Angelina Jolie has the pout. Kerry Washington has the sky-high cheekbones. I…have dry, flaky skin. For as long as I can remember, dull, dry skin has always been a part of “my brand.” I can whip up a flawless, glowing facebeat using a mix of my favorite luminous foundations (hi, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation) and powder highlighters without having to pack on the setting powder. But, when it’s time to remove my makeup at the end of the day, I’m reminded of biggest skincare woe: thirsty skin.
In desperate need of some hydration, I booked a facial at Glo Spa in New York’s Financial District to get the brand’s signature Dermalinfusion facial, which uses skin-specific serums to infuse in the skin all while combining exfoliation and extraction to hydrate and improve the skin’s appearance and texture. I was in for a complete surprise when the esthetician and founder of Glo Spa, Sai Demirovic, uttered words that cut me deep: “You don’t actually have dry skin.” What?! I’ve been living a lie this entire time.
A flurry of questions followed this startling revelation. “Does your skin sometimes feel really dry and tight after you cleanse your face?” she asked. I nodded yes. “If your cleanser is drying you out, you’re starting with a pH that’s already off-balance, so your skin is going to try to start compensating for that by either producing more oils or becoming too dry. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have dry skin, you might just be using the wrong cleanser,” Demirovic said. I can’t be the only one out there who has misdiagnosed themselves with dry skin, so I asked her to explain exactly what dry skin is, what causes it, and how to treat it, ahead.
What does dry skin look like?
“Dry skin can look a lot of different ways. Normally, there can be lots of redness, flaking, and irritation on the skin. If the skin feels especially dry after washing your face, that’s how you know your cleanser is drying you out. If you wash your skin and you feel tightness in your face, that’s how you know you have a dry skin.”
What causes dry skin?
“You could just be lacking hydration. You might be using lotions that are really sitting on top of the skin and not actually penetrating below the surface. I feel like serums are really important to use in your routine. So, using a hyaluronic acid as your base serum will kind of help keep you from drying out and not clog your pores.”