If you do one thing for your skin, moisturize. There’s no substitute for great skin, and you can’t have great skin without moisturizing! Because I feel this topic is so important, please let me apologize in advance for this long-winded post. There is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. If your skin type is dry (versus normal or oily), that’s different than your skin not retaining its typical moisture levels for whatever reason and being categorized as dehydrated. Either way, moisturizer will help.
If your skin, which is made up of layers, is dry, it can have microscopic cracks which can fill with bacteria or dead skin which can subsequently cause breakouts. Think of typical behavior: skin breaks out, we put something on the skin to “dry out” the breakout, and it gets worse. (This was the story of my life until I was 25 years old.) If your skin is too dry, it can also cause lines wrinkles to look more prominent.
It’s optimal to moisturize the face, neck, and chest morning and night after washing your face. Many skincare companies want you to believe you need separate products for day and night, but that’s simply not true. Where that comes from is needing sunscreen during the day, and your skin’s ability to repair itself during sleep. If you do not need or want a special treatment for day and for night, don’t waste your money on it.
A quick note on sunscreen in your moisturizer: I always separate the two. Think of a plate of delicious, warm cookies. They’re just begging for a glass of milk, right? So do you get a glass of milk to enjoy along with your cookie, or do you dump milk all over the plate because, hey, they’ll be mixing in your tummy anyway? I hope not. Similarly, your moisturizer should moisturize and maybe have some healing and/or treatment properties. If you cloud that with sunscreen, you won’t be getting the full benefit of the moisturizer. In my opinion, if you absolutely do not want to use two products during the day, it’s better to pick sunscreen because it usually has moisturizing properties (but then you might want to invest in a night cream). Or, better yet, use moisturizer (to use day and night) while including a makeup product with built-in sunscreen into your routine.