Is your skin dull and resembling the Sahara desert? Me too. Here’s what to try.

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My skin is sensitive and dry. It’s been dry my entire life, but the sensitivity has increased with age. Flakiness around my nose and cheeks is something I battle year round, but especially in the wintertime. Last winter you may recall me sharing that the dryness around my nose was so severe it was cracking and peeling! It was really hard to cover up with makeup and I never really found the perfect thing to heal it. Deeply hydrating products would cause me to break out, and lighter hydrating products weren’t enough.

This year, I’m trying to stay on top of my skincare game this winter. I’m thinking that if I don’t let the dryness get too bad in the first place, I may not need to go into rescue mode! And if you are suffering from dry and dull skin, I thought I’d share the masks I’ve been cycling through for the past month or so.

I believe it was around this time last year that I discovered the Clinique Brightening Moisture Mask. It delivered the most dramatic before and after I’ve ever seen on my skin! I loved it! I looked dewy and fresh versus dry and flaky. I’ve been a fan ever since.

Another mask that is fun to use and also makes my skin feel fresh is the fresh Vitamin Nectar Vibrancy Boosting Face Mask. You can see tiny fruit particles in the mask! It smells almost good enough to eat, though I don’t recommend eating it. This doesn’t deliver as much moisture as some other masks for me, but it certainly brings a bit of life back to my skin!

The strangest consistency I’ve ever experienced in a face mask has to be with fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. It’s matte and thick, and spreads on almost invisible. But my skin felt like it went through every single step of a facial after I removed it. It was, perhaps, the best my skin had ever felt following a mask treatment.

Nordstrom has a great selection to choose from if you are looking for a mask to hydrate your skin this winter. And there is a great range of prices to choose from too!

one, two (only $24!), three, four, five, six, seven, eight

A tip that I shared on another post, that I need to share again here, is to consider multi-masking. If you have dryness around your nose and cheeks, but your chin is really oily, don’t feel like you need to apply the same mask to your entire face. Choose different masks for different areas based on the need! This concept sort of blew my mind several months ago and it was an “ah ha!” moment for me!

And one last thing: I feel like the default mindset with masks is that they go on at night when you are sitting around watching a movie, which is all fine and good. However, don’t forget that you can also apply them in the morning to get your skin started right! You wouldn’t want to do it immediately before applying makeup (even just waiting 5-8 minutes after a mask will help your skin essentially ‘settle down’), but applying one in the morning can really set your skin up for a good day in super harsh conditions!

This post was created in partnership with Nordstrom. 

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Comments (49)

  1. Nilda says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I have dry skin too and I use one from Origins: Drink Up, it’s nice to apply and smell fantastic, like peaches… I use the 10 minutes version but they have an overnight one. I love your new site btw…

    • Kate says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      Nice! I have tried that in the past!

  2. Patti says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I love that you included a Paula’s choice mask. My skin has never looked so good since I started using her products 2 years ago.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      I’ve really heard positive reviews of that line and I need to try it!

  3. Angela says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Olay regenerist luminous overnight mask has been saving my skin. I typically have really oily breakout prone skin, but recently it has become dry. When I use this mask I wake up with beautiful skin, and it doesn’t cause me to break out! Its been a miracle.

  4. Posted January 11, 2017

    I have been in love with Clinique since I was a teenager, it’s one of the few things to keep my skin from not looking like a hot mess on a daily basis.

    I have so many friends that love Paula’s Choice, though. I can’t seem to pull the plug on trying it, though, for some reason.

    http://aneducationindomestication.com

  5. Ashley says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I started getting really dry skin after my daughter was born and had the same problem with my nose “peeling”. I started using Rodan + Fields SOOTHE regimen which is specifically designed for sensitive and irritated skin. The Moisturizer from that regimen (Moisture Replenishing Cream)is awesome and provides the best hydration I’ve ever had. One use, and my nose wasn’t peeling anymore. I would highly recommend it!

