Does your skin feel drier then the Sahara Desert?
Maybe flaky, irritated, or even a little inflamed.
Then chances are your skin type is dry.
When your skin feels rough and tight, its natural to want to add more moisture.
But interestingly, adding to much moisture can be counter productive.
DRY SKIN IS TRICKY TO TREAT
You’d think soaking in a bath would be good for a dry skin.
But actually it can do more harm then good, disrupting your skin’s protective layer and depleting surface oils.
An interesting study carried out on dry skin, compared the water content of dry, normal and oily skin, and no significant difference was found between them, in fact the suprising outcome was, that a healthy skin contains only about 30% water.
This is why I say treating dry skin on face is tricky, because in order to give your skin exactly what it needs, you have to realise, that the frequency and consistency of treatments is super important.
A dry skin that produces little sebum requires surface protection in the form of emollients, these ingredients provide a protective layer over the outer layer of your skin, allowing the barrier function to repair itself, whilst preventing dehydration.
But if the skin feels parched and dehydrated, then it is lacking in moisture and requires humectants referred to as hydrohilic agents, these attract water and bind moisture to your skins cells.
Why? Because dry skin’s require oil and dehydrated skin’s require water.
But obviously these conditions cross over.
Fortunately different combinations and concentrations of humectants and emollients work together. The emollients guard against evaporation, whilst humectants attract moisture to the skin.
DRY SKIN TREATMENT
This is the skincare routine I recommend for my clients.
Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen religiously, many dry skin concerns stem from cumulative sun exposure.
Cleanse: Use an oil based cleanser and gently massage in, this will help to break down stubborn make up bonds.
The best technique is to wet your skin with tepid water, because a damp skin will help to seal in valuable ingredients, next gently remove with a damp muslin cloth so you don’t cause friction.
Tone: To prepare the skin for the much needed moisture, spray the skin with a nonalcoholic toner, preferably one full of lovely humectants and gently pat your skin dry.
Moisturise: What your dry skin now requires is barrier-repairing ingredients.
A good moisturiser will help to reconstitute the skins hydro-lipidic film, preserving your skins natural lipids (oils), trapping and locking oil into the tissues.
Exfoliate: Treating dry skin on face is not easy, but a well-formulated exfoliant will help to gently loosen stubborn skin cells, removing cellular build up and replacing them with newer, smoother ones.
Do this once or twice a week, to encourage gentle stimulation of the cell renewal cycle, this will help to promote the healthy function of your skins cells, improving hydration and the natural production of intercellular lipids.
Be sure to only use gentle exfoliants, nothing that uses irregular abrasive grains that may cause inflammation and damage your skin.
Serums: These offer your skin an additional layer of moisturisation and protection, I like to refer to them as layering, which is perfect for treating dry skin on face.
The other great thing about serums is that they are so concentrated, that the ingredients go straight to the source.
Masks: A hydrating algae or gel based mask, loaded with lovely water loving humectants, is perfect for soothing a dry, irritated skin type.
Oils: For smooth supple skin, a good night oil will become your new best friend, plantascription for dry skin lists the best oils for this skin type.
THE NAKED TRUTH
So the key is to bring your barrier function back into balance, this you can do by implementing some of the following:
- Avoid rough scrubs with irregular beads, as these will cause tiny micro tears in your skin
- Avoid harsh cleansing ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, dry skin can be sensitive to contact irritants
- Avoid irritating fragrances and essential oils that will dry your skin out
- Avoid products with high or low pH, never over stimulate your skin with astringent products or alcohol based ingredients
- Treating dry skin on face also means that soap should be off limits, this is because of it’s high pH strips the skin’s barrier, and impairs the acid mantle
After bathing your skin dries out quickly because moisture evaporates into dry air.
So be sure to apply a moisturiser immediately after taking a bath or shower, which will help to seal in that much needed moisture.