Dry skin is an issue that many people suffer with year-round. It’s very frustrating to deal with due to the unpleasant symptoms that accompany it. People who have dry skin can often find rough, dry, red patches on their skin, and these patches are often itchy.
What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?
Dry skin is often misunderstood. To put things simply, dryness refers to a skin type, and dehydration refers to a skin condition. When you have dry skin, your face has fewer oil-producing glands; therefore less sebum is present.
Dehydrated skin is a condition when your skin lacks water, as opposed to an impaired skin barrier. People with dehydrated skin don’t necessarily have dry skin—it could be oily, combination or normal skin that is simply lacking hydration.
Dry skin sufferers need treatments and products which repair the skin barrier.
CLEANSER - use a gentle cleanser and avoid stripping soaps eg Super Soft Cleanser or Soft Foam Cleanser
Look for a ceramide-rich moisturiser - Hydra Max range for dry skin.
What causes dry skin?
- Cold air
- Hot showers
- Not using appropriate moisturisers
- Dry heat
- Poor diet
- Overusing products with acids or retinols
Ingredients to look for
Top 3 - humectants, occlusives, and emollients,
Humectants work by extracting water molecules from the air and pulling them into the skin’s surface. Popular humectant ingredients you may see include ceramides, alpha-hydroxy acids (lactic acid), sorbitol, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid.
Occlusives serve as a physical barrier to help trap water in and prevent moisture loss from the skin’s surface.
Emollients smooth over the skin and increase the rate of skin barrier restoration. Keep an eye out for lipids and oils, colloidal oatmeal, shea butter, and isopropyl palmitate.
Retinol s also a miracle worker for skin with a rough texture. When used incorrectly, your dry skin might be paired with major redness and irritation. How can you prevent dry skin?
Always moisturise at least once a day, within 60 seconds of coming out of the shower, while you are still damp. Your pores are open and products will absorb more efficiently.
When is dry skin something more?
Flaking and feeling "tight" are normal symptoms of dryness. But if they're accompanied by redness, swelling, excessive itchiness, or crusting, you should consult your dermatologist or doctor It could be contact dermatitis or psoriasis, all things that can be mistaken for dry skin.
5 common causes of dry skin.
Hydrated skin starts from the inside out. If your skin is showing signs of dryness or dehydration, start by looking into your diet. You may not be drinking enough water – aim to drink at least 2L a day. You can also replenish your hydration levels by eating foods with a high-water content, like watermelon, strawberries, celery and iceberg lettuce which contains over ninety percent of water.
2) Cold weather
Notice that when it’s winter, your skin becomes more prone to dryness? This is because when the weather gets cooler, lower temperatures coupled with high winds strip your skin of moisture and leave it feeling tight and dry. Keep your skin moisturised with a thicker product to create a protective barrier over the skin.
3) Dry air
Another environmental aggressor you need to look out for is dry air. You’re more likely to experience dry air in warmer climates and in spaces with air conditioning.
4) Unbalanced skin pH
Our skin’s ability to ward off the effects of environmental stressors is determined by something called a pH level. How acidic or alkaline your skin is can drastically affect your hydration levels. If you’re experiencing dryness, chances are your skin has high pH and is too alkaline – you need to balance out your pH levels, so your skin is able to protect itself more effectively. There are many causes of alkalinity, but common causes include over exfoliating and overuse of masks. So, try and reduce exfoliating to once a week.
5) Harsh Chemicals
Not all skin care products are created equally. Products that use synthetic ingredients can be harsh on the skin and strip away your skin’s natural oils. Take a closer look at your skin care ritual and get rid of the products that deplete your skin of moisture. A good way to figure this out is seeing if your skin feels tight or dry after use.
Dr med.Christine Schrammek's Hydrating Range specifically targets DRY and DEHYDRATED skin - CLICK HERE to discover the full range