Trying to hydrate dry skin can feel a lot like watering the Sahara desert—pointless. But the problem with your dry skin might not be with what you’re doing; it could be what you’re not doing. Understanding what your skin routine is missing is the key to turning your dry skin into supple skin.

Check the list to see if you’re guilty of these common mishaps that might be working against your goal.

You’re not using a gentle cleanser 

Soaps can be harsh. Watch out for soaps that are filled with alcohol, astringents, and other ingredients that can strip your skin of its natural oils, disrupt your skin’s natural PH balance, and cause other problems, such as breakouts, dermatitis, and redness. Switch to a gentle cleanser made with natural ingredients or even a cleansing oil to help remove impurities from your skin without the drying side effects.

You’re not using good face mask

Face masks are a luxurious, relaxing way to care for your skin, but they aren’t just reserved for “treat yourself” moments. A hydrating face mask for dry skin should make a very regular appearance in your usual skincare routine. You also have to be careful when selecting masks for dry skin. For optimal hydration, use hydrogel masks rather than cotton sheet masks to help hold the serum against your skin and lock in moisture. The gel-like texture acts like a cool, refreshing seal that encourages deep penetration of the mask’s nourishing ingredients. Skin is left feeling revitalized, supple, and dewy.

You’re not using sunscreen

If there is one universal skincare code to remember, it’s SPF. Sunshine feels good on the skin and in small spurts- gives us a much-needed dose of Vitamin D.  But it is easy to overdo it and suffer the effects such as sunburn and dryness that may cause irreversible damage (read: wrinkles) in the long run. Keep your sun exposure to a minimum, use sunscreen, and remember to cover up when you’ve had too much.

You’re not using oils

Oils have been popping up all over the beauty scene (and for good reason). For so long, traditional marketing led us to believe that harsh chemicals were the way to keep skin both blemish and wrinkle-free. As times have changed, it seems we all came to realize that the old way of thinking didn’t resolve our dry skin issues. Today’s skincare specialists have returned to a simpler and more effective model. Natural oils were always the best way to balance our skin. From essential oils to fractionated bath oils, cleansing oils, and oil-based facial serums – all are becoming the preferred methods to tackle dry skin and maintain moisture levels.

You’re not moisturizing twice a day

Our skin puts up with a lot throughout the day—pollution, makeup, harsh lights, wind, UV-rays, etc. Yet, we often only pay it any attention in the morning and at night. Keeping a bottle of hydrating spray on hand, like a decadent rose water spray, can help to refresh and rehydrate skin as soon as it needs it.

You’re not using a sugar scrub

Sometimes that dry, rough skin is simply a build-up of dead skin cells. Taking the time to buff the skin with a sugar or salt scrub can help to uncover the beautiful new layer of skin beneath. Just remember that your skin is more vulnerable to damage after exfoliating, so be sure to take the extra steps to protect it.

You’re not getting ready for bed

Are you doing the same skincare routine morning and night? Well, then you’re missing an opportunity. Spend a little more time on your nighttime routine. In addition to removing your makeup and washing your face, try adding in a few more steps. Whether it’s applying a face mask, massaging in a good serum, jade rolling, or dabbing on your favorite eye cream- any of these options will help you stay more thoroughly moisturized as you sleep; a difference you will surely feel on your skin in the morning.