Exfoliate twice a week
All our experts stressed the importance of exfoliating regularly (two times per week is ideal) if you truly want to see a change in your skin. “The dead skin cells need to be removed so that treatment and hydrating products can properly penetrate,” says LA-based aesthetician Shani Darden. “Chemical exfoliants are ideal because they’re more effective yet less harsh than scrubs,” she says. “I love Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare’s Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Treatment towels.” If your skin is severely dry and sensitive, a reusable cotton pad or a mesh towel will work just the same. Darden suggests using a square of cotton gauze on your face: “It’s a great way to exfoliate without causing any irritation.” If you want to prolong your tan into autumn, Kimberley Nkosi, the Barbie movie’s tanning expert, advises exfoliating every two to three days. “It sounds counterintuitive, but it won’t make your tan disappear. In fact, the more you exfoliate, the better your natural skin finish will be.” She advises focusing on areas that tend to attract a buildup of dry skin, including elbows, knees and ankles.
Spike your bath
Prone to redness when exfoliating? Consider indulging in a bath with Epsom salts instead. “If you submerge yourself in water, the salts enter your skin and help with cell turnover in a gentler, more natural way,” says Nkosi. A milk bath is equally exfoliating and will transform the texture of rough, dry skin. Dr. Barbara Sturm adds a gallon of full-fat milk to her bath water. “It makes your skin feel so soft and very hydrated,” she says.
Use an LED mask
Great for addressing myriad skin concerns, LED light is exceptionally good for unlocking radiant, smooth skin. “Red light can help increase natural hydration in the skin,” says Darden. “I like to apply a hyaluronic acid serum, like Dr. Nigma Talib’s Hydrating and Plumping Serum No1, before using my LED light-therapy mask to deeply hydrate and plump up the skin on my face even more.” The Light Salon’s Boost Advanced LED Patch for the body is flexible, so you can wrap it around any area – even calves and knees – that need hydration. Just remember, consistency is key: “LED light therapy is a long-term process, but if you use an at-home device five days a week, you’ll definitely see results after about six weeks.”
Up your omega-3s
What you eat is just as important as what you put on your skin when it comes to hydration. “Because of the skin’s barrier, you have to hydrate skin from the inside out,” affirms Darden. “Foods high in omega-3s, such as salmon, chia seeds and nuts, can all help to support natural hydration from the inside.” Make sure you drink enough water, too. “It won’t directly impact your skin’s hydration levels, but it will boost your overall health, resulting in improved skin.”
Don’t neglect your hands and feet
Due to sand and salt, dry, cracked heels are a common complaint. “I love to add a few drops of a moisturizing body oil to an intensive foot cream and apply silicone heel protectors to the area,” says Darden. Meanwhile, Nkosi says hands are often the problem area for her clients: “They’ll really stand out if they’re dry compared to your body.” She swears by Susanne Kaufmann’s Hand Cream because it has hyaluronic acid in the formula. “If I’m on set without it, I always add a few drops of hyaluronic acid serum to any hand cream for mega-hydration.”
Apply body oil in the shower
“Oil and water together provide a fantastic hydrant for the skin,” says Nkosi. “After exfoliating, use either a shower gel that contains some oil, or a bath or body oil while still in the shower, as it locks water into the skin and keeps it super-hydrated.” Nkosi swears this is all the hydration you’ll need but, once you’re out of the shower and have patted yourself dry, you can apply a moisturizer over the top as well if you suffer from severely dry skin.
Stick to a routine
When it comes to tackling the dry skin on your face, Darden recommends avoiding oils. “Using the right products is key, so start with a gentle facial cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin. My Shani Darden Cleansing Serum has an oat-bran extract in it that prevents moisture loss and repairs the skin’s barrier, which is essential for dry skin. Exfoliating twice a week is very important for overall skin health, too – and always follow up with a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum and a great moisturizer for your skin type.”
The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown