How to Get Rid of Dry, Flaky Skin Overnight

How to Get Rid of Dry, Flaky Skin Overnight

Anyone who’s experienced the discomfort of dry, flaky skin wants a fix, and fast. Below you’ll find a brief list of dry skin dos and don’ts, all supported by published research. Read on to find out how to get rid of dry skin on your face, body, and lips.



To heal dry skin, it’s essential to pay close attention to ingredient lists, to swap out products if needed, and perhaps to change some ingrained behaviors—but your newly soft, plumper-looking, smoother-feeling skin will be well worth the effort:

  • Don’t put any fragranced products on your skin (yes, that includes lip and body products). Fragrance is the number one cause of sensitised skin.
  • Don’t use products containing sensitising ingredients like denatured alcohol, essential oils, mint, menthol, and eucalyptus.
  • Don’t use products containing clays and starches; these absorbents won’t damage your skin, but they can be drying if your skin isn’t oily.
  • Don’t use abrasive scrubs to exfoliate; rather, use a gentle leave-on product that invisibly, effortlessly sloughs dead skin. This will allow your moisturising products to absorb more fully and work more effectively. 
  • Don’t use very hot water; we know, a hot bath or shower feels perfect in winter, but cooling the temperature a bit will help prevent uncomfortable dryness and flaking. Post-shower, apply a layer of soothing, emollient lotion. If your skin is very dry or even scaly, we'd love for you to tru our CLINICAL Ultra-Rich Soothing Body Butter, which is luxuriously thick and even suitable for eczema-prone skin. You get rich lasting hydration (12 hours!) without a slippery, greasy feel. Another option is our Daily Replenishing Body Cream, a fast-absorbing moisturiser featuring ceramides, a peptide, and antioxidants for daily use for all-day dry skin relief.
  • Don’t use bar soap or bar cleansers, even on your body. Rather, switch to a hydrating cream or oil cleanser. The ingredients that keep soaps and bar cleansers in bar form can leave a residue on skin that keeps your moisturisers from doing their job.

References for this Information:

Skin Research and Technology, August 2015, pages 366–372
Clinical Cosmetic Investigative Dermatology, August 2015, pages 413–421
Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition, Tisserand, R., Young, R., Elsevier Ltd., 2014, pages 69–98
Journal of Clinical and Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, October 2014, pages 2473–2483
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, July 2014, pages 177–184
Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, June 2014, pages 25–32
Archives of Dermatological Research, March 2013, pages 151–162
Aesthetic Dermatology, October 2012, pages 20–23; and March 2009, pages 38–43

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!