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5-Step Affordable Skincare Routine to Beat Dry Skin

Hello, lovely readers!

Does your skin go from oily in the summer to obscenely dry in the winter? Do you have a shelf of moisturizers and serums that claim to cure dry skin? If this rings true, then you are not alone.

Millions of women are prone to this problem (myself included). Luckily for you, my beautiful reader, I’ve created a 5-step skincare routine to conquer your dry skin woes, plus my favorite, affordable products to zap away those pesky flakes and give you the skin of your dreams!


P.S. The products in this post are affiliate links, but all opinions are 100% my own! These are the products that I regularly use.

1. Double Cleanse.

This is the first step in any night-time skincare routine. Finding the right cleansing routine can be a trial-and-error process, but when you find it, the results are wonderful.

The first step is to break down the makeup and sunscreen on the skin with a cleansing balm, oil cleanser, or micellar water. I prefer micellar water because it doesn’t clog my pores. My all-time favorite micellar water is the Garnier Skinactive Micellar Cleansing Water for All Skin Types.

After taking the makeup off, the next step is to use a non-stripping, foaming cleanser to remove the dirt and leftover makeup from your skin. My top pick is the Cerave Cream-to-Foam Hydrating Cleanser.

A simple, gentle cleanser will suffice in the morning. This will prevent your skin from drying out during the day by preserving your natural oils. For my no-makeup days, I like to use the Cerave Hydrating Cleanser.

After cleansing, let your skin air dry. If you don’t have time, use a fresh washcloth to pat dry your face. Never rub!

2. Apply a hydrating serum before moisturizing.

If using hyaluronic acid, a humectant, slightly dampen your skin before applying. After the serum is fully absorbed, smooth a moisturizer over it to avoid over-drying your skin. This is because humectants draw moisture into the skin from the environment. The moisturizing cream on top acts as a sealant to help the skin retain that moisture. Dampening your skin before applying will prevent the moisture from being drawn out of your skin in a dry climate, which is especially important in winter.

The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid 2% + BA Hydrating Serum is a good option and a great starting point for using serums.

3. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

In the summer, I like to use a light, gel-textured moisturizer in the morning and a heavier, cream-based moisturizer before bed. However, this does not apply during the winter. I use the heavy moisturizer twice a day! Although it extends my time to get ready in the morning, I find that doing this is necessary to create the perfect base for makeup, and who doesn’t want that?

The moisturizer I’ve loved this winter is the Differin Restorative Night Moisturizer. It doesn’t clog my pores and leaves my face plump and glowing. It’s also gentle enough to use around your eyes, which is even more cost-efficient! Did I mention it’s only $10?

4. Apply Sunscreen.

This is the most important step in any daily skincare routine because sunscreen prevents skin cancer. It also prevents 92% of premature aging, which, let’s face it, is a huge bonus. Apply it to all of the areas exposed to the sun. That is usually my face, neck, chest, hands, and ears. I prefer mineral sunscreens for my acne-prone skin, but organic/chemical sunscreens work just as well. Make sure to choose a sunscreen with a broad-spectrum SPF level of at least 30 to 50.

I use Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 40 by Supergoop. Since sunscreen is so important, it is the most expensive product in my skincare routine at $42. I also love that it’s tinted because it doesn’t leave a white cast and gives some warmth to my face.

5. Lip balm.

Although easily forgotten, lip balms are an important part of any skincare routine. They not only keep our lips from being chapped but also prevent infections from broken skin.

One of my all-time favorite lip balms is the Lip Repair by Aquaphor.

Optional steps:

1. Sandwiching Technique.

Take a pea-sized amount of your moisturizer, smooth it gently, and wait until it absorbs completely. Then smooth on your acne/anti-aging treatment. After it is fully absorbed in your skin, put on another layer of moisturizer.

This step won’t apply to everyone, but it does to me since I have acne (adapalene is my jam). Certain acids can also have a beneficial effect on decreasing fine lines and wrinkles. Whatever your preferred product of choice, moisturizing before can significantly impact the product’s performance. That is why waiting until it is fully absorbed is crucial, as the product will go deeper into your skin without sacrificing the moisture barrier.

3. Smooth on a non-comedogenic oil to lock in the moisture.

This is a great last step to a night routine, as it locks in all skincare products, reducing moisture loss during sleep. A few non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) picks are jojoba oil, evening primrose oil, and sweet almond oil. I also love using oils as body moisturizers.

4. Use a leave-on moisturizing mask after cleansing to soothe and heal the skin.

Usually, these are labeled as overnight masks, but I have used them in the morning, and they work just as well. However, depending on the ingredients, they can sometimes look greasy, so keep that in mind. I like to use these when I’m sick because they simplify my routine and keep my face hydrated.

Do you have dry skin? If so, what are your favorite products? Sound off in the comments below! I can’t wait to read your responses!

For more beauty inspiration, check out How to DIY Your Own Color Conditioner.

As always, I love my lovely readers!


Lauren Hochman

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Lauren Hochman
Lauren Hochman

Lauren Hochman is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Lifestyle on a Budget and THE TEEN RUNWAY. She has over a decade of experience giving women advice through her writing. When she isn’t at her laptop, you can find her exploring Texas with her fiancĂ©, Alex, and dog, Mr. Cantaloupe.

Find me on: Web | Instagram

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