At this time of year, people always ask me how to get rid of their dry skin. This is actually one of the biggest misconceptions in skin care because while the skin may feel dry, it is actually dehydrated. Lots of people think the two are one in the same, but they are actually quite different. “Dry” is a skin type, like oily or combination, and it’s the kind of skin that you’re born with. Having dry skin means that your glands aren’t producing enough oil and that they need a little help in order for the skin to be truly healthy on its own. Having dry skin will often make the texture of the face rough and it also means that the skin will age more quickly than someone whose oil glands are performing the way they are expected to.
Dehydrated skin is a symptom of the environment and people with any skin type, from oily to dry to combination, can have dehydrated skin at one time or another. Dehydrated skin is more prevalent in the winter time because the low humidity combined with extreme heat and cold can easily zap the skin of its natural moisture. So if your skin is feeling rough, ruddy and scaly this time of year, it’s most likely lacking the proper level of water.
So how can we fix dehydrated skin? First, it’s a good idea to ask yourself if you’re exacerbating the problem by making one of these most common skin dehydration mistakes.
How many acid products are in your skin care regimen? Products that treat acne are often heavy in alcohol and glycolic acid which can deplete the moisture in the skin, causing redness and irritation. Lots of people think that if they “dry out” their pimples, the problem areas will go away faster. If you’re an acid user, rethink how often you’re applying these solutions. Acid products can be very helpful for certain skin conditions, but only if you use them right.
Do you own a battery operated cleansing brush? If so, how often are you using it? These brushes can be effective, but just like any exfoliating product or tool, they should only be used once or twice a week. By engaging in an abrasive cleansing routine daily or twice daily, you’re stripping the skin of its natural moisture which will make breakouts or skin irritation worse. If you really feel like you need to use a brush daily, stay focused on the t-zone.
Do you hide away from the winter by using the sauna or steam room at the gym? Do you pump up the heater at home to stay toasty? High heat will always evaporate the water in the skin, so if you enjoy a sauna or steam, protect the skin first. A simple application of facial oil will keep the water in the skin intact so you can enjoy your warming relaxation time. If you like to crank up the heat in your home, be sure to also use a humidifier to regulate the moisture in the air.
Even if you don’t use acid products, over exfoliate, or subject your skin to extreme heat, the winter weather alone can be very dehydrating. But before you reach for that thick moisturizer, start by infusing the water back into the skin with a hydrating product. Moisturizer works great as a protective barrier between the skin and the elements, but its formulation is too thick to penetrate the top layer of the skin. You want to look for a product that will deliver water deep down while softening the surface. Our Dual Moisture Emulsion is our best seller this time of year because it uses hyaluronic acid to bind the water to the skin cells and squalane oil to nourish those exhausted top layers. By applying a product with these types of ingredients before reaching for the moisturizer, you’ll be able to repair your skin while also protecting it.
Keeping your skin beautiful takes work, but before you can find the right solutions, you have to be knowledgeable and understand your skin’s unique needs. The way the skin looks can depend on your environment, the food you eat, the way you exercise, how you deal with stress, and the topical ingredients you use on your face and body. The more you know, the better off you’ll be in maintaining gorgeous skin for years to come.