Got dry skin? A dermatologist answers all your questions about moisturising.

Thanks to our brand partner, Clinique

If you have generally dry skin or you’ve suffered through periods of dryness, irritation and flakiness, you’ve probably found yourself searching for a solution in the beauty aisles or your bathroom cabinet.

We know. Dry skin affects a lot of us.

That's why we asked members of our You Beauty Facebook group of nearly 44,000 beauty lovers for questions they wanted answered about moisturising for dry skin. 

We received dozens of questions, but narrowed it down to a few for Dr Nina Wines, principal dermatologist at one of Sydney’s leading practices, as well as a Clinique Derm Pro.

If you’re a Youbie (a listener of our You Beauty podcast), we know you also love a good recommendation. One of Dr Wines’ favourite products is Clinique's new Moisture Surge Intense 72-Hour Lipid-Replenishing Hydrator, their richest Moisture Surge formula yet.

It’s perfect for drier skin types because it hydrates, soothes and protects your skin with an instant moisture boost and keeps your skin continuously hydrated for, you guessed it, 72 hours. That’s even after you wash your face. It does this with the power of ingredients like hyaluronic acid & activated aloe water. 

So, if you want skin that’s glowing, plump and velvety-smooth, here is all of Dr Wines’ expert advice on everything you need to know about moisturising dry skin:

Q: First things first, what are some of the most common causes of dry skin?

Dr Wines: “Some people are born with dry skin. Effectively they lack some of the natural lipids [fats] in the skin that protect the skin barrier and retain moisture. This is more common than you would think!


“For those without a genetic tendency, dry skin can occur for countless reasons. Some of the most common causes are dehydration, application of skin irritants, burning the candle at both ends or excessive exposure to environmental elements.”

Q: What’s the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin?

Dr Wines: “Dry skin is related to your genetics and skin type and caused by a lack of essential lipids or oils in the skin barrier. People who are prone to dermatitis or eczema tend to have dry skin and it can feel itchy, flaky and uncomfortable.

“Dehydrated skin on the other hand is caused by a lack of water in the top layer of the skin. This is mostly caused by factors such as the weather, the environment you’re in, what you eat as part of your diet and how much caffeine you consume.”

Q: How can you tell the difference in your own skin?

Dr Wines: “If your skin looks slightly flaky, cracked or even pink and feels itchy or inflamed, these are all signs of dry skin. This can cause skin fissures that look similar to the cracks seen in the desert.

“Alternatively, dehydrated skin has different signs. Prominence of fine lines and wrinkles, sunken eyes and darkening of circles arounds the eyes are all signs of dehydration. 

“A pinch test on the back of your hand is the perfect way to determine if you are dehydrated. The skin will not bounce back if you are lacking in fluid and the longer it takes to return to normal, the more dehydrated you are.”

Q: What is the best way to prep your skin for maximum moisturisation?

Dr Wines: “Ensuring your skin is both cleansed and exfoliated is key. I would recommend you start by removing makeup and then double cleansing with a product that is right for your skin type and doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils. This will gently dissolve and clear away pore-clogging oil, impurities and harmful pollution that may build up as you go about your everyday life. 

“The next vital step is exfoliating, either with a topical exfoliator or physical exfoliator. This will gently remove dead skin cells as well as unclog and refine pores to reveal glowing, radiant skin that’s ready to receive moisture.” 

Q: We’ve come out of winter and are heading for summer. How do I change my moisturising routine accordingly?

Dr Wines: “In winter, it’s common to experience drier skin. Many combat this through the use of a moisturiser that’s a richer and creamier in texture.

“With summer approaching, you might want to use a lightweight formula like a watery lotion or gel-cream or opt for an oil-free formulation, especially if you live in a humid climate. With increased sun exposure due to outdoor activities, you should also use a moisturiser with a built in SPF or a higher SPF underneath your moisturiser.” 

Q: What are moisturising tips for rosacea sufferers, and what ingredients should we be looking for/avoiding in our skincare?

Dr Wines: “If you have rosacea you should moisturise every day, twice daily, to strengthen the moisture barrier for stronger and less aggravated skin using a soothing moisturiser that is oil free. Using sunscreen every day is also important.


“In terms of ingredients to look for, cica (also known as tiger grass) is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and helps to calm and soothe dry and irritated skin. It is a key ingredient in Clinique's Moisture Surge Intense 72-Hour Hydrator. Lactobacillus probiotic ferment is a good bacteria that also calms the skin and green tea and algae extract help to soothe the skin too.”

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense 72-Hour Lipid-Replenishing Hydrator. Image: Supplied. 

Look at that beautiful gel-cream texture. Image: Supplied. 


Q: OK, so how does Clinique's new moisturiser keep your skin hydrated for 72 hours, even after washing your face?

A: “This moisturiser is powered by a combination of skin-loving ingredients and auto-replenishing lipid-filler technology that gives the skin the power to rehydrate itself. Using activated aloe water and caffeine, this technology helps create and support the skin’s internal water source so it can continuously hydrate itself.

“In addition, this intense formula uses three types of lipids to reinforce and strengthen the skin’s barrier, helping lock in and retain moisture. So essentially after you wash your face, this process is still continuing to work within your skin for up to 72 hours after application.”

Q: Are all hyaluronic acid products created equal?

Dr Wines: “The molecular weight size of hyaluronic acid determines its depth of delivery in the skin.

“High molecular weight delivers hydration to the top layer of the skin, while the medium and low molecular weights of HA penetrate into the deeper layers. By supplying high, medium and low molecular weight HAs, a moisturiser can provide multi-depth hydration to achieve an instant and lasting skin plumping effect. 

“A good example of a product like this would be Clinique’s Smart Clinical MD Age Transformer Duo which has three different molecular weights of hyaluronic acid within it to penetrate the various layers of the skin.” 

Q: Finally, what are your three biggest 'rules' for good skin? 

Dr Wines: “To begin with, beautiful skin at any age is created by good skin hygiene.

“Remember that skincare is most effective if used morning and night and should be applied from thinnest to thickest, so usually the moisturiser is last so as to lock in all the ingredients.

“Following on from this, moisturisers are best used morning and night; in the morning to protect the skin for the day ahead and in the evening to help heal the skin overnight.

“A good analogy to keep in mind is that skin is made of cells with cement in between - a bit like 'bricks and mortar'. 

"After cleansing with tepid water, our skin cells 'open up', allowing better penetration of ingredients through the cells and cement."

Got it. Thank you, Dr Nina Wines!

Clinique Moisture Surge Intense 72-Hour Lipid Replenishing Hydrator is available in four sizes: 15ml (RRP $20), 50ml (RRP $65), 75ml (RRP $85) and 125ml (RRP $125). 

What do you find works for your dry skin issues? Let us know below.

Clinique's NEW Moisture Surge Intense 72-Hour Lipid-Replenishing Hydrator delivers an instant moisture boost and keeps skin continuously hydrated for 72 hours—even after washing your face. Our richest cream-gel moisturiser hydrates skin with Hyaluronic Acid and Activated Aloe Water, soothes skin with Cica to calm irritation and protects the skin's moisture barrier with Antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Formulated without parabens, phthalates, fragrance. Just happy skin.