  6. Alyssa says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I just started using Glossier’s new Priming Moisturizer Rich and it’s AMAZING. Hydrates your skin like nothing I’ve ever used! My other favorite is Burt’s Bee’s Intense Hydration line.

    Now I just need something to help with my hands….They’re so sad and dry!

  7. Gabby says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I’ve been following your blog for a few year now and I love it! A while back you talked about a chap stick or a lip moisturizer of some kind that you wore at night and it was magical. With this cold, dry air my lips are in dire need. What was the product?

    • Melissa G says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      Jack Black is such an awesome lip balm!!!! Smith’s is really good as well! You can get both at Ulta!

      • Gabby says
        Posted January 11, 2017

        I’ll check those out, thank you!

    • Kate says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask– LIFE ALTERING!

      • Gabby says
        Posted January 11, 2017

        Perfect, thank you so much. P.s., love the new blog design!

        • Kate says
          Posted January 11, 2017

          Thank you!!

      • Melissa G says
        Posted January 12, 2017

        The Bite lip mask did nothing at all for me…and SUCH a high price!! That’s one of my biggest “youtube made me buy it” regretted purchses!!

        • Kate says
          Posted January 12, 2017

          Bummer! I can’t live without it!

  8. sam says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Personally oil skin has always been my problem, although that is changing somewhat with age.

    Not sure if you have Avene in the US, but there products are amazing. I have heard from friends, especially the ones for dry skin.

  9. Posted January 11, 2017

    That Fresh vitamin nectar mask sounds luxurious! I wish I had time in the morning for masks, but I’m always in such a rush.

    Blush & Pearls by Angela

  10. Kay Steele says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Boots no7 Beautiful Skin Hydration Mask-Dry/Very Dry is great too! I use it as my night moisturizer instead of a mask. It’s amazing!

  11. KG says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    My face is pretty well hydrated. What I am having trouble with is my hands. I might be a bit older than your average reader. My hands are horrible. I use scrubs, prescription creams, gloves with cream, etc. Nothing helps. I do live in the NE and this an annual problem. Any one have any suggestions? Thanks!!!

    • Ashley says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      REDEFINE Brigthening Hand Treatment from Rodan + Fields!

      • KG says
        Posted January 11, 2017

        Thank you Ashley. I am going to try and find it.

        • Ashley says
          Posted January 11, 2017

          No problem! I’m actually a consultant for Rodan + Fields. Feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to discuss more about it with you!

  12. Posted January 11, 2017

    i love paula’s choice skincare! their masks are really so good !

    http://www.clairetalksbeauty.com/

  13. Mel says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Thank you for this!! My skin is super dry as well and I’ve been looking for a good face mask!

    Mel | http://www.thegossipdarling.com

  14. Posted January 11, 2017

    What would you recommend for oily skin in the nose, cheek and forehead area, essentially the T zone? I have noticed I have to change my make up every 3 months bc it will work great for a little while look matte and flawless, then out of nowhere it gets really oily again. Very frustrating. I love reading your blog and posts.

  15. Kara says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    My skin is exactly like yours! I use the Cerave hydrating cleanser and FAB face moisturizer mixed with the ultra hydrating cream to moisturize. I finish with another layer of the hydrating cream to seal everything. I’ve found with my skin type, I have to moisturize with something not so heavy it breaks me out, and then seal it in with an oil or heavier cream. Sort of recreating the protective barrier I just washed away from my skin. That way yucky things don’t have a chance to get in and break me out!

  16. Sarah O says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Kate, did you not really like those Boscia masks you tried awhile ago in snapchat?

    • Kate says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      they were just okay to me. Didn’t blow me away, weren’t very memorable!

  17. Posted January 11, 2017

    I am new to blogging and wondering how you created the image above with all of the products numbered?

  18. Courtney M says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I also have dry + sensitive skin. I am forever hearing how I need to cleanse with products that are gentle enough for my skin type, but I struggle with the need to feel clean/properly exfoliated while still using gentle cleansers. Do you find this? What do you use for cleansing?

