It’s Winter, still. Feels like forever, and thanks to those cold winds and central heating our skin is loosing moisture faster than you can say “skin s.o.s.”
I often hear people complain that their skin is dry when, in fact, it’s dehydrated. Dry skin is a type that you’re born with and lacks oil. Dehydration is a condition that all skin types can suffer from and lacks water.
Dehydration occurs when there’s a loss of moisture in the skin causing a number of issues that can be similar to that of dry skin. Luckily it can be treated by using specific ingredients that boost and lock in this much needed moisture and by changing aspects of your diet and lifestyle.
What to look out for –
Itching – The lack of oils mean skin can feel tight and irritated. Aggravated skin becomes sensitive and often itchiness occurs.
Dullness – Lifestyle, stress and environment can all lead to dehydrated skin. One good indicator is dull skin. It can appear tired-looking, grey and lack-lustre.
Flaking – You may find no matter how much cream you apply you’re skin still looks flaky and rough. Makeup
Confused – Skin can be oily, dry, “normal” or all at the same time. This is why dehydration is a considered a condition, as it can affect any one and more than one skin type. You may find the cheeks are dry, itchy and rough and the chin or forehead have oily areas prone to breakouts and visa versa.
Wrinkles – Dehydrated skin is also prone to wrinkling, the loss of moisture can leave skin with less volume and which can make the appearance of even fine lines worse.
So, what can you do?
Start by looking into possible causes. Smoking, alcohol, extended periods in the sun, stress and diet all play their part in dehydrated skin.
Update your skincare.
Cleansers – Avoid any drying soaps and cleansers, if your skin feels tight after cleansing you’re using the wrong thing. They strip the skin of moisture and sebum leaving your skin exposed to aggressors and feeling dry and irritated.
Tone – Aggressive cleansers contain ingredients that make the skin’s PH more alkaline, this alone leads to many of the skin concerns associated with dehydration and dry skin so choose a toner that is more acidic to lower the PH, allowing the skin to function at its best.
Treat – I look and treat my skin like there’s lots of zones that may require different treatments. Some areas that are flaking may need some non-abrasive exfoliation and lots of layers of hydration. (Lactic acid is milder than glycolic for those who get a little irritation with glycolic.) Other areas may need a little salicylic acid to treat the blemishes. Treat any of the concerns individually but hydrate and moisturise the face as a whole.
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Repair – If itching has caused a little damage to the skin you can treat it with products that are healing and gentle.
Hydrate and Re-plump – Hyaluronic acid has the ability to absorb 1000 it’s weight in water, it holds on to this moisture and plumps fine lines and wrinkles. HA is found naturally in the body however as we age the levels drop, and by the age of 50 levels are reduced by half. Layer products that contain several types of hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5 to pump some much needed moisture back in.
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Protect – Use high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen to protect against pigmentation, wrinkles and environmental damage.