Does your skin feel tight and parched?
Or like its one size too small?
Then it could be you’re suffering from a dehydrated skin.
But a word of warning.
Before you can treat this condition correctly, it’s important to understand the difference between dehydrated and dry skin.
Dry skin is lacking in OIL and can be categorised into three groups:
- Xerosis, this is generally the most common dry skin complaint
- Ichthyosis, is moderate dry skin conditions
- Ichthyosis vulgaris is the most severe dry skin condition. It is characterised by scaling skin, often found on the legs
Interesting fact: The reason our legs get dry, is because there are less sudoriferous glands in this area.
A Dehydrated skin is lacking in MOISTURE in the epidermis, the visible layer and is characterised by the following:
WATER MOVEMENT IN SKIN
When discussing dehydration, it’s important to focus on structures within the epidermis that are responsible for moisture retention and balance, these include:
- Acid mantle
- Epidermal lipids
- NMF (natural moisturizing factors) and TEWL (transepidermal water loss)
- Sebaceous Secretions
- Lymphatic system
Your skins hydration depends on a functioning natural moisture factor.
So you can see having hydrated skin, a barrier that is intact, and the right amount of oil (sebum), is all a matter of balance.
All tissue must maintain sufficient water balance for proper function, including the ability to adjust within your environment.
Balanced hydration is based on the following facts:
- Relevant ambient humidity
- The retention power of the stratum corneum
- The amount of water transmitted from the inner to the outer layers of the skin
- The time span, involving how long water moves from the lower skin layers to the upper regions of the stratum corneum
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE DEHYDRATED SKIN
When we are young our skin is rich in lipids, these decrease with age which causes an imbalance in our skin’s natural lipid barrier.
Humectants that keep our skin plump and hydrated, such as hyaluronic acid and urea also deplete with age.
Are you burning the candle at both ends?
If your smoking, drinking, taking recreational or prescribed drugs, then chances are that you suffer from a dehydrated skin.
Dangerous chemicals, UV rays, cold wind, air conditioning and heating, are also some of the many other things that can dry out our skin.
INGREDIENTS FOR HYDRATION
What this tells us is that in order to get that clear skin difference, we need to achieve correct hydration within our skin cells.
This all depends on a functioning natural moisture factor, the skin barrier and balanced sebum.
Below are some of the classes of ingredients, responsible for moisture retention and balance:
Humectant products for hydration: These are critical for skin hydration; they work by attracting water from below the epidermis and the atmosphere, drawing it into the stratum corneum.
Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, urea, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), lactic acid and sorbitol are all great examples of these ingredients.
Our humectant based skin shot H2O is a great way to give your skin a direct hit of moisture.
Occlusives for skin protection: These contain wonderful rich phytosterols for skin healing, which have natural water barrier effects.
Shea butter, avocado, sunflower oil, cocoa butter, macadamia, jojoba, squalane evening primrose and baobab oil, are all lovely rich emollients, that keep your skin soft and supple.
Think treatment balms, both nectar and naturlene are great examples of this type of product.
Skin Identical Ingredients: These are acid mantle restoring ingredients that contain compounds found in our natural moisturizing factor (NMF). Ingredients such as copper peptides, urea, lactic acid, and pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), all help to keep moisture balanced in our skin.
Barrier restoring: Another range of skin identical ingredients that mimic those found in the stratum corneum are lipids.
They are essential building blocks found in skin’s outermost layer and include ceramides and oils rich in linoleic acid like sunflower oil, safflower, shea, baobab, rose hip seed oil, and evening primrose.
Fortify our barrier repair moisturiser will help to repair an undermined skin.
My clients will often say to me, I am not sure why my skin is so dry or dehydrated, I drink plenty of water.
Drinking those eight glasses of water is good for your body, but not for your skin.
Sorry to disappoint but think about it, if it was that easy to get rid of dehydrated skin, then we would all be drinking lots of water and there would be no incidents of dehydrated skin.
Whilst your skin is the largest organ on the body, it is the last to receive water and nutrients, all the other organs steal it first.
This means the cause and treatment for dehydrated skin is far more complicated than just drinking water, I recommend limiting coffee and alcohol, which can lead to dehydration.
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS
These come in the form of linoleic acid, they contain prostaglandins which help to reduce inflammation within the body.
A deficiency in these all important acids, can lead to a dry, flaky, thin skin.
THE NAKED TRUTH
Finally remember that dehydration is due to a lack of water not oil, despite what you may have heard.
Even an oily skin can experience dehydration.
This means that the activity of your sebaceous glands, can be normal or even over active in a dehydrated skin.