Dry skin. What does it actually mean?
Dry skin is when the skin lacks oil or sebum. Sebum is produced by our sebaceous glands present in our dermal layer of skin. This is vital for skin health, keeping our skin lubricated and healthy.
How do we recognise dry skin, and what does it feel and look like?
Dry skin has characteristics that make it easy to recognise. Imagine a piece of tissue or crepe paper, and it’s all crinkled up; this is a simple example of how dry skin feels.
Dry skin has a matte appearance, can feel tight and sometimes irritated, looks dull, may feel rough to the touch and has invisible or very small pores.
This skin type shows signs of premature ageing such as lines, wrinkles and loss of elasticity quicker than other oily or combination skin types.
What should you avoid?
Avoid harsh skincare products, especially ones filled with chemicals, fillers, artificial colours and fragrances. Some cleansing products may even contain potentially damaging foaming agents.
Here are some ingredients that all skin types, but especially a dryer skin, should steer clear of. These ingredients strip and impair the skin's natural protective barrier and cause irritation, but thankfully we can avoid them:
- sodium lauryl sulphate
- artificial fragrances
- artificial colours
- synthetic dyes
- mineral oil
- synthetic retinol
There are other elements that dryer skin types may be more sensitive to, like harsh climates and extreme water temperatures. You may also find that some medications can exacerbate symptoms. You're probably aware that hormone fluctuations can be seen on your skin, and it doesn't even take an imbalance, just the change in your body can prompt a skin reaction. These can all affect the skin's oil content, so being aware and manage where you can, to help support your skin.
I am not sure if we also need to mention the four usual suspects, but just in case, avoiding or reducing your alcohol or caffeine intake, sun exposure and quitting smoking will ultimately see your skin and health improve.
How to improve dry skin?
Good news! There are so many ways to stimulate sebaceous activity.
This means we enhance the natural production of sebum ( the skin’s natural oil ) to make a dry skin feel more nourished and comfortable.
Here are the ways you can improve your skincare routine:
Cleanse daily – Using a cream or oil-based cleanser is a simple but integral part of preparing our dry skin. It will assist with the penetration of other active ingredients. This means that when you cleanse twice daily, your skin will better absorb the active products that you apply after, like your serum and moisturiser. By choosing a cream or oil-based cleanser, your skin will feel more nourished, protected and calm.
Exfoliation – Using a gentle exfoliant twice a week will ensure that the dead skin layer is gently buffed away and fresh, healthy skin cells can be visible. It also means that these new skin cells are more receptive to absorbing nutrient-rich serums and moisturisers, which in turn will improve the appearance and feel of dry skin.
It's not just about skincare; skin health starts with your diet and lifestyle, so also consider the following:
Omegas, antioxidants and fatty acids – Include these in your diet and skincare products as they are nutrient-rich and assist in nourishing from the inside.
Water – Drinking water will increase your skin's hydration levels and improve the skin functions and vitality
Sleep – Our skin's functions are also optimised when we are well rested, so aim to get a good seven hours sleep (minimum) nightly.
Serum – To improve dryness levels in the skin, regularly using boosters such as a nourishing serum or oil will feed the skin and improve the texture. Ensure that these products are enriched with natural and Certified Organic oils, waxes, butters, fatty acids, omegas, antioxidant ingredients.
Moisturiser – an emollient ( rich oil-based and very nourishing ) moisturiser will provide dry skin with the nourishment it requires. Ingredients such as Rosehip, antioxidants ( particularly Vitamins E and A ), natural oils and waxes, gentle AHA's ( Alpha Hydroxy Acid ) such as Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid.
For a home skincare routine that nourishes a dry skin, here are the organicspa and organicsceuticals products I recommend:
- cream cleanser
- cleansing balm
- rosehip oil
- antioxidant face oil
- wrinkle defence
- soothe balm
- moisture rich
- pro renewal cream
- face exfoliant or enzyme microexfoliant
- cream mask
Rekindle that youthful glow and say goodbye to dull, dry skin!