Battling Dry Skin? Here’s How to Quench the Thirst

If you’re anything like us and you love the crisp, cool weather that autumn brings, you might also find your joy of brown leaf-crunching and winter wardrobe goodies a bit marred by one thing: dry skin.

As the leaves change and the air’s moisture recedes, many of us start to notice dry or flaky skin. It’s no fun, but don’t worry – there are ways to combat this with some effective dry skin skincare. Let’s dive into what Dr Tanya recommends.

The science behind the dryness

Dry skin, also known as xerosis, occurs when the skin lacks moisture and essential oils. Symptoms may include itching, flakiness, and rough patches. 

While there are many different causes of dry skin – overwashing, too hot showers, sun damage, and incorrect product use to name a few – another common cause is something we don’t have much control over.

Yep, you guessed it: the weather.

Seasonal changes or something else?

Seasonal changes, particularly during autumn and winter, can exacerbate dry skin due to the drop in humidity levels and exposure to harsh winds. 

If you’re a classic seasonal sufferer of dry skin, you’re in luck as all you need is likely just some good science-backed dry skin skincare.

However, if you’re experiencing dry or scaly skin during more humid weather in summer and spring, or if you have large patches of dryness that won’t go away, it might be time to speak to your GP or a dermatologist. 

Lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, or underlying conditions can also play a role in skin hydration. Dr Tanya always recommends seeking professional guidance if you suspect any of these might be the cause of your dryness.

Related: Top 5 Foods for Skin Health – rehydrate from the inside out.

Dry skin skincare: 7 Tips for managing dryness

Cupped hands with a heart-shaped dab of cream

We know this is what you came for. So, without further ado, here are our top 10 tips to combat dry skin – aka your essential autumn skincare as curated by Dr Tanya and the team: 

1. Reduce shower time (and don’t have hot showers!)

Showering for too long can start to strip your skin’s natural oils and moisture, so it’s good to keep showers under 10 minutes per day.

Alongside this, hot showers are like razors on your skin’s oil layers. Dermatologists recommend warm showers for better skin – and, if you can brave them, finish with a cold spritz to rejuvenate your mind and body!

2. Avoid harsh cleansers

Just like hot showers, harsh face cleansers can strip the skin of its natural oils. Instead, opt for gentle cleansers that cleanse without compromising hydration. 

Look for these ingredients when choosing a cleanser to help you battle dry skin:

  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): Niacinamide plays a key role in building keratin, a protein that (among many other fabulous things) helps your skin develop a ceramide barrier which leads to more moisture retention.
  • Panthenol (Vitamin B5): Panthenol is a powerful skin protectant that’s often used in formulas to treat wounds and burns. It’s got great anti-inflammatory properties and improves the skin’s hydration and elasticity by promoting cell renewal.
  • Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid enhances skin hydration by boosting hyaluronic acid levels within the skin and binding moisture to skin cells.

Our Miracle Cream Cleanser boasts all of these essential ingredients in a dream combination that’s perfect for treating dry skin

Use it morning and night to soothe your skin while clearing the day’s dirt away and infusing your cells with texture-improving botanicals.

3. Choose the right moisturiser

Hands holding an open pot of Dr Tanya moisturiser

There are SO many moisturisers on the market, and to the naked eye, they all look similar. As long as it feels good on your skin after cleansing, it must be working, right?

If you’re dealing with particularly dry skin, you might want to look twice at the ingredients in your moisturiser. Some products include harsh chemicals, some are watered down, and others have more synthetic ingredients than natural oils and goodness.

Dr Tanya recommends choosing a moisturiser with ingredients like: 

  • Squalane: An oil derived from the skin’s naturally-occurring sebum which increases hydration and seals in moisture.
  • Jojoba oil: A natural oil that helps your skin maintain a protective barrier while preventing transepidermal water loss, which means your skin is better able to lock in moisture.
  • Holy Basil: This sacred Indian herb is Dr Tanya’s favourite natural ingredient for many reasons, a major one being its intense hydration benefits.