  19. Bonnie says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Has anyone mentioned that since your site update that posts are completely unreadable without clicking over to the blog? The print is SO TINY that even the title of the post has to be magnified greatly to be read. Just thought I’d mention it.

    • Aislin says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      I don’t have that problem at all on my end. That’s odd!

    • auntsarie says
      Posted January 11, 2017

      Nor is it a problem for me. Hmmm.

  20. Kristen says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    I’m 32 and within the last few years my skin has become increasingly dry and sensitive . I purchased an Air Innovations humidifier from QVC and it has completely changed my skin. I sleep with it beside my bed and I use the Origins Drink Up mask. It makes an incredible difference!!

  21. Katie says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Kate – same dry issue around my nose! Def don’t want to look like loose boogies😜so what I use is Cerave Ointment that comes in a small tube. Works better in that area than anything else I have tried. The Clinique mask looks good – will try!

  22. Natalie Williams says
    Posted January 11, 2017

    Make sure to keep drinking plenty of water. It’s such a boring tip, but so necessary. I just about have to make myself drink in the winter, but my skin looks so so so much brighter when I keep hydrated!

    • Melissa G says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      A gallon a day for me and it truly makes ALL the difference!

  23. Niki says
    Posted January 12, 2017

    I have sahara dry skin with flaking and peeling all year round – boo!! The best thing I have found is using PMD Personal Microderm tool. It is magic for my skin!!!

  24. Rusty says
    Posted January 12, 2017

    Visit your dermatologist. You may have a yeast issue. It’s on our skin all the time, but if you have too much, it causes flakiness in all or part of the T-zone — exactly where you wouldn’t expect it. It’s worse during extreme weather, hot or cold.

    • Gourmetcook says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      I agree it can be yeast or rosecea

  25. Jenni says
    Posted January 12, 2017

    I have the same problem! My skin gets so dry and flaky in the winter that sometimes it feels like nothing works. The Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin mask has been a life saver for me. xx

    http://www.shakespeareandsparkle.com/

  26. Amanda says
    Posted January 12, 2017

    This winter I started using First Aid Beauty creams on my face, and it saved my dry, flaky winter skin. In about 3 days it was all gone, and my skin is soft, supple, and not braking out! I use it morning and night!

  27. Gourmetcook says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    I love the fresh line of products they are fabulous. Have been using the scrubs for years and I just started using some
    If their face creams and serums, I really like their elixir ancienne, ancienne cream and eye cream. I was having a or of trouble with my skin like you are describing, dry and flay, after trying a lot of different products, creams, masks, home remedies…. I decided to consult with my dermatologist and to my surprise i was diagnosed with rosacea, never would’ve I guess that that’s what it was because I thought it was always redness of the skin, but I learned that it can also be white flaky skin. And it turns out it was very easy to clear with a very low dose 10 to 20 msg of antibiotics and that solves the problem and no more pain! And I still enjoy serums, moisturizers, masks, facials, etc

  28. SS says
    Posted January 13, 2017

    Kate, you will most likely not allow this comment to be posted. I posted an earlier comment and it is not visible in the comments section. Yet, there are comments in the comments section that were not there when I posted mine. My comment was not favourable but it was not of an offensive nature and did not contain offensive language. I can understand vetting offensive comments and not allowing them to be posted. But, I do not believe that it is right to censor less than favourable comments.

    • Kate says
      Posted January 13, 2017

      SS, I’m not sure which comment you are referring to. My spam prevention picks up comments with links that seem like they could be spam, perhaps that is what happened?

  29. Alison says
    Posted January 14, 2017

    So after using a mask, what face lotion do you use daily?

  30. Posted February 21, 2017

    My skin is super dry as well and I’ve been looking for a good face mask!

  31. Tracey Budgell says
    Posted September 27, 2017

    I’ve been having major issues with the skin around my eyes for the past month or so. I’ve been getting eczema on my bottom eyelids. So irritating and I’m not sure what (if any) products I can use .