How to create a skincare routine for dry skin

How to create a skincare routine for dry skin

Dry skin is a common occurrence, especially when faced with cold temperatures or windy conditions. If your skin feels tighter or may crack at any given moment despite regular moisturising and cleansing, it could be time to change your skincare routine or the products you use to meet your skin's needs better.

To help you develop an effective daily routine that can soothe irritation, hydrate and restore moisture, we’ve created this useful guide which highlights some of the best skincare products for dry skin, as well as provides a simple morning and night routine to help you prevent any issues from recurring. Keep reading as we discuss our top tips for managing dry skin.

What ingredients should I avoid for dry skin?

Before we jump into how to care for dry skin, it’s important to know which ingredients should be avoided. The chances are that some of your current favourite products may include these commonly used ingredients, and this could be contributing to the issue. We’d recommend checking anything that you use daily and see if it contains any of the following ingredients:


Opting for products that are fragranced is highly tempting, as a luxe scent can add a spa-like feel to our beauty regimes. However, the additive fragrances used in some skincare products can be bothersome for those who have dry skin. This is because those with a dry skin type tend to be more sensitive to irritations or even allergens, which can lead to flaking or itching. Using fragrances in skincare products is very common, so where possible try to pick fragrance-free options, especially for moisturisers and serums that will settle into the skin.


Alcohols are added to skincare products because they’re effective at cleaning, helping to remove dirt build-up and oil from pores. However, they are very drying and can remove necessary moisture from the skin which makes them unsuitable for dry skin types, as the skin will be irritated and need to produce excess oil to restore moisture. It can be difficult to find products without alcohol, so we’d recommend looking for alcohol-free options or products formulated for sensitive skin.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is commonly used in skincare products as it is an effective exfoliant and can be great when treating acne, as the chemical works to remove sebum build-up from clogged pores. This is great for oily skin but can cause flaking or irritation when overused, especially for those with dry skin. If you have dry combination skin and wish to keep salicylic acid as part of your regime, then we’d recommend only using this once to twice per week to avoid damaging your skin barrier.

Sodium lauryl sulphate & sodium laureth sulfate

Whilst these two ingredients may sound similar, they should both be avoided as they’re very drying for the skin. This moisture loss typically causes irritation and redness and may result in skin feeling tighter and more prone to cracking.

Our recommended morning skincare routine for dry skin

When it comes to creating an effective skincare routine, your morning and evening regime should follow slightly different steps. To help you figure this out, we recommend following each step below in order. You can change the products as necessary to match your preferences, but we have included some recommendations to help choosing suitable products much easier.

1. Cleanse

The first step in the morning is to make sure that your skin is cleansed of any dirt or oils built up overnight. For dry skin, we suggest you choose a gentle and soothing cleanser to avoid causing any irritation first thing in the morning. The Lancome Mousse Eclat gentle foaming face wash is a great choice, as it can be used day and night without causing flaking or dryness. While foaming cleansers are often thought to disturb dry skin, this one has been formulated to cleanse without over-drying, so you can enjoy a fresh, clean feeling without irritation.

Lancome Mousse Eclat Gentle Cleansing Foam Face Wash 200ml

(£29.50 RRP Sale price £24.99 Saving £4.51)

2. Hydrate

After cleansing, your skin may feel a little dehydrated due to some natural oils being removed. You can help to replenish and rehydrate your skin by using a hyaluronic acid serum. This will help to ensure your skin doesn’t look dull or dry, by plumping the skin and restoring moisture.

Alpha H Hyaluronic 8 Ultrafiller Serum 15ml 

(£31.95 RRP Sale price £8.99 Saving £22.96)

3. Tone

Toners are designed to help replenish and nourish the skin after cleansing, providing extra clarification and moisture. A gentle toner can make a visible difference to your skin by replacing any of the essential oils and moisture that was removed during the cleansing process. Be careful when selecting your toner, as this category of product is one that alcohols are most commonly found in, so be sure to thoroughly check the ingredients list before investing. We love the Pixi Milky Tonic Jojoba Milk & Oat Soothing Toner which is designed to be effective on sensitive skin, ensuring moisture is restored.

Pixi Milky Tonic Jojoba Milk & Oat Soothing Toner 100ml 

(£10.00 RRP Sale price £8.00 Save £2.00)

4. Treat (serum)

Serums are designed to tackle specific skincare concerns, with lots of different options to choose from. They often contain active ingredients that can help to hydrate, brighten, moisturise, even out the complexion and firm the skin. This is not a step that those with dry skin should skip, as not only will a serum help your skin to feel and look better, but it can also help to protect your skin barrier and slow down the natural ageing process, by reducing fine lines and wrinkle development. With so many serums all tackling different skin types and concerns, it can be difficult to know what is best suited to you. For dry skin in particular, we recommend L'Oreal Youth Code Skin Activating Ferment Serum, as it is gentle on the skin and is designed to provide intense moisture.

