For all the focus on serums, moisturizers, and anti-aging products, you may forget about an important piece of the skin care puzzle: a good face wash. “Cleanser is a really big deal, especially during the extreme times of year, like winter,” says Tina Alster, MD, director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery and a clinical professor at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Why? The colder temps outside coupled with the dry heat inside is already zapping moisture from your skin—so adding a harsh cleanser into the mix can spell trouble for your complexion. Your face wash is designed to clean the skin, so many are often packed with surfactants: soaps that draw dirt, oil, and grime from pores. This can strip even more moisture from the skin and lead to dry, flaky patches. It’s not just a matter of flakiness or that uncomfortable tight feeling—dry skin looks sallow, dull, and highlights lines and wrinkles.

More in category

Letter from the Editor: It's raining cats and dogs
October 20, 2019MedicalNewsToday
Letter from the Editor: It's raining cats and dogs
4th person dead in Legionnaires' outbreak tied to hot tubs at N.C. state fair
October 20, 2019NBC News
4th person dead in Legionnaires' outbreak tied to hot tubs at N.C. state fair
7 Signs of Head Lice You Shouldn’t Ignore, According to Doctors
October 20, 2019Prevention
7 Signs of Head Lice You Shouldn’t Ignore, According to Doctors
I Never Used Clean Red Lipstick — Until I Found This Game-Changer
October 20, 2019mindbodygreen
I Never Used Clean Red Lipstick — Until I Found This Game-Changer
The Simple Way To Make Roasted Veggies Way Healthier
October 20, 2019mindbodygreen
The Simple Way To Make Roasted Veggies Way Healthier
California is pushing back school start times. The move could sweep the nation — or backfire.
October 20, 2019NBC News
California is pushing back school start times. The move could sweep the nation — or backfire.
Is Your Partner Always Defensive? Here's What To Do & Why It Happens
October 19, 2019mindbodygreen
Is Your Partner Always Defensive? Here's What To Do & Why It Happens
How Author & Yoga Teacher Kathryn Budig Spends Her Days Off
October 19, 2019mindbodygreen
How Author & Yoga Teacher Kathryn Budig Spends Her Days Off
Study: The best time to exercise is before breakfast
October 19, 2019MSN
Study: The best time to exercise is before breakfast
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Posts Insane Throwback Pic at Just 15 Years Old
October 19, 2019Prevention
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Posts Insane Throwback Pic at Just 15 Years Old
RHOBH's Lisa Rinna Just Shared Two Photos In Her Undies for Breast Cancer Awareness
October 19, 2019Prevention
RHOBH's Lisa Rinna Just Shared Two Photos In Her Undies for Breast Cancer Awareness
12 Things You Can Do After Getting a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
October 19, 2019Prevention
12 Things You Can Do After Getting a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Study Finds How A Mother Plays With A Baby Has Long-Term Affects
October 19, 2019mindbodygreen
Study Finds How A Mother Plays With A Baby Has Long-Term Affects
Working Out Before Breakfast Can Balance Your Blood Sugar, Study Finds
October 18, 2019mindbodygreen
Working Out Before Breakfast Can Balance Your Blood Sugar, Study Finds
Bernard Lagat Trying to Make Sixth Olympic Team
October 18, 2019Runner's World
Bernard Lagat Trying to Make Sixth Olympic Team
Death toll continues rising after a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in N.C.
October 18, 2019MSN
Death toll continues rising after a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in N.C.
Feel less sad and improve your mood with this little tip
October 18, 2019MSN
Feel less sad and improve your mood with this little tip
Over 700 Doctors Paid More Than $1 Million by Drug, Medical Device Companies
October 17, 2019Medscape
Over 700 Doctors Paid More Than $1 Million by Drug, Medical Device Companies
How your student health center can help you get birth control
October 17, 2019MSN
How your student health center can help you get birth control
Opioid crisis cost U.S. economy $631 billion in 4 years, study shows
October 18, 2019MSN
Opioid crisis cost U.S. economy $631 billion in 4 years, study shows
I tried using a weighted blanket to stress less. Here's what happened.
October 18, 2019NBC News
I tried using a weighted blanket to stress less. Here's what happened.