Dry Skin Guide

By April Segal, PharmD, BCPS, APh

Remedy Pharmacist + Founder


Dry skin is characterized by fewer oil-producing glands on the face and body.  With less glands you get less sebum than normal skin, and the lack of sebum means the skin is without the lipids it needs to retain moisture and to build a strong barrier to protect against external aggressors. Dry skin is characterized by dull, itchy, flaky skin and the feeling of “tightness”. Sometimes dry skin can be confused with dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin type, but dehydrated skin is a condition anyone can experience. On our previous blog post we talked more in depth about dehydration read it here if you missed it. If you have dry skin check out the following tips to help heal and repair your skin!

Routine Habits to Pick Up

  • Use a humidifier. Set it to around 60%, a level that should be sufficient to replenish the top layer of the skin.

  • Limit yourself to one 5- to 10-minute bath or shower daily. If you bathe more than that, you may strip away much of the skin's oily layer and cause it to lose moisture. Use lukewarm rather than hot water, which can wash away natural oils.

  • Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or washing. This helps plug the spaces between your skin cells and seal in moisture while your skin is still damp. Read more about moisturizers below. 

  • Exfoliate Regularly, but not every day. This helps remove dead skin and allows better penetration of moisturizers. Read more about exfoliators below

  • Avoid detergent-based cleansers. Most soaps and cleansers are great at taking the dirt off your skin, but they also remove your skin's natural oils. Using a pH balanced moisturizer or ideally, an oil-based cleanser can go along way with preserving your skin’s natural barrier. If you aren’t sure what oil-based cleaning is, just ask us!

About Moisturizers

Skin moisturizers, which rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in the moisture, are the first step in combating dry skin. They contain three main types of ingredients. Humectants, which help attract moisture, these include ceramides, glycerin, sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, and lecithin. Another set of ingredients — for example, petrolatum (petroleum jelly), silicone, lanolin, and mineral oil — helps seal that moisture within the skin. And lastly, emollients, such as shea butter, linoleic, linolenic, and lauric acids, smooth skin by filling in the spaces between skin cells. At Remedy our top four favorite facial moisturizers are:

  • Hydra Repair Day Cream by Grown Alchemist- Boasts camellia seed oil which locks in moisture and provides powerful antioxidant protection

  • Hydrating Accelerator by Josh Rosebrook - Face mist with evening primrose, marula, sea buckthorn and calendula) The light-as-air, marshmallow-scented mist is the perfect skincare step one—and will keep you spritzing all day.

  • Vital Balm Cream or Advanced Hydration Mask by Josh Rosebrook - Great for deeper hydration, includes Indian Senna Seed which offers high polysaccharides which are responsible for the skin cell’s ability to hydrate and hold moisture while also critical for skin repair. 

  • Ritual HA and Antioxidant Serum by Aenon’s - Hyaluronic Acid can hold 1000 times its weight in water, thus providing skin with long-lasting hydration. This formula is perfect for all skin types and doesn't pill - perfect for layering or use as a natural makeup primer. 

About Exfoliators

There are three types of exfoliation used in skincare: chemical, enzymatic and mechanical. The goal of both types of exfoliation is to reveal new, fresh skin cells beneath the upper surface of the skin. The difference is in how they accomplish that goal.

Chemical exfoliators are solutions that are slightly more acidic than the skin, allowing them to gently loosen dead skin cells from living ones. You can think of them as ingredients that loosen the “glue” between skin cells.

Enzymatic exfoliants are a more mild exfoliating option and the best for sensitive skin types. They are also great for people who want to use natural ingredients. Enzymes come from natural sources like fruits, and work like chemical exfoliants to break down keratin in skin, but at a much slower pace, for a more gentle and safe turnover process. At Remedy we have two convenient mask sachets for home mixing:

  • Tropic Brightening Clay Mask by Aenon’s - Uses pineapple and papaya enzymes to gently smooth skins texture

  • Charcoal Exfoliating Clay Mask by Aenon’s - Uses rice bran powder as a gentle plant-based enzyme exfoliator

Mechanical exfoliation, on the other hand, involves utilizing a slightly rough surface (like a washcloth, a face scrub, or a cleansing brush) or exfoliating substances (such as granules of salt, sugar, or even ground coffee) to slough off the top layer of skin. These are best for body exfoliating. At Remedy these are our top three:

  • Polishing Facial Exfoliant by Grown Alchemist- Uses polylactic acid from corn starch gently assists delaminating and dissolving dry and dead skin cells, leaving facial skin looking refreshed and revitalised

  • Coconut Hibiscus Body Polish by Pantry Products- Natural sugar granules provide all the exfoliation you need!

  • Natural Agave Washcloth by Nash and Jones - Great for body exfoliation. This reusable and machine washable cloth removes dead skin cells and increases circulation.  


Dry skin can be worse at different times of the year. Remember to change up your routine as needed. Your skin may need one thing one day and something different the next. Exfoliation is typically not needed on a daily basis and some of the intensive moisturizers listed here may only be needed a few times a week. As always feel free to stop by Remedy so we can answer your questions. Also, we have samples available of many of the products listed here. Just let us know if you want to try something!