Around this time of year, many of our clients complain that their skin is dry, tight and dull. True dry skin (also known as lipid dry skin) is lacking in sebum and lipids which form a natural barrier on the surface of the skin. This skin type is typically genetic and occurs over the whole body, not just the face. Dry skin can also occur naturally as we age, have a low-fat diet or sometimes by medications.
While many people think they have dry skin (lacking in oil), they actually have dehydrated skin (lacking in water). The fancy word for dehydration is Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL). This is the passive evaporation of water from inside the body, through the epidermis (top layer of skin) to the surrounding atmosphere. Don’t panic, as complicated as it sounds, TEWL is a condition that can be easily revised! While TEWL is a process that your skin is capable of naturally regulating, certain elements can influence how much water loss occurs. TEWL is generally caused by low water consumption, (shock!) but is also impacted by environmental factors such as cold weather, humidity, air conditioning and incorrect product use.
Top Hydration Tips
Drink Up!: If your body is shrivelling up inside from lack of water don’t expect your skin to be flawlessly hydrated. It is recommended to drink at least 2L of water per day, and more if you exercise.
Supplements: Are you drinking loads of water but still feeling dehydrated? This means your skin isn’t able to hold onto water and it’s evaporating out into the atmosphere. You’re most likely low in essential fatty acids which act as an internal moisturiser for the skin.
Supplements such as Skin Omegas and Moisture Lock from Advanced Nutrition Programme and EFA’s from DMK are essential to nourish and hydrate your skin from the inside out.
Avoid harsh products: Do you notice after using a particular cleanser or product that the skin feels tight? Some ingredients can excessively strip away your skins natural oils, leaving the skin raw and tight. Reducing the use of these products, or cutting them out completely can be a saving grace for dehydrated skin.
Humectants: Products termed as humectants help to draw and hold water in the skin. Hyaluronic Acid is probably the most well known humectant and is capable of holding up to 1000 times its own weight in water. Pretty cool huh?
Environ’s HA Intensive Hydrating Serum is a potent concentration of hyaluronic allowing the skin to replenish its own natural levels.
Occlusives: Products that are termed occlusive create a barrier on top of the skin, acting as a seal to prevent TEWL. DMK’s Seba E oil is a blend of herbal oils and vitamin E that works by sealing in moisture and promoting the skin to naturally repair itself. Many clients are nervous of oils, I promise a good quality oil will not break you out!
Protect: SPF is your skins best friend. Not only does SPF protect you from the harmful rays of the sun (not that there is any in Ireland!) but it also shields your skin from wind, pollution and central heating. IMAGE Skincare Prevention+ Daily Hydrating Moisturiser contains Aqualance, an ingredient that specifically aids UV-related dehydration. Ultraceutical’s Ultra UV PDM SPF 30 Hydrating daily moisturiser offers protection from UVA & UVB rays; is light-weight, fast absorbing and hydrating. The addition of antioxidants and moisturising shea butter makes it perfect for dry skin types
Environ’s RAD is a mineral-based low chemical SPF that provides all the protective benefits of an SPF but also contains antioxidants which are key in preventing free radical damage (but that’s for another blog post!