see why I need a first essence and a toner in my routine since I have not seen a difference when I have used both. 

Emulsions, an underrated yet important step for dry skin

Emulsion are the other product type that people seem to ignore/not use similarly to cleansing milks/creams. I found them to be incredibly helpful to my super dry skin especially in the winter time. I actually tried them by accident since travel sets often contain an emulsion. I feel like it is a good mix of oils and hydration that really adds to the skin without being too heavy.

This is my favorite emulsion I have ever tried. I don't know how it does it but when I use it it makes my skin feel incredibly smooth. It also has a lovely texture and really adds some soothyness to my routine. 

Guerisson 9 Complex emulsion:  
I wasn't able to use this long enough to review properly but my first impression is quite good. 
I actually tried to buy this over a year ago but the seller refunded me my money last minute and I never bothered to buy the full size until I was able to use a sample of it. It feels very lightweight but at the same time you can tell it is actually doing something good to your skin. And that feeling is quite instant. I enjoyed using this more than the cream of the same line and hope to properly test is one day.

Chosungah Wonder Milk: 
This is not an emulsion per se but I wasn't sure where to put it. Technically it is a multi purpose product that you could use as different steps in your routine but I like using it as my emulsion step. This stuff is really magical and I think a must try for anyone with dry skin. Mother loves this stuff and often skips moisturizer when she uses it since she has normal skin.

Moisturizers, the classic dry skin remedy

Now we get to the item that most dried skin people like to rely on. 
Moisturizers. Personally I have given up on finding a moisturizer that can all by itself make my skin feel like, well, regular skin instead of the tight itchy mess it is most of the times. But this also depends on your climate and level of dryness. When living in moist climates creams can be quite enough for me but when in Northern Europe they just dont cut it. That being said I am not able to skip them either since they are a very important part of my routine. 
Here are my favorites for dry and very dry skin.

Ladykin Vanpir Dark Repair cream: 
As I have said probably about a gazillion times since I used this for the first time I think this is the best moisturizer I have ever used. It is hydrating yet contains enough oils for my skin to be happy. 
It is relatively lightweight yet seems to be enough even for my winter skin. If you don't have any issues with any of the ingredients I consider this a must try for dried skinned folks.

Dear Enprani Bounce Cheese cream: 
I have used this in 2013 I think and already liked it then but upon re introducing it late last year I realized that it still holds up. This is a little on the thicker side compared to the Vanpir cream but still light enough to not leave a film on my skin. I like the scent and I like the slightly strange texture. It is not as easily accessible but still a cream I heartily recommend.

Sana Nameraka Soy Milk cream: 
Even though this is not the most heavy hitter in the super dry skin moisturiser department it does quite well. The part where it stands out to me is that it is really great for sensitive skin. I used this when I had eczema on my face and it did not sting at all yet helped soothe the itchy and sore parts. All while still being good enough for the rest of the scaly mess I had on my face. 

Occlusives, which can be used as moisturizers or to seal everything in

I like to split the cream bit up in two parts since I consider the sealant/occlusive bits to be on a different level than the regular moisturizers. You can still use these as your sole moisturisers of course but I feel like these products excel at their occlusive qualities to seal in all the previous steps.

Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey cream: 
Not really a cream I was a huge fan of due to its occlusive nature. I have a little bit of a sensory beef with occlusives and try to avoid them as much as possible. If you like them though this is a good option to skip a step or add on top of a lighter gel type moisturizer. 

Banila Co the Blacks 17 Sleeping Pack: 
Another banila product but this time a sleeping pack. It looks to be quite hydrating but I found it to be rather occlusive, more so than other sleeping packs. With this the more you apply onto your face the more occlusive it becomes. 

Mediheal EGT Midnight Capping pack: 
The least occlusive in this lineup and for me the most comfortable to use. I love the way the texture feels on my skin and added after your regular cream it does indeed bring some occlusive qualities to the table without being too thick.

Healthy skin and how to achieve it

Besides talking about the steps and products I consider important to keep dry skin feeling and looking good I would also like to talk about skin health. Whatever you do to damage your moisture barrier or when you use products that are too harsh (like too strong acids, very high PH foaming cleansers or jagged edged physical exfoliation) or even get enviromental damage, your skin is more likely to be dry, dehydrated or irritated. All of these factors can lead to itchy and dry skin that just feels uncomfortable. If you are already interested in looking and feeling your best it just makes sense that you invest just as much energy to keeping your skin permanently healthy. 
Obviously some things are a little harder to control such as weather and air pollution but it can be as easy as to use sunscreen daily or make sure your products aren't too harsh for your skin. 

Make sure to introduce new products only one at a time to see if your skin likes them or not. 
If not make note of the effects of the product to be able to eventually find out what exactly your skin did or did not like and even figure out if you have issues with particular ingredients. 
I consider myself to be quite lucky that I have not yet had any issues with a specific ingredient. 
My skin is quite happy as long as I don't use too harsh and drying products. 
But not all skin is the same so be sure to watch out and listen to how it feels.
Also don't dismiss any particular ingredient just because people say it is comedogenic or harsh since skin is really different and everyone reacts to it in a unique way (for more info see here). 
After all according to most my skin should wither and die if I use any kind of product with alcohol in it but it does not. 
Coming back to the moisture barrier I have also noticed that some people have it compromised due to it external factors but some simply need to pay more attention in keeping it up due to their skin types. If you have very dry skin, sensitive skin or  any type of skin issue such a eczema it is a good idea to use products with ingredients to strengthen that barrier regularly. The most promising one being ceramides. The issue with that is that not all ceramides are created equal and not all products containing ceramics are formulated to work effectively. 

Barrier repair 

Here are two products that I have recently enjoyed that not only include ceramides but are indeed properly formulated to help strengthen that barrier. 

Simply Pure Hydrating serum: It is called a serum but to me it is more like an emulsion. It is a creamy scentless lotion that feels quite pleasant. I do feel that this is more of a long term product to support the moisture barrier so don't expect any instant miracles. 

Rosette Aqua Ceramide Gel: This is a lovely and refreshing light gel that is suitable for any skin type.
If your skin is not on the very dry side and you have a good routine you could probably get away with using this as your sole moisturizer. For the ones on the super dry end of the spectrum I like using a gel cream in addition to a regular cream almost like an emulsion step. This could also work well during the summer time but I haven't been able to use it then yet. Will update when tested in different climates.