Hi everyone!

Hi everyone! I've been lurking for quite awhile and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the different products and routines I see listed here. I have sensitive, dry skin and quite a bit of redness. I've tried high end products and of course drugstore but really haven't found a routine that can keep my face hydrated. I would really appreciate some suggestions as to where I should start! Thanks so much!

8 Answers
1 people found this helpful

Hi! Welcome! I understand the lurking/being overwhelmed as a fellow lurker who spent a year being overwhelmed and taking it in slowly before taking the plunge and joining.

I also have dry, dehydrated skin and always have. I find that the thing that helps me most is lots of hydrating layers and a good, thick moisturizer with an occlusive at night.

You can find the AB Routine 101 in the sidebar, which should walk you through the basics of building your routine. I would say that with starting out, the products aren’t as important as having the basics and being diligent with patch testing and usage.

A sample routine with a focus on hydration:
- start off with a gentle oil cleanser. I like Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil. Another option is a Banila Co. balm.
- choose a second cleanser that doesn’t give your skin that tight feeling. I like the Hado Labo HA Cleansing Foam. Another option is the Cosrx Low Ph Cleanser.
- fte/toners/“lotions”. there are a million. I like the Klairs unscented supple preparation toner. Other favorites are the Missha FTE, Kikumasamune High Moist lotion, and the Hado Labo premium lotion (esp this last one for hydration). try doing 3-7 layers (patting in one layer, letting it absorb, adding another. you can mix and match your products).
- serums/essences. The Cosrx 96 Snail Mucin is super popular and a great carrier for oils and other products. I mix mine with TO Niacinamide. You can also try the Scinic AIOs. There’s a honey and snail you might like.
- eye cream. essentially just a very thick face cream. whichever one you prefer. I use a western one.
- face cream. I use the Cosrx honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream. If you can splurge on one product, i recommend the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream. There’s also a liquid. You can get them at Sephora. The Holika Holika Good Cera Cream is a much cheaper dupe.
- for daytime: sunscreen. super important. my favorite by far is the biore uv aqua rich watery essence.
- for nighttime: sleeping pack + occlusive. popular options include Cosrx honey overnight mask and etude house moistful collagen sleeping pack. you can mix it 1:1 with an occlusive like Vaseline, Aquaphor, Cerave Healing Ointment, etc. to “seal” in the hydration overnight.

This is just a sample routine!! I am not telling you to buy any/all of these products, but rather giving you a (very small) sample of the options you have when it comes to building a routine. Everything I listed aside from the Dr. Jarts is under $20. You don’t and shouldn’t spend a lot of money to build your routine at first. I would say if the products mentioned above, I personally found almost all of them to be beneficial to my hydration-focused routine. But YMMV! Do your research. The sidebar and the search function are your friend!

Was this answer helpful? Helpful

This is so extensive! Thanks! I have a question about occlusives, what it does, and if it’s a must to help with hydration. I use the Dr. Jart you mentioned here and my skin drinks it up, but it still feels like 10 minutes later, it’s absorbed and dry again.

From “101: The AB Routine” in the sidebar: “6.4 Sleeping packs and occlusives Sleeping packs and occlusives have essentially the same role: provide excess hydration and seal it all in. Sleeping packs tend to be lighter than occlusives and are more cream-like. Occlusives are meant to form a layer over your skin that is relatively impenetrable, like Vaseline. It's not totally necessary to use a sleeping pack at night - if your environment is super dry, you can wear it during the day as well. Occlusives on the other hand tend to leave an obvious layer and are best used when going to bed.” Some helpful threads: - - - I personally think an occlusive makes a huge difference, especially when the weather gets colder, the air gets drier, and indoor heating gets going. I use a large pea sized amount of the elizabeth arden fragrance free 8 hour cream at night as the last step of my routine. I put a thin layer on, making sure not to get it around my eye area (it might be giving me a milia), and tie my hair back in a loose braid so it doesn’t stick to my face. I then go to sleep on my back and wash it off in the morning with a cleansing balm. Even my husband noticed a difference in how plump/hydrated my face looks (and he’s still staunchly in the “why do I need to use TWO face cleansers” camp and thinks I’m pretty much nuts for slathering layers and layers of goo on my face every night). Do you use a sleeping pack? You can try mixing it 1:1 with something like the Cerave healing ointment and see how it goes. If you don’t, I highly recommend getting one! In the meantime, try using Vaseline if you have it lying around. I also used to struggle with layering on products only for my face to immediately feel parched. It’s important to remember that humectants help to bind the water to your skin, but they’ll just evaporate (and leave your skin drier) if not properly sealed in. This thread is helpful, especially the first comment, for determining if you have dry vs. dehydrated skin and the importance of layering: - Hope this helps!

Yes this absolutely helps! I see the word all the time in these forums but have never really dived into it. Thanks for compiling. I’m going to give it a shot as winter approaches.

Thank you so much! You've given me some great information. I guess I will dive in with your guidance and see how it goes. Thanks again!!

No problem!! Good luck! 🌿

1 people found this helpful

I always recommend the Whamisa by Glow Studio Green Tea Cleanser. It has HA in it, which keeps your skin hydrated and moisturized even after cleansing.

I'm currently also using the Asiatica Calming Ampoule after the cleanser as well as sometimes mixed into P:rem Safe Relief Cream.

I also have sensitive skin so I understand where you're coming from. I would test the cleanser first for a week or two, and then patch test the ampoule or cream for another week or two. See how your skin reacts to it.

Was this answer helpful? Helpful

Thank you! I will research those products!

Welcome to Narfar!
Narfar is a search engine built for communities to ask questions and find the most best answers.

Sign Up Ask a Question
Community Rules
It is fine to disagree or share opinions, but please remain constructive and refrain from being rude to others. We have a zero tolerance policy against offensive behavior.