What To Do In A Dry-Skin EMERGENCY

We've all been there: You wake up one morning to find your skin in an all-out revolt. You haven't changed your skin care routine, didn't eat anything weird, haven't travelled to a new country — but, for reasons outside of your control, your skin is so dried out that it hurts. It's red and flaking; it feels rough instead of smooth. You're having a dry skin emergency.
So, what now? Do you reach for the moisturizer, the oil, the mask, or do you need something a little stronger to get your face back in action? Knowing how intense a dry skin emergency can be, we called in the experts to learn what the skin care version of stop, drop, and roll is. Read on.

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Photo: Via Stock Free Images.
So, what’s the first step for healing your alligator-like skin? Skin-care expert Cecilia Wong says to start by splashing warm water on your face, and then gently exfoliate for about a minute. As for what exfoliator to use, Wong prefers to DIY it when the situation is as dire as this. She recommends combining raw honey with Greek yogurt and a few teaspoons of chia seeds (more or less, depending on how much exfoliation you feel you need).

If you have a little more time, you can also do a raw honey mask. “Apply raw honey to the skin for 10 minutes,” Wong says. “It’s a quick fix for dry, flaky skin.”
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If you do use a store-bought option, dermatologist Dr. Ariel Ostad, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at New York University Medical Center, says to use a gentle cleanser in small, circular motions. And, make sure the cleanser is fragrance- and alcohol-free. “When a product has ‘fragrance’ listed as an ingredient, there is no knowing what chemicals were actually put into the fragrance," Dr. Ostad says. "These unknown added chemicals can irritate skin and lead to other unknown effects.”

After you cleanse, Dr. Ostad says, “Gently pat skin dry, and immediately apply a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer. This will lock in moisture right away, and help product sink deeper into the skin.”

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, $38, available at Sephora.
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However, if your moisturizer doesn’t seem strong enough to do the trick, Wong suggests following the exfoliator by spraying your face with an alcohol-free toner, and then applying a facial oil. You should use a light oil like grapeseed, sunflower, or black currant oil — you’ll know it’s light enough if it absorbs into the skin, rather than just sitting there. And, she says, “You can continue to spray your toner throughout the day for added hydration.”

Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, $16, available at Kiehl's.
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