Dry skin types are tricky to treat.
It can meddle with your makeup and wipe out that youthful glow.
Finding the perfect routine can mean the difference between an eternally tight-feeling and a comfortable, healthy complexion.
Fortunately, we have all the advice you need, helping you take your dry skin from parched to plump.
Dry Skin Conditions
Many manufacturers of skincare appear to have a blanket approach to dry skin, often categorising it under normal skin which alarms us because dry skin is a very difficult skin condition to treat.
When the skin’s equilibrium is out of whack, this dryness can cause a cycle of events to occur:
- uneven texture
- tightness or tautness
- slight to severe flaking and scaling
- severe redness, inflammation, and sensitivity
- severe itching occurs as a result of xerotic eczema, a condition of dry skin leading that can lead to infection
- tiny cracks – accentuating fine lines. These cracks can deepen, forming fissures and if they enlarge they reach to the dermis and capillaries, causing bleeding
Dry skin falls under three groups:
Xerosis is the most common dry skin complaint
Ichthyosis is a moderate dry skin condition
Ichthyosis Vulgaris is the most severe dry skin condition, characterised by scaling
The Anatomy of Dry Skin
A simple rule of thumb is that dry skin reveals itself in the form of a rough, flaky, dull texture, which is all down to a loss of natural skin oils – sebum, this reduces the suppleness of the skin, making the complexion look blah. Technically it is referred to as lipid dry, which occurs when not enough sebum is being produced to prevent surface dryness.
The role of sebum is to provide a fatty protective layer over the surface. When our skin becomes oil dry, the sebum is not doing its job correctly, which means water can escape and irritants and pathogens can easily enter.
This skin type is always characterised by tight pores, indicating that the sebaceous glands are not producing enough oil because the pores are not dilated enough – the one good thing if you have a dry skin type is that you will rarely suffer from breakouts.
Your Skin gets Drier with Age
As if that was not enough to contend with, as we age, our cellular renewal slows right down. When we’re young, skin cells are constantly shedding, replacing older cells with fresh cells from the dermis keeping our skin moist, plump, and healthy. As we age this cellular renewal slows down, the production of the intercellular lipids that form the barrier also slows down.
There is also a notable gender difference in sebaceous activity in the skin. The sebaceous activity in males remains robust as they age, but levels in women drop significantly as they age: women aged 60 having around 60% of the sebaceous activity they had in their youth.
Fortunately, most cases of dry skin are treatable with topical moisturisers, which can help facilitate cellular turnover.
The naked truth
In our professional opinion, no guide to dry skin would be complete without pointing out, that dry and dehydrated skin can create similar concerns.
When our skin feels tight it is easy to assume that our skin is dry – lacking in oil, but can mean it is dehydrated – lacking in water, a subject we cover in more detail in the article causes of dry skin.
We like to think of it like this; dry skin is an inherent skin condition that you will sustain for most of your life, dehydrated skin is a skin state that you can fix.
What Is Ichthyosis? And How Can I Treat My Skin: WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/what-is-ichthyosis#1
Scaly Skin in Adults: Conditions:https://www.skinsight.com/skin-conditions/adult/ichthyosis-vulgaris
Dry Skin on Legs: What’s Causing It and What You Can Do: https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-skin-on-legs