Dehydration versus Dryness:
So often clients will say they are a bit confused because their skin feels oily and dry at the same time and almost always they will complain about additional sensitivity and breakouts. Then they will comment on the fact that they are uncertain if they have oily, dry, dehydrated or combination skin.
It is simple. Hydration equals water and moisture equals ceramides (healthy oils in the skin). So, if your skin is dehydrated it is lacking water, and if it is dry, it is lacking ceramides.
Symptoms of dehydrated skin is dull dark looking skin with prominent dark circles and shadows around the eye area. Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles may occur, and the eyes might look puffy. Skin on the lips will be dry and cracked. And a dehydrated skin will become extremely sensitive.
Symptoms of dry skin is that the skin feels and looks rough. Dry skin feels tight, itchy, and sensitive. Dry skin might appear red, and you will notice slight to severe peeling. You will notice fine lines and wrinkles and the lip area might even have cracks and bleeding.
Hyaluronic acid helps to bring water to the skin using humectants. These humectants help collect moisture in the environment and bind it in the skin, which allows it to absorb water. No matter what skin type or skin concern, all skin needs hydration.
Moisturisers contains ceramides that help lock in hydration and keep the skin feeling soft and smooth. All skin has a lipid barrier (oil), but when skin is drier, or ageing the lipid barrier starts to break down and the skin loses its moisture.
All skin can benefit from hydration and moisturizing. If the skin is constantly stripped from hydration and natural oils, it will overreact by producing more oil to try and protect the skin. More oil leads to inflammation. Inflammation leads to acne, Rosacea, Ageing and Pigmentation.
Choose a hydrator if your skin feels dry and dehydrated and irritated. Dehydrated skin looks dry, dull and has fine lines and wrinkles. Potent serums and ampules containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid will treat dehydration on a deeper level.
Choose a moisturiser when your skin feels normal but not plump or bright enough. While every skin type may not require additional hydration, a moisturizer holds the skin’s water in place. Water, creams, and gels are also carriers for active ingredients in a skincare product. Gel based products are more common for acne-prone skin. A cream would be more for an ageing dry sensitive skin.
What causes Dehydration and Dryness in the skin?
- Extreme temperatures. Extreme hot or cold temperatures can damage the natural barrier of the skin. It might be difficult to avoid depending on where you live or what job you might have for example a cook or a construction worker. But try and limit your exposure to a minimum.
- Over exfoliation. Exfoliating overly can damage the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It can be more damaging if you use harsh abrasive products to exfoliate your skin.
- Aggressive cleansers can have harmful ingredients that can damage the skin’s ability to retain water.
- Reduced humidity due to air-conditioning units can take a toll on your skin. It can damage the moisture barrier of the skin and making it dehydrated.
- Certain medication can cause dryness and dehydration. Medication like diuretics, laxatives, antihistamines, and blood medication affects the skin’s hydration and moisture.
- Swimming pools. The chlorine in pool water can strip your skin of its protective layer of sebum.
- As we age the skin gets thinner and produce less oils for the skin to retain water.
Tips to keep the skin Hydrated and Moisturised
- Consume high water content food. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – this will assist in keeping your body hydrated as well. Examples of high-water content foods are soups, salads, fruits, and vegetables.
- Drink lots of water. If you are not used to drinking water or a regular basis, start with a plan to drink at least 4 glasses of water per day. Then get into the habit to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day. Keep a bottle water with you at all times. You can sip water throughout the day. Convenience is key. Otherwise, you will forget. Out of sight, out of mind.
- Avoid very hot and long showers. Long bath and showers can eradicate your skin’s barrier. This may result in loss of moisture and oil. Make sure to rather use lukewarm water.
- Pamper yourself with a face mask or sheet mask. Masks are packed with hydrating ingredients. Incorporating a hydrating face mask into your weekly regime will keep the skin plump and moist.
- A sunscreen is a must. Smart sun protection will help to prevent UVA, UVB, Infra-red and High energy visible light damage. Sun exposure can dehydrate your skin causing it to lose moisture and break down collagen and elastin. This can cause premature signs of aging.
- Reduce intake of Caffeine. Both caffeine and alcohol can reduce the water content of your skin. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake to two cups of coffee and one glass of wine to minimize their impact on your skin.
- Exfoliate regularly. Exfoliating is important to get rid of the dry patches of dead skin cells. Make sure you exfoliate at least 3 times a week. This will help with better penetration of serums and moisturizers. Make sure you don’t over-exfoliate your skin because this may disrupt the natural skin barrier, leading to water loss. Ask your skin therapist for the correct exfoliator for your specific skin type.
- Besides drinking water, we need to hydrate ourselves inside out. Make sure to cleanse tone and moisturize religiously at night before you go to bed.
- Shave with care. Shaving can be drying. Make sure when you shave you use a shaving cream or lotion. Use a sharp blade and shave in the direction of the hair growth. Make sure you apply a moisturizer after shaving.
“Glowing Skin is always in!”
Skin Deep SA