Your skin needs to be moisturized to stay soft and glowing. Discover how to hydrate skin with these 18 tips so you’ll always look your best.

right mark

Copied to Clipboard

wrong mark

How To Hydrate Skin: 18 Tips For Boosting Moisture

07/28/20238 min read

Dry skin happens to the best of us. But don't worry, you can keep your skin looking and feeling better with these 18 tips on how to hydrate skin.

But before we dive into the tips, let's look at why hydration can make such a big difference in your skin’s appearance.

Table Of Contents

Why Your Skin Needs Moisture

Woman with hydrated skin

Your skin’s job is to protect you from environmental irritants and other harmful things. All three layers of your skin — the dermis, epidermis, and hypodermis — work together to form a protective barrier against the outside world to keep you safe.

To do its job properly, your skin requires moisture. All three layers can become dry and weakened when not hydrated enough. This leads to a host of problems, including dry skin.

And when your skin becomes too dry, it’s more prone to irritation and inflammation. Dry skin can also cause itchy patches, flaking skin, and rashes.

But when your skin is hydrated, it looks more youthful, feels softer to the touch, and helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines from forming. Plus, when your skin is hydrated, it's better able to fight off the bacteria that can cause acne.

What Dries Out Your Skin?

Now that you understand why it's essential to keep your skin hydrated, let's look at some common causes of dry skin. These factors can all leave your skin feeling drier than normal:

  • Extreme temperatures
  • Dry air
  • Harsh ingredients in your beauty and skincare products
  • Frequent washing or bathing
  • Being in the water for too long
  • Dehydration in your body
  • Skin conditions such as eczema
  • Elevated stress levels

Each of these things can strip your skin of its natural oils and reduce its ability to protect you.

Where Can Dry Skin Appear?

Dry skin can appear anywhere on your body. However, it’s more common in these areas:

Symptoms Of Under-Moisturized Skin

No matter what is causing your dry skin or where it’s occurring, here are some symptoms you might notice.


Woman scratching dry skin on her arm

Before you spy anything visually wrong with your skin, you may feel an annoying itch. This is commonly the first sign that your skin needs extra hydration and moisture.

Often, the itch intensifies at night, and sometimes your dry skin may feel so itchy that it’s hard to get comfortable.

Dry Patches

As your skin dries out, you may start to see dry patches on areas of skin exposed to the air, such as your arms and legs. These will be rough and scaly in texture.

The patches can vary in size and color, but you'll notice a difference in how they look and feel compared to the skin surrounding the dry spot.


Dehydrated skin will lack its usual glow, leaving your face and body looking dull and tired. You’ll also commonly notice dark circles under your eyes due to how thin the skin is in this area. Even if you’re getting enough sleep, these circles can persist.


Dry skin is likely to cause cracking, particularly in areas of the body with a lot of movement. This includes your hands, feet, and knuckles. Your lips can also crack.

No matter where they are, these cracks can become deep and painful if you ignore them for too long. In some cases, they may even bleed if you're not careful. Also, open wounds (like these cracks) are prone to infection, so it’s important to keep them clean and contact your doctor if the problem persists.


If your skin feels more sensitive than usual, it’s likely lacking moisture. This can make it more prone to irritation and redness when exposed to the sun or chemicals in skincare products.

Acne Breakouts

Though many people attribute acne to oily skin, that’s not always true. When your skin is too dry, your body starts making more sebum to compensate. Unfortunately, the increased production of this natural oil can lead to acne breakouts.

Peeling, Flaky Skin

Have you ever had your skin peel off after a bad sunburn? This happens because your body is trying to shed the injured cells so new ones can grow in their place.

If your skin is dehydrated, it can flake off in a similar way. As the old cells get brushed off, you’ll be left with a rough, uneven texture until the new skin cells take over.

How To Hydrate Your Skin

Woman applying moisturizer to hydrate her skin

So, how do you make sure your skin gets the moisture it needs? Read on for 18 tips on how to hydrate your skin.

1) Apply A Moisturizer

One of the best ways to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy is to apply a moisturizer immediately after getting out of the shower or washing your face.

But you don’t want to slather just any moisturizer all over your body. Instead, look for products with gentle ingredients, like coconut oil, niacinamide, jojoba oil, and shea butter to help lock in moisture.

Botanical ingredients are also great, such as aloe vera and cucumber extract. These allow the healing power of nature to take over, calming your skin and restoring its glow.

2) Run A Humidifier

Dry air and dry skin go hand in hand. To hydrate your skin and make it look more radiant, try running a humidifier in the room where you spend most of your time.

