Dry air can definitely take a toll on our skin, causing tightness, redness, or irritation. In the Winter, I experience all of these, especially around the corners of my mouth. But since I don't have the beauty industry standard of dry skin, curiosity got ahold of me and I decided to look into why my skin was behaving this way.
And what I discovered was that my skin was actually very dehydrated!
Here's the Science Behind it:
When your skin is hydrated it means that there is enough water in your skin cells, which usually leaves your skin looking (and feeling) soft and plump.
On the other hand, when your skin is well moisturized, it means that we have plenty of sebaceous glands that are producing enough sebum (oil).
Dehydrated skin lacks water whereas dry skin lacks oil.
So can your skin be dry and dehydrated? Yes
Can your skin be oily and dehydrated? Absolutely!
How to tell if your skin is dry, dehydrated, or both.
Common Features & Causes of Dry Skin:
Flaking skin, rough patches, skin that's sensitive and/or easily irritated.
People with dry skin usually have had dry skin for most of their lives, for several reasons including a low number of sebaceous (oil) glands throughout the face and/or body, low sebum (oil) production, consuming a diet low in healthy fats, or a thyroid hormone imbalance.
Common Features & Causes of Dehydrated Skin:
Overall tightness, skin appears dull or red, and wrinkles suddenly look deeper or more prominent.
Those of you with dehydrated skin are also likely affected by environmental factors, both internal and external, which can result in lower amounts of water within the skin.
Examples: not drinking enough water, drinking too much caffeine, exposure to dry weather conditions, running a heater for prolonged periods of time, taking long hot showers, or coming into contact with chlorine or fluoride which is commonly found in tap water.
Holistic Support for Dry or Dehydrated Skin:
Caring for dry skin:
If you have dry skin, include oil based products in your skincare routine. Rather than using a water based cleanser, consider oil based cleansing with Cleanse Facial Oil, which effectively removes dirt from your pores without drying out your skin. Follow with a good quality moisturizer that’s made specifically for dry or sensitive skin, such as Nourish Facial Oil.
Consume a diet rich in vitamin E, a fat soluble vitamin that forms the phospholipid (fat) layer which keeps our skin cells soft and plump. Examples include include fatty fish (e.g. wild caught salmon, mackerel, sardines), raw seeds & nuts, sweet potato, asparagus, and avocado; and use good quality cooking oils that have a high smoke point (grass-fed ghee, coconut, avocado, sesame oil).
Caring for dehydrated skin:
Topically, support the absorption of moisturizers by using mild exfoliants like Matcha Buffing Grains, which gently slough away dead skin cells. Add humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or honey to your skincare routine - these draw water to the epidermis, our skin’s outermost layer. My favorite products containing humectants include Smooth Facial Serum and Honey Healer Facial Mask.
Smooth Facial Serum is a wonderful option for both dry and dehydrated skin because it contains the humectant properties of hyaluronic acid. You can follow up with a quality moisturizer such as Nourish Facial Oil to seal in hydration and limit transepidermal water loss (which weakens your skin’s protective barrier).
Addressing dryness and dehydration can seem daunting at first, but making by small changes in your diet, habits, and skincare regimen, you can prevent and manage these skin ailments effectively over time.