Want a doctor-recommended moisturiser with ALL of these key ingredients that you can use in the morning and at night? We’ve got your perfect formula right here in Dr Tanya’s Holy Basil Day & Night Cream.

This superpowered formula breathes life into dehydrated skin with ultra-hydrating properties that also help gently combat signs of ageing. Plus, it's great for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Win-win!

4. Moisturise straight after cleansing

The reason moisturising is crucial for preserving skin hydration is because it creates a protective barrier that seals in the moisture. Makes sense, right? But there's actually an extra step to reaping all the benefits of your favourite cream.

It's vital to apply your moisturiser immediately after cleansing and washing your skin. After showering, moisture levels are high (provided you've followed our advice in Tip #1), but they quickly evaporate upon drying off. 

Applying moisturiser straightaway helps lock in this moisture, keeping the skin hydrated.

5. Supplement with serums

Sometimes, even a great moisturiser like Dr Tanya’s Holy Basil Day & Night Cream isn’t enough to combat extra dry skin during autumn and winter. This is when a dry skin serum is your best friend.

Serums are like superheroes at fighting dry skin, but it’s all about finding the right serum with the right formulation to address your concerns. 

Dr Tanya recommends looking for formulas with humectants, which help to pull water from external moisture or deep skin tissue into the epidermis (the skin’s upper layers). Humectants bolster our moisture barrier and make our skin look plumper and more youthful.

Humectants are very potent in certain serums – but what should you look for in the ingredients list? Choose serums with the following for a huge hydration boost:

Plus, of course, our go-to Holy Basil, which provides intense hydration while increasing suppleness and firmness.

The results are in: In our latest Holy Basil Face Serum study, 100% of participants felt that their skin was more hydrated. We love a clinically proven result!

6. Change up your SPF

A smear of sunscreen on a gold surface

Despite the cooler weather, sunscreen in autumn and winter is still essential, especially for those of us living in UV-harsh climates like Australia and Dubai.

We love SPF (hello, anti-ageing solution), but one thing we don’t care for is its tendency to dry out the skin

According to Real Simple’s conversation with dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, lots of standard sunscreens are formulated with zinc oxide. This powerful UVA and UVB protector is also an astringent, a property that blocks sebum production.

In short, zinc oxide-type SPF products may be one of the culprits of your dry skin. 

If that rings true for you, opt for an SPF moisturiser, or one that doesn’t contain zinc oxide in its ingredient list. There are tonnes of SPF options out there for all different skin types, so you’re bound to find your perfect match soon.

7. Invest in a humidifier

When the weather gets colder, we close our doors, shut our windows, and crank up the heater. The result is warm, dry air that doesn’t get circulated and that can make our skin super thirsty.

A good solution to this is an air humidifier, which helps to add moisture to the air in your home. It’s also a great hypoallergenic tool, a savings grace if you suffer from seasonal allergies as well as dry skin!

Note: If using a humidifier, just be sure to clean and dust it regularly. Dirty filters and water tanks can lead to mould growth or bacteria released into the air – and then into your lungs. Just like your air conditioner, proper maintenance will keep you healthy and safe.

Dr Tanya’s dry skin solution: Skin Essentials

Smiling woman applying moisturiser to her cheek

Elevate your skincare routine with Dr Tanya's Skin Essentials bundle, carefully crafted to combat dryness and restore your skin's natural radiance. 

This trio of products, including the Miracle Cream Cleanser, Holy Basil Face Serum, and Holy Basil Day & Night Cream, offers a comprehensive solution to purify, nourish, and protect your skin. 

Formulated with gentle ingredients suitable for sensitive skin, this 3-step ritual provides the hydration and care your skin craves in drying weather – and all year round.

Embrace the simplicity of our science-backed skincare routine. Indulge in the transformative power of Dr Tanya's Skin Essentials bundle for a healthier, more radiant complexion – and kick skin dryness in the behind so you can enjoy autumn to the fullest!

Further reading: Check out our Doctor-approved Winter Skincare Guide for the next season change.