How is your dry skin defined?
Is it dull in colour or rough to touch?
Is your skin’s ability to maintain hydration decreased, or maybe the barrier function impaired?
Maybe your natural desquamation has gone awry? Or it may be that it is simply genetically dry.
Then again it could be as a result of overexposure to environmental pollution.
Solvents, chlorine, detergents, and excessive amounts of water, can even be leading to a disturbance in the lipids in your skin.
Seriously, we could be here all night listing the causes of your dry skin.
Don’t believe us? Then head over to this article to read 15 more reasons why you may have dry skin.
Dry Skin is Incredibly Tricky to Treat
You’d think soaking in a bath would be good for dry skin, but actually it can do more harm than good, disrupting your skin’s protective layer and depleting surface oils.
When your skin feels rough and tight it’s natural to want to add more moisture, but interestingly adding too much moisture can be counterproductive, and here’s why.
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 surprising outcome was that healthy skin contains only about 30% water.
This is why we say treating dry skin on the face is tricky because, in order to give your skin exactly what it needs, you have to realize that the frequency and consistency of treatments are really important.
A dry skin that produces little sebum requires surface protection in the form of occlusive ingredients.
These ingredients protect the outer layer of skin allowing the barrier function to repair itself, whilst preventing dehydration. If the skin feels dehydrated, then it requires humectants referred to as hydrophilic agents, which attract water and bind moisture to your skin cells.
Why? Because dry skin requires oil and dehydrated skin requires water, but obviously these conditions can cross over.
The Best Dry Skin Treatment
For. those with dry skin, this is the skincare routine we recommend for my clients.
Sunscreen: Wear sunscreen religiously, many dry skin concerns stem from cumulative sun exposure.
Cleanse: Use an oil-based cleanser like miracle cleanse and gently massage in, which will help to break down stubborn makeup bonds.
Tone: To prepare the skin for important ingredients it should be moist, 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, like the ones found in fortify. A well-formulated moisturiser will help to reconstitute the skin’s hydro-lipid film, preserving your skin’s natural lipids (oils), trapping and locking oil into the tissues.
Exfoliate: Treating dry skin on the face is not easy, but a gentle, well-formulated exfoliant will help to loosen stubborn skin cells, removing cellular build-up and replacing them with newer, smoother ones.
Do this occasionally, maybe once a week or less if your skin is sensitive. This will encourage the gentle stimulation of the cell renewal cycle, helping to promote the healthy function of your 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 tiny micro-tears in your skin.
Skin shots: These offer your skin an additional layer of moisturisation and protection. This is why when it comes to treating the skin correctly, the emphasis is on layering with these formulas.
If your skin is super dry start with a good oil base such as Bio lipid complex.
If it is dehydrated use a humectant rich base such as H20 hyaluronic acid complex.
Both of these formulas you can then, seal against the skin with your chosen moisturiser.
The great thing about these skin shots is that they are so concentrated 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.
The Naked Truth
So you can see a lot is involved when treating a dry skin type, the key is to bring your barrier function back into balance.
To recap, 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 the face also means that soap should be off-limits, this is because of its 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.
Moisturising effect on the skins barrier: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/srt.12632
Dry skin health: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=85&contentid=P00281
Skin barrier biophysical properties: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03093597
Clinical improvements in very dry skin: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30005098/