Best Skin Care Routine for Dry Sensitive Skin

Most people with dry, hard to manage, sensitive skin, suffer with uncomfortable flare-ups of red, itchy and flaky skin. Mature skin, winter weather, and irritating skin care products may also contribute to your condition. To help your dry sensitive skin feel and look healthy, you need a simple, daily skin care routine that will work for your skin type. This article will help you establish a good dry, sensitive skin care routine, and provide sensitive skin care tips to help your skin become healthy, hydrated, and smooth.


According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 56% of us have sensitive skin. Dry skin is often associated with sensitive skin, because keeping moisture in your skin from the inside becomes difficult to retain. In general, sensitive skin refers to the skin condition that easily breaks out in rashes, gets blotchy red, burns or stings. What causes the reactions may be a response to products or weather. Dermatologists suggest if the cause is not from a serious allergy or disease, you may very well, be the cause. Frequently changing skin care products that contain irritating ingredients can be one cause. Trying different anti aging treatments, such as spa facials using microabrasions or chemical peels may be other causes of sensitive skin. Keeping it simple with the right skin care products and routine can make a huge difference.

How to Clean Dry Sensitive Skin

Bacteria, dead skin cells, build up of oil and pollution accumulate on your skin daily. To keep your skin healthy, the first step is to keep it clean.

  • Make sure to wash your face at night. Clogged pores can result in irritation, inflammation and break outs. For dry sensitive skin, it's best to clean your face properly once a day, and before bed is the best time.
  • Wash your face with a gentle dry skin lotion cleanser that is soap and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) free. These harsh ingredients can lead to further irritation and dryness. Soap ingredients (even in some sensitive skin brands) can remove natural needed oils from your skin.
  • If you're using the right cleanser, your skin should feel soft and not dry. If after washing, your skin feels tight, irritated and dryer, change cleansers.
  • Besides SLS, also avoid cleansers with fragrance, alcohol, parabens and antimicrobial ingredients, such as Triclosan. Antimicrobials and fragrances can cause further irritation and dryness.
  • Only wash your face with warm water, never hot, and limit long showers under hot water. Humidity is your dry skin's friend, and by keeping the shower door closed, you can increase moisture as you shower or bathe.
  • Avoid harsh scrubs, loofas, and washcloths.
  • Always wash your face gently and dry with a soft cotton towel. Never rub as you dry. It's best to moisturize while your skin is still slightly damp. This helps the moisturizer to penetrate the skin.
  • In the morning, only rinse your face to refresh. No need to wash with cleanser again. Over-cleansing can further dry out skin.

best and worst ingredients for dry skin


The point of a moisturizer is to help skin cells retain water from the inside. Your daily skin care routine is very important and what products you use are even more crucial. You absorb what you rub on your skin. Choosing the right gentle moisturizer free of harsh ingredients is very important for hydration as well as your health.

  • Moisturize within 3 minutes of washing your face. Apply at night after washing your face and in the morning after rinsing. At night, use a richer night cream moisturizer.
  • Opt for cream or oil, instead of lotions. Glycerin and dimethicone in creams draw water into the surface skin layer and are beneficial ingredients.
  • Anti-aging ingredients such as retinols and salicylic acid may be irritating to your sensitive skin and should be avoided. Fragrances are also irritating to sensitive skin. Always test a small amount of any new product on the inside of your wrist and cover with a bandage. Wait 24-48 hours for any negative reaction.
  • Moisturizers marketed as 'natural' that contain plant extracts and essential oils may also have irritating side effects and should not be what to look for.
  • Shea butter in face creams can be soothing to dry sensitive skin.
  • Help prevent and repair fine lines and motivate new collagen production with sodium hyaluronate in your moisturizer.
  • For very dry skin, emu oil has many benefits. It has no side effects, moisturizes by penetrating without a greasy feel and has anti aging properties. However, it's important to choose brands with the seal of the American Emu Association on them. The seal assures the product has been properly purified by the strict AEA guidelines.
  • Weekly use of a facial mask with Kaolin clay to help add nutrients to your skin is helpful. Your skin will feel soft and smooth.
  • Use lip balm with shea butter. Apply before lipstick or lip gloss.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help hydrate your skin from inside out.


Your sensitive skin becomes easily irritated. It's important to learn and apply important dos and dont's:

  • Excessive sun exposure without sun protection is not recommended for any skin type. Many sunscreens contain benezophenones and other harsh ingredients. Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 OR SPF 30 that contain the safest physical sunblocks of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These ingredients are very effective and gentle on sensitive skin.
  • Avoid air conditioned or overly heated rooms. Use extra moisturizing creams and drink lots of water under these conditions. If need be, reapply moisturizer as needed during the day. You don't need to wash in between.
  • Skin peels and other salon treatments may aggravate the problem.
  • Don't touch your face. Dermatologists warn against causing irritation by transferring bacteria, fungus and viruses from your fingers to your skin. Make sure your hands are clean as you apply moisturizers and makeup.
  • For makeup, dermatologists prefer mineral based cosmetics. These will not clog pores and in general are gentle on sensitive skin.

tips for dry sensitive skin

More Sensitive Skin Care Articles


I just read one of your blog post of BEST SKIN CARE ROUTINE FOR DRY SENSITIVE SKIN. Must say loving our own skin is a step towards self-love. Appreciation for your writings

Vilvah July 11, 2023

Thanks for sharing this informative article :)

Taleeha December 13, 2021

Yeah, the best skincare routine we must have for our gorgeous skin. In my opinion, the face moisturizer cream plays the best role in this, I am not saying only as I am saying it as one of the most essential.

Maya Malhotra August 11, 2021

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published