10 Common Questions About Dry Skin
Dry skin is a skin condition that is characterized by an insufficient amount of water in the topmost layer of the skin called epidermis. Our skin is made up of nearly 90% water which provides strength and elasticity but various external factors can exacerbate the loss of water by disrupting the skin's natural moisture barrier. It is crucial to find the root cause in order to get the appropriate treatment and obtain positive results. There are numerous causes linked to dry skin but we will focus on the treatment of dry skin on a cosmetic level.
Symptoms associated with dry skin are:
- A feeling of skin tightness
- Skin that feels and looks rough
- Flakiness and peeling
- Fine lines or cracks
- Gray, dull skin
- Deep cracks that could bleed
- Lines & Winkles
What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin can be caused by many factors such as weather, environment, cosmetics, soaps, and detergents, diet, hormonal and medical issues, or central heating and cooling. The natural oils found in our skin progressively and naturally diminish throughout the day, stripping the natural moisture protection the skin needs to stay healthy. Without the necessary moisture, your skin’s protective barrier degrades, which allows for more moisture to escape.
How to Hold the Moisture?
First and foremost, by adding moisture to the air with a humidifier. Excess cold and warmth are both detrimental to dry skin, thus keeping humidity levels normal will add temporary moisture to the skin. Next, are the use of moisturizers that are formulated to rehydrate the skin's top layer and lock in the moisture. Look out for good humectants and emollients. Water-based moisturizers (including aloe vera based) are best used on damp skin to seal in moisture and replenish nutrients. Unlike oil, water won't risk causing breakouts since it does not fill pores. This is why we favor water-based formulas at Fey to suit all skin types. Finally, carry a facial mist for a couple of mid-day boosts to soothe, refresh and rehydrate the skin.
What Should the Routine Be Like for Dry Skin?
Contrary to popular beliefs, the routine should be simple but consistent. Opting for the right formula is key for healthy skin. The daily routine should incorporate regular cleansing (using a mild cleanser), toning, and moisturizing. We have an entire post dedicated to creating a skin routine for dry skin (here).
Is Hyaluronic Acid Helpful Against Dry Skin?
In skincare Hyaluronic acid works as a humectant. Humectants minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping up the skin. Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture from the surface of the skin into the skin to equilibrate the balance between the deep and top layers of the skin. Yes, the topical application of HA can be beneficial for dry skin. It improves skin hydration and elasticity. In addition, topical application of low-molecular-weight HA was associated with a solid reduction of wrinkle depth. To ensure Hyaluronic acid's great performance, it is important to keep humidity levels normal. It is also recommended to combine Hyaluronic acid with a moisturizer (in case humidity levels are too low) so that the humectant does not soak up the moisture from the deeper level of the skin.
What Are the Most Recommended Ingredients for Dry Skin?
Oils rich in fatty acids to improve the skin's lipid barrier. Olive oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, evening primrose seed oil, borage seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and grapeseed oil are all outstanding options to consider when it comes to calming and revitalizing dry skin. Rosehip and palmarosa essential oils are excellent to hydrate dry skin, reduce fine lines and quell dehydration. Look for ingredients with high antioxidant properties to protect the skin from environmental stress which is also a cause of dry skin. A natural exfoliant (and gentler than AHA's), honey is a fantastic humectant that attracts moisture and keeps it locked. It is also packed with antimicrobial properties.
Plant butter such as shea butter and cocoa butter are essential emollients and will replenish and nourish dry, cracked skin.
Are Showers Bad for Dry Skin?
Long and hot showers are very likely to dry out and irritate the skin as excess heat can cause damage to the keratin cells on the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. This can result in itching and redness. For dry skin, choosing shower and body care products with a neutral pH value (from 5 to 7) are highly recommended. Avoid scrubs and bar soaps which remove a lot of lipids. Scrub brushes and bath sponges are also to put aside. Short and lukewarm showers are acceptable, preferably not on a daily basis. Apply an ointment or cream within a few minutes after a shower or bath to lock the existing moisture to the skin. Do not rub your skin dry, instead blot it gently with a towel.
How Can I Tackle Blemishes Without Worsening My Dry Skin Condition?
First and foremost, avoiding harsh and drying peelings, cleansers, face clothes and brushes specifically targeted for acne-prone skin. They will only further irritate the skin as most of the formulas are abrasive. Another important step is to favor soothing and gentle formulas void of alcohol, menthol, witch hazel, and fragrances. Mild products won't worsen the skin and harm its protective layer. The cleanser and toner should be calming and replenishing, as well as compatible for all skin types. The use of benzoyl peroxide, for instance, to treat blemishes is acceptable - only if the dose is small (somewhere around 2,5% but below 5%). Benzoyl peroxide will allow preventing further acne breakouts. A low does of BHA is also necessary to unclog the pores and clarify the skin. The serum and moisturizer have to be carefully selected, particularly rich in replenishing and renewing properties. A greasy, extra rich cream can clog the pores and aggravate breakouts and yet the product has to be hydrating enough to nourish dry skin.
What Products Should I Use?
At Fey Cosmetics, we recommend our ACQUA and FUSION serums, which are specifically formulated to treat dry skin problems. ACQUA deeply hydrates and reduces the effects of dryness, itching, and redness, while FUSION soothes, repairs and retextures the skin. They work synergistically for instant and noticeable results. They are packed with antioxidants and plumping ingredients. ACQUA, for instance, incorporates aloe leaf juice which can soothe redness and itching associated with dry skin. It also has lemon verbena to boost the skin's elasticity while calming any inflammation. FUSION contains vitamin-rich algae extract and pure tamanu oil which is packed in fatty acids to speed up the skin’s healing process and protect against free radicals. Palmarosa is another ingredient worth mentioning as it is excellent to tackle signs of dehydration and help the skin maintain its moisture and suppleness.
* We strongly recommend seeking medical professional advice if your skin condition does not improve despite your efforts and treatments.