How to Fix Dry Skin Like an Esthetician



Since I first became aware of my complexion as an adolescent, having dry, flaky skin has been a part of my identity. Like having green eyes and freckles, it was a given for me. I was never in the club of women who carried around blotting papers and commiserated about their greasy T-zones. Instead, I was over in the Sahara, constantly googling “how to fix dry skin.” Sure, I’d break out on my chin during my period, but I thought everyone did. I was certain: I’m a dry-skin type. The heavier and oilier my skincare products, the better, right? 

Wrong. A few months ago, this part of my identity was promptly undone when I paid a visit to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau. I happened to swing by for a facial during my worst skin day in recent memory. My time of the month had just ended, so my chin was speckled with blemishes. Plus, it was the day after a long night of “socializing” with “beverages.” Let’s just say my body was feeling less than glowing, both inside and out.

Rouleau asked me to name my main skin concern, and instantly I responded, “Dryness.” I told her about my flaky patches. I told her about my lack of shine. We proceeded with the facial (glorious extractions included) and then came the bombshell: Rouleau revealed that my skin type is not actually dry at all. 

Here’s the thing: Just because I experienced flakiness on my face didn’t mean my skin was intrinsically dry. This flakiness was likely caused by a number of outside factors and worsened by partying too hard, going a little crazy with exfoliation, and traveling on a dry airplane. The very fact that I had monthly breakouts and blackheads signaled that my skin contained oil. Rouleau diagnosed my true skin type and sent me on my way with a brand-new routine. Needless to say, I was shocked. But also relieved.

If I messed up my skin type that badly, I figured I couldn’t be the only one. Keep scrolling for the truth (the real truth!) about what it means to have dry skin.