Dry skin can have easy signs – flakey pieces, red patches, areas that are sensitive to touch. Those are the in your face signs that your skin is parched and crying out for a little TLC from hydration. The signals that aren’t so obvious? Papery skin, fine lines, not-so-perfect makeup application … all indications that your skin is in much need of moisture before the drastic signs creep up.

Here are 5 signs that your skin is drier than you think and what you need to do to switch up your skin care routine.

Dry skin indicator #1: You skin has a papery feel
“The top layer of your skin is dehydrated,” explains Jill Carlen, Spa Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto, if this is the case. It’s one of the first signals to a skin care regimen lacking in moisture.

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Dry skin indicator #2: You see excess oil
A slick skin surface might seem like a contradiction to dry skin, but that’s not the case says Carlen. “If your skin is dry, sometimes it goes into "Oil Production overdrive mode" and you’ll notice that you are extra oily on the surface, particularly in your T-zone.” The fix? “Try a milder or creamier cleanser instead of a gel or astringent one for at least two weeks and see if your skin evens out and is less oily. Then you will know your skin was actually dry and was over producing oil to combat this.”

Dry skin indicator #3: Fine lines and wrinkles are appearing
It may not be premature aging (hallelujah!) when you see those fine lines creeping in around your mouth, eyes and forehead. Your skin might just need a serious injection of moisture. “The drier your skin, the less plump your skin cells are because they swell with moisture,” explains Carlen. “When they are plump, you won’t notice the fine lines and wrinkles as much, so drink water and apply hydration and moisture and watch those fine lines disappear!”

If your makeup just doesn’t look right (and you fear face powder) you need to read the next page …

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Dry skin indicator #4: You makeup looks old, rather than fresh and flawless

If applying your foundation and concealer doesn’t leave you looking smooth, glowing and flawless, don’t necessarily think about switching up your makeup – take a closer look at your skin. “If your makeup ‘settles’ into your lines or pores, you might need more hydration,” says Carlen. “If you have the proper hydration levels in your skin, you shouldn’t notice your makeup, it should magically do its job.”

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Dry skin indicator #5: You have a fear of powder …

And not because you’re concerned you’ll have the reverse raccoon eyes misstep that celebs have had on the red carpet. You skip it because it basically looks like chalk on your skin. “If you use a powder, make sure you are using the right kind for your skin. If your skin is dry, you may not need powder or need one that is actually hydrating so it doesn’t look so chalky,” suggests Carlen.

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