The Biggest Mistake You're Making With Your Dry Skin

Anyone with dry skin will know full well that it requires a little more TLC than normal skin does. And while we're sure you're all over the "do's," there are some "don'ts" you should be aware of. Because if you're not, you may actually be making your dry skin worse. These are the three biggest mistakes you're making with dry skin.

Firstly, you could be using the wrong cleanser — or worse, over-cleansing. "Any time that your skin feels really tight and dry and squeaky clean after cleansing, it probably means that you're killing off some of your good bugs," board-certified dermatologist Whitney Bowe, M.D., told Ensure you only invest in products that have been formulated specifically for your skin type. And be gentle!

The same applies for any kind of exfoliation. "A common mistake that people make is to try to scrub off the flakes because their skin looks dull and flaky," Jessica Wu, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California Medical School, told Everyday Health. "This can lead to irritation. Over-scrubbing can actually make skin more inflamed and cause it to produce even more skin to repair itself." Yikes!

If you have dry skin, having long, hot showers is a big mistake

Secondly, the water temperature you choose to use when you wash your skin could be way off. "Excessive exposure to hot water can strip the skin of essential oils leading to irritation and inflammation," Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Mount Sinai Medical Center's director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology, told Self. "The water in your shower should be the temperature of what you would imagine a heated pool to be — approximately 84 degrees F." Write that down!

And lastly, you're applying your moisturizer at the wrong time. As dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla told Insider, "In the morning, timing is everything, and the best time to moisturize is within seconds of getting out of the shower." She continued, "If you have dry skin, make sure you put on a good moisturizer immediately afterward." Like your cleanser (and all your other skin products), you're only going to see the best results if you use a moisturizer that's been designed for dry skin — so don't use the wrong moisturizer!