Humidifiers fill the air with extra moisture so that your skin can take in what it needs. This simple step will greatly impact how moisturized your skin is at all times.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping your home's humidity levels between 30% and 50%. If it’s higher than that, you risk mold and mildew spreading. Any lower, your body won’t have the moisture it needs to thrive.

You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity in the air so you know how much more moisture you need to add. Anytime you’re running electric heat or air conditioning, you’ll want to monitor the humidity levels. These climate-controlling tools tend to dry out the air.

3) Drink Plenty Of Water

We know how important it is to drink enough water, but how does it help keep your skin hydrated?

Simply put, when you don’t drink enough water, your body will use what’s available for other essential functions. When that happens, less moisture is available for your skin cells, which can become dry and brittle.

So how much should you drink? The recommended amount is six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But the amount of liquid you need can vary based on your weight, health, and activity levels. A doctor can help you set a personalized goal.

If you’re having trouble drinking enough water during the day, try adding flavor with fresh fruits and herbs. These additions can make it taste more interesting and encourage you to stay hydrated.

4) Use Good Shower Hygiene

Woman washing her hair

It's important to keep your skin clean, but staying in the shower or bath too long can dry it out. Also, hot water is incredibly drying, so keep your shower temperatures on the cooler side.

Studies have shown that hot and cold water kill the same number of germs. There’s no need to scald yourself to get clean.

You can also avoid over-washing by using soap sparingly and only where needed (for example, on your feet, armpits, and groin). But no matter where you wash, always choose a gentle cleanser with moisturizing power.

As you wash, don’t scrub your skin too hard. Use your fingertips instead of a rough washcloth to avoid causing damage. Then, rinse thoroughly to get all of the cleanser off.

Once you get out of the tub, pat yourself dry with a soft towel before putting on some moisturizer and getting dressed.

5) Apply Sunscreen

The sun’s UV rays can cause serious damage to your skin. In addition to leading to wrinkles and age spots, unprotected exposure to the sun can cause dehydration.

One way to prevent this is to apply sunscreen every day, even when you’re not heading outdoors for long periods. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

6) Protect Yourself From The Cold

While wearing sunscreen is crucial, the sun isn’t the only part of nature that’s rough on your skin. The cold can also be brutal. The sharp wind can strip your skin of moisture and even dry your lips.

To keep your skin hydrated year-round, keep it covered when you go out in the elements. Put on gloves, wrap a scarf around your neck, and pull up the hood on your jacket.

7) Take Care Of Your Skin’s Natural Barrier

Your skin tries to protect itself from the elements by having a natural protective barrier as the top layer. This barrier can help keep your skin moisturized and prevent dehydration.

But sometimes, your natural barrier gets damaged. To help keep it intact, avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing your skin too roughly. Instead, always opt for gentle options when caring for your skin.

8) Pay Attention To Your Diet

Woman eating a cucumber slice

What you eat can affect how hydrated your skin is. For example, overeating sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation, while fatty acids found in foods like avocados, almonds, and walnuts may help keep your skin soft and supple.

When making changes to your diet, consider adding foods high in water content, such as cucumbers and watermelons. These naturally moisturizing foods can help hydrate your skin from the inside out.

9) Pick The Right Products

As we mentioned earlier, harsh chemicals can dry your skin out quickly. Look for products with hydrating ingredients from a company you can trust, like Bodewell.

When shopping for skincare products, you should also consider any underlying conditions you’re dealing with. For example, eczema can cause your skin to become dry, irritated, and flaky.

If you have this condition, choose products designed for it, such as Bodewell Eczema Daily Calming Cream. This cream is specially formulated to provide deep hydration and improve the appearance of your skin over time.

Whenever you try a new product, do a patch test first on a small area of your skin to ensure it won’t cause any irritation. To do this, simply apply a tiny amount of the product to an area of your skin and wait 24 hours to ensure you don't react negatively.

10) Watch Out For Irritants

Skincare products aren't the only things that can irritate your skin and dry it out. Things like salt, chlorine in swimming pools, and even the wind can all take a toll on how hydrated your skin is.

The laundry products you use can also be a problem. Since your skin comes into close contact with your clothes and linens, the residue from your detergent can cause it to become dry and irritated.

Other potential irritants include:

  • Chemicals from cleaning products
  • Allergens, such as pet dander, mold, or mildew
  • Tight clothing made from synthetic materials
  • Smoke from a wood stove or cigarettes

Once you've identified anything in your environment that could cause dry skin, take steps to minimize your exposure. For example, you might wear gloves while doing the housework or fill your wardrobe with clothes made from natural fibers.

Unfortunately, there isn't a one-size-fits-all list of irritants, so you may need to do a little detective work if nothing is getting rid of the dry patches.

