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Combating the Dehydrated Skin

Combating the Dehydrated Skin

Here is another post from our wonderful Esthetics student Karen, who has been quickly progressing in her studies: 

In Chicago today it was 5 degrees.  Ugh!  It has really been terrible both on driving and the skin!  Along with the temperature drop comes dry, tight skin.  What is going on with our skin?  Is it dry?  Is it dehydrated?  Before starting esthetics school, I thought dry and dehydrated skin were pretty much the same and that if your skin was dehydrated it meant you needed to drink more water.  Wrong. 

In class we have learned that dry and dehydrated skin have different underlying problems and need to be treated very differently. 

Dry Skin:  First, Dry skin is a skin type.  It  is alipidic, meaning it lacks oil.  Dry skin is often the result of hormones and is mostly seen in mature skin.  As we age our skin produces less oil and dead skin cells do not shed as often leading to dry skin.  Healthy skin requires oil to protect and hydrate our skin.  It is very important to the health of our skin.  Without oil our skin is unable to hold in moisture.  Without oil our skin’s natural barrier function (a protective barrier of  oil and sweat that protects and nourishes our skin) is damaged which not only leads to dry skin but also sensitivity and inflammation – which then lead to premature aging).  Dry skin requires oil! 

What can help dry skin? 

• Regular facial massage to encourage oil production .

• Using moisturizers containing occlusive ingredients that will hold moisture in and create a barrier to reduce water loss and prevent dry skin.

• Using creamy, non-foaming,  cleansers

• Using serums under moisturizer that contain water binding properties to help hold and attract moisture (for example hyaluronic acid and glycerin).

• Chemical exfoliants to help shed dead cells, promote cell renewal  and encourage product penetration.

Dehydrated Skin:  Dehydrated skin is a skin condition.  It lacks water.  Anyone can have dehydrated skin, including oily skin.  Dehydrated skin can be caused by the extreme weather (for example, 5 degree temps!), by the environment, by hormonal imbalances or by products we use on our skin (think foaming, harsh cleansers and alcohol based toners).  Dehydrated skin can feel tight and deflated and is often irritated (red) and sensitive.  The texture of dehydrated skin is typically rough and has fine lines due to lack of water.   Dehydrated skin requires water! 

What can help Dehydrated Skin? 

• Using moisturizers and serums containing humectants which are ingredients that attract water.  (for example hyaluronic acid and glycerin).   These ingredients will help hydrate the skin.

• Using mild, non foaming cleansers (avoid soap and other alkaline products!)

• Using hydrating, soothing masks to rebalance skin.

At school we have learned that the best defense against both dry and dehydrated skin is a good daily skin routine that is specific to your skin type or condition.  By using products specific for your skin type or condition on a daily basis, both dry and dehydrated skin can become balanced, healthy, glowing skin! 

All the best! 

Karen.

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