Dry Skin

What causes dry skin?

Dry skin affects a lot of us, especially when the weather is cooler and drier. Dry skin appears to be ashy, flaky and often feels rough. On the cellular level, dry skin is caused by a combination of inadequate lipids or water-retaining molecules in our skin. Dry skin can be either hereditary or a result of poor skin care routine. A lot of us, especially those with sensitive skin, will experience dry skin with climate changes, over-washing with harsh soaps, long showers / baths, or wearing synthetic fabric. Lastly dry skin can reflect certain internal states such as thyroid imbalance or decline in estrogen.

How to avoid dry skin ?

  1. Gentle skin cleansing routine is essential. Avoid rigorous scrubbing when you wash your face or body. If your skin feels tight or looks red after washing, then you are over-stripping your face, and you will need to step down to a gentler soap or shorten your shower time. Also avoid washing face or body with hot water because hot water strips away oil from your skin.
  2. Avoid dry skin by eliminating fragrances or scented skincare products. Also avoid skincare products containing alcohol.
  3. If you have dry skin already, then choose natural fiber clothing (cotton, linen) and machine washable clothing over those from synthetic fiber or dry-cleaned clothes.
  4. In the winter, add a humidifier in your bedroom if you are turning up the heater.
  5. In the summer, don’t over exfoliate or skip your moisturizer if your skin feels tight.
  6. For ingredients, look for hyaluronic acids, ceramides, squalene, lipids and dimethicone. Avoid fragrances, formaldehyde releasing agent or ingredients ending in “alcohol”.


How to get rid of dry skin?

The main principle of getting rid of dry skin is to minimize behaviors or exposures that strip away natural sebum or over- exfoliate your skin and the same time, have a consistent routine of adding hydration and emollient to protect your skin barrier. Daily moisturizer is best applied immediately after shower or bath, when your skin is barely towel dried. In fact, when moisturizer is applied to damp dry skin, there is greater absorption of humectants. It is very important to read the label when you pick your moisturizer. Look for products that are fragrance free, formulated for sensitive skin, and contain at least 2-3 of known hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, squalene, ceramide, glycerin, lipids, natural oils and sealants such as shea butter, moringa oil, dimethicone, petrolatum and allantoin. The sealants are usually oil based such that they form a protective layer to further minimize water loss through your skin. Typically, thicker the moisturizer is better for drier skin. Lotion may be suitable for everyday use, while cream and ointments are better for very dry patches. For stubborn dry areas, you may even want to skip soap when cleaning (unless you’ve been sweating a lot or working outdoors), and seal in the moisturizer with an additional layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor, followed by cotton pajamas at night. Lastly be patient when you first start repairing dry skin, it will take at least 2 weeks to notice visible changes in your skin appearance and feel. For face, Alastin Ultra Nourishing Moisturizer is a great choice for all skin types. It hydrates and repairs the skin barrier without leaving pores feeling heavy or clogged. One of its key ingredients is linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that forms part of the outer layer of skin, helps keep sebum flowing to prevent clogged pores and is also anti- inflammatory.

How do you care for dry skin around eyes?

The skin around our eyes are thinner, have less density of sebaceous glands,therefore, is a lot more prone to dryness or irritation. Therefore, for dry patches around eyes, ingredients in your eye cream need to be even more “purer”, as in containing the least amount of added fragrances, preservatives or surfactants as possible. Look for “fragrance free” “ophthalmologist tested” on the label of eye creams when you have dry or sensitive skin around your eyes. When you do get persistent dry patches around eyes, first try to eliminate makeup wipes or harsh cleansers, and apply a fragrance-free eye cream twice a day to restore skin barrier.

Why is it important to take care also of your neck and avoid the neck skin drought?

The delicate skin of our neck is another area that needs TLC if we have dry skin tendencies. Similar to our eyelid skin, neck skin is thinner, has less amount of oil glands compared to the other parts of body, making it more susceptible to dry air, colder climates or harsh effects of cleansers. Additionally, the frictional rubbing of our clothing around our neck make the neck skin more easily irritated. Lastly because of its delicate nature and the chronic mechanical stress on our neck skin (just think about how much we move our neck with facial expressions and daily routines), our neck skin tends to show signs of aging and sagging faster. Dry skin of the neck only speeds up the signs of aging our neck and décolletage. A neck firming cream with hydrators should be an essential part of your skincare routine to extend your youth. It’s best to extend your face lotion and cream down to your neck to prevent dry patches from setting in. To step up your routine, incorporate a firming and moisturizing cream designed specifically for the neck. The SkinBetter Interfuse Face/Neck cream, Sente Firming Neck cream and Alastin Restorative Neck Cream are among our favorite products that restores neck skin elasticity and helps to keep our neck skin nourished and hydrated.
In conclusion, dry skin can affect all of us even if we have oily or combinationskin. To prevent dry patches, be proactive in your skincare routine as soon as the weather changes to cooler and drier season. Be sure to eliminate harsh soaps/ cleansers, scents or excessive exfoliation when you experience dry or dull complexion. To treat dry skin, it is best to choose products that are specifically formulated for face, eyes, neck and body as our skin varies inthickness, sensitivity and needs by body area. Reading the label is essential in picking the right cream for your needs. For those who are into regimen, a great kit for face, eyes, neck should be fragrance free, rich in effective ingredients that restore hydration and promote radiance. Lastly be patient and consistent when you treat dry skin, it takes at least 2-4 weeks to see andfeel the difference in your skin hydration level, smoothness and glow. If you have persistent dry patches, or if you experience itching and redness, be sure to seek professional evaluation by your dermatologist.

With love, Janelle & Shasa

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