Winter is upon us! This means that your face is constantly exposed to the elements. A mix of freezing cold mornings, central heating and let’s be honest – our lifestyles, normally makes our skin dehydrated around this time of the year. This is why we have to step up our skincare game. When your skin starts to feel a little tight, it’s important to know the difference between the dry and dehydrated skin.
Dry skin is a skin type, dehydration is a skin condition related to the water content in the skin.
Skin type is genetically determined. You can’t treat it, but you can control it by choosing the right products, and making the best out of the skin that you have been given! You have dry skin if it’s unable to produce adequate oil to create a hydrolipid film that protects your skin and retains moisture in it. Your skin type can also change with time (if you suffered from oily skin as a teenager, it may become normal or even dry in your thirties). Knowing your skin type is essential to building the most effective skin care routine all year round.
On the other hand, a skin condition (dehydration) is a result of external factors such as using the wrong products, the environment (cold weather, dry air …), lifestyle, diet or even hard water. Your skin can be dehydrated regardless of skin type – it happens with oily skin too. The good news is that skin conditions are easier to overcome.
The biggest difference between the two is that dry skin lacks oils whilst dehydrated skin is thirsty for water. That’s why it’s so important to get to the root of what’s causing the tight feeling on your face … or possibly even dry patches and flakiness.
A clear indication of dehydrated skin is if feels tight, (dry skin can also feel like this), it absorbs moisturizers really quickly, skin looks dull and grayish. It doesn’t bounce back.
We will cover skin care routines for different skin types in future posts, but for now here are some tips on how to overcome dehydrated skin. It’s a condition that affects the majority of us in the winter time.
Use very gentle products that won’t strip your skin. Use cream cleansers or gel ones without harsh cleaning agents such as SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate). If it’s foaming, it’s too harsh. If your skin feels squeaky clean after washing, change your cleanser.
Use hydrating toner. This means that it doesn’t contain any alcohol (dooh), fragrances, even essential oils can be drying. It should be full of humectants, antioxidants, and soothing agents – look for ingredients such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, algae extract, squalene … And apply the next product on the skin when it’s still dump.
Start your treat routine with essence, serum, gel, treatment … anything super hydrating. Again look for hydrating ingredients (see above) and continue with your moisturizer/oil. We are applying products from the thinnest to the thickest, remember? First, we hydrate and then we “lock it” with the moisturizer.
4 Everything else:
a Minimise the usage of mechanical exfoliants – or make your own out of brown sugar, honey and coconut oil – super good for dehydrated skin. You can also use acids. It’s worth thinking about switching to products with lower concentrations. Exfoliation is still very important for hydrating products to be able to penetrate the skin. Upgrade your routine with hydrating sheet masks or overnight hydrating masks few nights a week.
b Drink more water – skin is the last organ to receive water – so don’t rely on H20 alone to fix everything! It’s quite likely that you don’t drink enough water throughout the day anyway. Drinking water will help, but won’t fix the problem.
c Get a humidifier for the office and for home (Ross Geller had one, you should too)
d avoid anything that creates a layer/barrier on your skin that can prevent it from absorbing water from the environment (mineral oil, silicones)
Would you like your skin to look like on a grape or a raisin? I thought so!