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Are you Dry, Dehydrated or Both?

September 8, 2017

Although dry and dehydrated skins may feel the same, there are significant differences in the underlying causes.  It is imperative that you adjust your skin care routine in response to changes in your environment and lifestyle throughout the year.  Both dry and dehydrated skins are considered comprised in their ability to protect the skin from disease, aging and bacteria.  It is important understand your skin, know the signs of compromised skin and react quickly when your skin doesn't feel right. 

 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR SKIN TYPE:

Dehydrated Skin

  • A skin condition caused by lack of water - can affect all skin types (dry, sensitive, normal, oily)

  • Typically feels tight, sometimes thin and flaky

  • Can be dehydrated and deceptively oily and even have breakouts concurrently

  • Pores can be any size

  • May absorb moisturizers quickly,  make-up can go on unevenly and look patchy throughout the day as skin pulls water from product

  • Blackheads and Milia (small hard "pimples" that never come to a head)

  • Lifestyle can aggravate (wind, sun, chlorine)

  • An estimated 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated

  • Can be caused by internal and external factors (medications, coffee, alcohol, sun, over-exfoliation, harsh products, smoking, wind, cold)

Dry Skin

  • A skin type, typically from birth, that lacks oil

  • Can be feel tight, itchy  all over body - including hands, scalp, legs

  • Pores are typically small

  • Susceptible to blackheads & milia

  • More easily aggravated by skin care products

  • Skin's barrier function (protection) are compromised due to lack of lipids (can lead to greater TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss)

  • Looks dull, doesn't feel plump

  • Doesn't absorb products easily

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Review your skin care routine when you start to change your wardrobe for the season. When you put your shorts and tank tops away, consider whether your skin care routine needs more hydration if temperatures are dropping.  If your skin doesn't feel right - get help! Estheticians truly interested in your skin's health offer complimentary skin care consultations and incorporate skin care education into their facials.  Get educated on your skin type and current condition in order to make a logical treatment plan.

 

Addressing Dehydrated Skin

  • Drink more water (duh, right?). But how much? Take your body weight, divide by 2. Divide that number by 8.  That's how many 8 ounce glasses of water you should drink throughout the day. If you workout intensely, you'll need to increase that according to the activity.   Be sure to spread out the water intake throughout the day - 64 ounces of bedtime is not the same!

  • Do not over work your skin with products or cleansing brushes.  Rotating cleansing brushes can easily be overused, causing dehydration and irritation.  Do not use harsh scrubs or cleansers that immediately leave you feeling tight.  Watch your use of AHA/BHA products (contain glycolic, lactic, salicylic acids).

  • Incorporate daily use of moisturizers geared for your skin type (remember, dehydration is a skin "condition" not a "type").  For example, if you are also dehydrated-dry you will need a more emollient formula versus being a dehydrated-normal or dehydrated-combination skin type. 

  • Incorporate replenishing toners rather than toners that strip your skin further (alcohol based formulas)

  • Avoid products with synthetic fragrances as those can be irritating

Addressing Dry Skin

  • Do not use harsh cleansers that leave your skin immediately feeling dry. Milk and gentle cleansers can effectively clean and offer hydration at the same time.  Be careful not to automatically turn to cleansers for sensitive skin as these may not be leaving skin truly cleansed. 

  • Do not use hot water to wash your face (at the skin or in the shower). Really extreme water temps are  not good for your skin - really cold or really hot

  • Incorporate serums and moisturizers that contain peptides, growth factors, fractionated oils, DHEA, urea (healing), hyaluronic acid  

  • Look for occlusive products (feel thick and lay on top of skin to reduce Trans Epidermal Water Loss)

  • Do not use harsh exfoliators - look for enzyme-based home treatments to exfoliate and follow with a hydrating mask

  • Address dry skin early to prevent premature aging

If your skin doesn't feel right - get help! Estheticians truly interested in your skin's health offer complimentary skin care consultations and incorporate skin care education into their facials.  Get educated on your skin type and current condition in order to make a logical treatment plan.

 

 

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