L'Oreal Youth Code Skin Activating Ferment Serum 75ml

(£50.00 RRP Sale price £28.99 Save £21.01)

5. Moisturise

It’s important to apply moisturiser every day, especially if you have dry skin. This may be in the form of a lotion or cream. Which texture you pick isn’t important, but choosing one with the right ingredients is essential. If you’re looking for the best moisturiser for dry skin, the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ is a fantastic choice as it has been specifically developed for very dry to dry combination skin types. As a bonus, it is completely fragrance-free!

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion 125ml

(£35.00 RRP Sale price £29.99 Saving £5.01)

6. SPF

A broad-spectrum SPF should be applied every day, no matter your skin type, as harmful sun rays can still reach your skin even on cloudy days and in cold seasons. Too much exposure to these rays can speed up the ageing process and cause skin damage. If you have dry skin, it’s best to choose a sun cream that offers a good level of protection. The Lancaster Sun Cream Oil-Free Milk Vegan SPF50 is the perfect choice when keeping sensitive, dry skin in good condition.

Lancaster Sun Cream Oil-Free Milk Vegan SPF50 150ml

(£25.00 RRP Sale price £15.00 Saving £10.00)

Night routine for dry skin

When it comes to winding down before bed, there are a couple of additional products that you will need, and we recommend working a face mask into the routine on a weekly basis too. Follow the three simple steps below every night a few hours before bed, to allow your products to settle into your skin, and you should wake up with skin that feels fresh and rejuvenated.

1. Double cleanse

Using your chosen cleanser, you’ll need to wash your face to clear any dirt and debris that has been collected during the day. Even if your skin feels clean, there will be some oil build-up and exposure to dirt from the air, and this should be removed before starting the next steps. When wearing SPF or makeup, it is recommended to double-cleanse to ensure all residue is removed. We recommend using a cleansing balm before your usual cleanser. This is a balm-textured product that when worked into the skin becomes either oily or milky. Following cleansing, step two from your morning routine should be repeated. 

2. Retinol

There is a common misconception that retinol shouldn’t be used on dry skin. Some dry skin types can handle retinol well as part of a structured routine that is followed by a suitable moisturiser. We prefer to use the L’Oreal Pure Retinol Deep Wrinkle Night Serum, but there are milder options available if you find that this irritates your skin. Retinoids should not be used daily, particularly when newly introducing this product type to your routine. At first, apply it once or twice a week and assess how your skin reacts. If all goes well, you can increase this frequency to 3 or 4 times per week.

L'Oreal Pure Retinol Deep Wrinkle Night Serum 30ml 

(£29.99 RRP Sale price £23.99 Saving £6.00)

3. Night moisturiser 

After double cleansing and applying retinol, it is important to replenish your skin with a rich moisturiser. Night moisturiser creams are designed with a heavier formula that gradually sinks into the skin whilst you sleep to replenish your skin. We recommend the Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream for nightly use.

Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream 50ml All Skin Types 

(£84.00 RRP Sale price £68.50 Saving £15.50)

4. Weekly mask

This step is not strictly essential, but it will benefit your skin in the long run. There are plenty of different mask formulas which have different purposes, but to make it easier to incorporate into your routine, we’d suggest a sheet mask. These are often designed to be replenishing and can be soothing for dry skin. Two of our favourite options are the Biotherm Life Plankton Essense Sheet Mask and the Dr Jart Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Sheet which are both hydrating options, which harness the power of natural sea ingredients to promote a healthy glow.

Biotherm Life Plankton Essence Sheet Mask 27g 

(£10.00 RRP Sale price £8.00 Save £2.00)

Dr.Jart+ Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution Sheet Mask 

(£6.00 RRP Sale price £2.49 Save £3.51)

Find discounted skincare products for dry skin to build your regime

At Hogies, we understand the importance of choosing the right skincare ingredients for you. Whilst our recommendations may work for some, they may not be the best option for others. We have a wide range of skincare products available for all skin types, including dry, oily, and combination. Shop a range of facial oils, serums, and cleansers at Hogies to find the perfect skincare products for your skin. Alternatively, if you’d like to try out some different products at a fraction of the cost, browse through our range of clearance skincare products for some unmissable deals.