Having dry skin can be quite pesky, especially during the winter months or if you live in a dry climate. It can itch or flake, crack or peel, or just make you feel physically uncomfortable. But, even when your skin feels dry it doesn’t necessarily mean it is dry. How’s that? Because there is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin.
Dry or Dehydrated?. Photo: Istock.
Dry VS. Dehydrated
The signs and symptoms are the same – your skin may look (the signs) dull or flaky and feel (the symptoms) itchy or tight. But the causes differ.
Dry skin is a skin type which:
- Has low sebum (oil) levels and lacks the lipids needed to retain moisture.
- Is congenital.
- Tends to age sooner.
- Can be caused by intrinsic aging.
- Improves with oil-based products.
Dehydrated skin is a skin condition which:
- Has low water levels.
- Is quite common and can manifest in any skin type.
- Could be oily as well as dry.
- Can be caused by environmental and lifestyle factors, or by using the wrong skin care products
- Improves with water-based products.
Sometimes it’s quite difficult to know whether your skin is dry or oily but dehydrated. In such instances, it’s best to ask a licensed aesthetician for their professional advice.
The Best Way to Treat Dry Skin
One of the best tricks in treating dry skin has everything to do with your bathing habits. First, when you bathe make sure to close the bathroom’s doors and windows to keep all that good moisture in. Second, when you get out of the shower do not pat your face dry. Instead, use your hands to remove any excess water and while it’s still a little damp, apply your topical products. Why? Because when our skin is damp, the products penetrate it better; but when our skin is completely dry, the topical products do not work at their full capacity. If you really would prefer to dry your face another option would be to apply the products immediately after you’ve patted your face dry and are still in the moist bathroom.
Improve your shower habits. Photo: Istock.
When you choose your skin-care products opt for oil-based, rich creams and make sure to look for:
- Ingredients that protect and maintain your skin’s resistance to environmental aggressions, (such as antioxidants, vitamins, tannins and polyphenols)
- Products containing peptides that prevents premature aging and promote cell regeneration;
- Substances that have the capacity to retain water in the epidermis and offer supreme hydration to imrove the skin’s moisture barrier – Squalene, Ceramides, Cupuacu Butter;
- Products containing hyaluronic acid, which is a powerful moisture binding ingredient that keeps your skin hydrated.