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Do you know the difference between Dry and Dehydrated skin?  At Dermal Aesthetics we do and can help

Your skin feels tight, flaky, sensitive, dull, itchy and irritated.  But is it dry or dehydrated and what is the difference when they both feel and look the same?

Dehydrated skin is a loss of water not oil.  It is a ‘condition’ which means we can change it, unlike dry skin which is a ‘type’ and we are born with it.  It can come and go. You can still experience breakouts because skin can still produce oil whilst feeling dry at the same time.  Acne prone skins can especially be found in this state as the sufferer tries to remove excess oil.

If skin is pinched into a fold it doesn’t bounce back because the epidermis cannot retain water efficiently.  It appears dense and dull and and looks crepey.    The pores can appear large and open because they are thirsty, whereas dry skin will be tight and small because the follicles are not stretched due to lack of producing oil.

Because we cannot change our skin type there is not a lot we can do with a dry skin apart from use gentle cleansers and nourish, nourish, nourish with good serums and moisturisers.   Good news is  however, dehydrated skin is definitely a state we can change with ingredients and lifestyle.

Water: Drink more water

Give up smoking: smoking restricts blood flow and nutrients

Avoid hot showers and air conditioning and heating

Reduce salt, alcohol and caffeine intake as they are all diuretics

Get on the fish oil.  You can read our other blog which deep dives into why fish oil (EFAS) are so good but snapshot is they form cell membranes so affect epidermal lipids, reduce inflammation and improve conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis etc.

Ingredients to look out for:

Cleansers: switch to a PH balanced gentle cleanser

Hyaluronic acid hold up to 1000 times it weight in water!! Vitamin C assists in further penetration.  Diet and smoking however can affect hyaluronic levels.  It stimulates collagen production, assists in waste elimination, is an antioxidant, has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties .

Look for humectant ingredients such as glycerine, urea, BHA and shea butter as these are water soluble agents that work by drawing water into the skin.  Be careful though because in dry weather the action can be reversed and they will suck the moisture the other way (because the air is dryer than the skin).  For this reason they work best with occlusives that will stop water from evaporating such as lanolin, jojoba oil, petrolatum, evening primrose and sunflower or olive oil.

Alpha-lipoic acid is a super antioxidant that provides the greatest protection  and will increase the effects of other anti oxidants, ward off inflammation and toxins, fight future skin damage and help repair past damage.  It is a main component of a well functioning skin barrier.

Use serums because they penetrate deeper as they have smaller molecules.  A light peel a few times a week will ensure optimum penetration of hydators.

Sources, FASEB Journal: skin pigmentation in response to stress. APAN a deeper look at Pigmentation and Melasma

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