DRY AND DEHYDRATED SKIN?
10 EXPERT TIPS TO KEEP YOUR SKIN DEWY SOFT
Picture: Dry Skin, Health.com, http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20332894,00.html
When it comes to dry and dehydrated skin, modern science has a lot to say on how to manage your condition. So, what are some of the things you can do to restore your skin to youthful dewiness?
Exfoliate that skin!
Using a scrub on your dry skin may seem counter-intuitive but, actually, you need to exfoliate your dry skin at least once a week (at the most, twice). Why? This removes the build-up of dead skin cells that increase the appearance of dryness. By exfoliating, you allow the new and hydrated skin to be revealed and you improve your skins overall condition. Exfoliation also allows the increased penetration of your skin care products. The dead skin cells often absorb any topical products preventing the important ingredients from getting to the deeper layers of active skin cells. The top tip when exfoliating? You need to apply your moisturiser immediately after scrubbing and cleansing your face to ensure that you get that smooth and hydrated look.
Use a humidifier
A dry climate can contribute immensely to your dry skin and it is not only restricted to a specific region but can also be experienced during different seasons. When autumn arrives your skin will already start to dehydrate and by winter time the flakiness and wrinkles will be obvious. With little moisture in the air to help soothe and hydrate your skin you need to step in and take action. This is where your humidifier could result in the difference between you walking around with brittle or nourished skin. Remember: your skin needs a humidity percentage of 30 to have proper nourishment.
Image: Humidifier, Green Head, http://www.thegreenhead.com/2012/11/broksonic-hybrid-ultrasonic-humidifier-diffuser.php
DO NOT use drying soaps
Most supermarket face and/or body soaps will be drying to your skin. That is why it is important to be very selective about the wash you use to ensure that you give your skin the best chance of retaining moisture. Avoid soaps that contain anti-bacterial ingredients. These products are designed for your oily and congested skin and the last thing your drier skin needs is to strip away the little oil it has. You also need to look at avoiding washes with alcohol and perfumes as they can also dehydrate your skin… this includes the bubble bath soaps!
Picture: Hydrated vs dehydrated skin, The Green Divas, http://thegreendivas.com/2013/12/02/green-divas-do-not-get-de-hydrated/
Very hot showers and baths are a no-no
People have this big misconception about hydrating their skin by taking long and hot showers or baths. The result is actually the opposite. Your skin is being robbed of moisture when you take a hot shower/bath and thus it ends up doing more harm than good. Try keeping the showers/baths to once a day and luke warm water. Ladies! I know this is difficult for those who de-stress in a nice hot bath but try to limit yourself. This also applies if you wash your hands often during the day. If you do not immediately moisturise, you are stripping your hands of their natural oil and their natural moisture is lost resulting in prematurely aged, chapped hands.
Moisturise your skin straight after washing
When your skin is damp it will allow the creams you put on to penetrate much better. You also create an automatic barrier and by doing this you:
- protect your skin from dehydrating;
- ensure that you replenishing the moisture you might have lost by washing your skin;
- slow down your skins ageing process by keeping it strong and hydrated.
Omega 3 supplements are important
If you skin is dry, flaking or cracked you might be short of essential fatty acids in your diet. This can easily be corrected by supplementing with high quality Omega3’s. Besides assisting with mental heath and boosting your immune system the main functions of your Omega 3 supplement is to replenish the loss of valuable essential fats and to regulate oil production to your skin. This all means that Omega 3 will contribute to a healthier and hydrated skin.
Picture: hydrated and dehydrated skin, Feelpretty101.com, http://www.feelpretty101.com/dry-skin/
Thicker cream is not always better
Some people have such a misconception about the relationship between the thickness of the cream and hydration it gives your skin. The thickness of the cream does not necessarily mean that it provides more moisture. You can use the thickest cream on the market and still see little improvement in hydration. What you actually need are the correct ingredients in your products to provide your skin with the best hydration. Some lotions with the right ingredients can hydrate better than thick buttery creams. Good ingredients to have in your products are mango seed butter and hyaluronic acid. Also note that it is always better if your product is water or oil soluble: this means your product has an improved penetration rate and delivery system. The silicone soluble products will not penetrate your skin.
Ageing can dehydrate your skin
The normal ageing process also leads to your skin becoming dry and dehydrated. This is as a result of your sebaceous glands (oil producing glands for the skin) becoming less efficient as well as your healthy cell turnover decreasing. The loss of oil results in dry epidermal skin and the decrease in cell turnover results in moisture loss in the deeper layers of the skin. There are two remedies to aid this. The first one is a topical treatment like creams and moisturisers and the second is preventative and corrective anti-ageing treatments like hyaluronic acid based treatments (Dermapen and Fillers). Skin peels can also be beneficial as they remove the top, dead layer of your skin and allow the deeper absorption of products that hydrate your skin.
Picture: Water intake a day, BBC, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140402-are-coffee-and-tea-dehydrating
Water, water and more water!
Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is essential for hydrating your skin. When you consume water it is processed by your organs, transferred through your blood stream and sent to the cells in your body. Like any other organ, your skin needs adequate hydration to function at its best.
Beware of scented products
Perfumes and scented products can be quite harsh on your skin and cause your skin to become dry. This happens when the perfumes and scented ingredients strip your skin of the necessary oil it produces, leaving it without its protective barrier. Rather opt for fragrance-free or gentler products.
Picture: Cream for dry skin, Upward Downward, http://www.upwardonward.com/10-ways-to-fight-dry-skin/
Written by Danike Steyn
Edited by Kim Magennis
©The Aesthetics Centre 2015