Start documenting details about your day and keeping a record of your skin. Then, as you review this information, you can look for patterns.

11) Stop Smoking

Woman breaking cigarettes in half

What happens to the skin of a chicken when you put it in a smoker? It dries out and becomes hard and leathery. The same thing can happen to your skin if you smoke regularly.

Nicotine reduces your blood flow, which limits the amount of oxygen that reaches your skin’s surface. It also removes the elasticity, leaving your skin dry and dull.

If you’re a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health — and your skin’s hydration levels.

12) Don’t Pick Your Skin

Dry skin is itchy. But every time you scratch it, you risk transferring germs or other irritants from your hands onto the dry patch. In addition, all that rubbing and scratching can lead to lichenification, which is when skin becomes thick and leathery.

If you’re having trouble keeping your hands off, try one of these techniques instead:

  • Put an ice pack on the dry area
  • Tap your skin instead of scratching
  • Wear lightweight gloves to help remind you not to scratch
  • Snap your fingers to help take your mind off of it

13) Reduce Your Stress Levels

When you’re stressed, your brain knows what to do. Since it senses imminent danger, it orders your endocrine system to flood the body with stress hormones (such as adrenaline and cortisol). This way, you’re ready to fight or flee, depending on your situation.

Once the danger passes, your hormone levels are supposed to return to normal. But in today’s high-driven society, this rarely happens. People are constantly under stress, and their hormone levels often remain elevated.

While these hormones are crucial for human survival, too much of them isn’t a good thing. Increased cortisol levels cause your body to make too much sebum, leading to stress acne.

It can also slow your skin’s production of collagen and elastin. As a result, your skin can become dry and wrinkled.

The best way to prevent this is to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Do more of the things you enjoy and prioritize rest. In addition, make time for yoga, meditation, and other relaxing activities.

14) Try A Moisturizing Mask

Woman with a hydrating mask on her face

A little pampering can make a world of difference in your skin. Pick a day when you have extra time and treat your skin to a moisturizing mask.

You can buy a ready-made mask from the drugstore or make your own at home using natural ingredients like honey, avocado, yogurt, or coconut oil.

If you purchase one, follow the instructions for use. If you make one of your own, apply it carefully to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off.

15) Soak In Some Oats

Oatmeal doesn’t just belong on the breakfast table or in cookies; it’s also great for skincare. Oats contain saponins, which can help remove dirt and oil from your skin without drying it out.

To make a soothing bath, put a cup of oatmeal into a blender and process it until you have a fine powder. Then, draw yourself a warm bath and add the oats. You’ll notice a white, milky substance as the powder mixes with the water.

Once it’s all mixed, soak in the tub for about ten minutes, and then do a quick rinse before getting out.

16) Get Enough Sleep

While you’re in a deep sleep, your body begins repairing itself. That means when you don’t get enough rest, your body can’t regenerate new skin cells as quickly.

Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night. You’ll wake up feeling more rested, and your skin will feel better, too.

If you have trouble falling asleep, here are some tips to help:

  • Develop a bedtime routine that helps your body prepare for sleep
  • Shut down your devices about an hour before you head to bed
  • Drink a mug of warm milk or herbal tea
  • Create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom
  • Do a brain dump to get your worries out of your brain and onto paper

Doing these things can help you get better sleep and improve your skin.

17) Follow A Simple Skincare Routine

Do you know how to hydrate your skin with the right skincare routine? If you don’t, this tip is for you.

A simple four-step process can make a big difference in your skin’s hydration. Each morning, you’ll want to:

  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser
  • Add a toner designed for dry skin
  • Apply a moisturizer
  • Put on some sunscreen and let it sit for a couple of minutes

Now, your skin is ready to face the day. You can add cosmetics at this point or just keep it natural.

18) Know When To Ask For Help

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you can’t restore your skin’s hydration on your own. If that happens, it’s time to ask a professional for help. They’ll be able to evaluate you and provide personalized advice about how to hydrate your skin.

If you notice any of the following, consider taking a trip to the doctor for a consultation:

  • Skin infections
  • Severe pain
  • Deep cracks
  • Chronic dryness

Your doctor may recommend a prescription-strength product to help get your skin hydrated again.

Skin Hydration For The Win

Woman with a beautiful complexion who knows how to hydrate skin

Don't let dry skin weigh you down! With these 18 tips, you now know how to hydrate your skin. Get ready to see how beautiful (and moisturized!) your skin can look with a few simple changes.

The team here at Bodewell will be cheering you on!


American Academy of Dermatology Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
John Hopkins Medicine
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Shop Bodewell