Dry Skin - Characteristics and Care
The terms "dry skin" and "dehydrated skin" are often used interchangeably with people mean the same thing. How does this work exactly?
Dry skin has a shortage of oil/sebum and a dehydrated skin has a shortage of moisture. Dry skin is a skin type, while dehydrated skin is a skin condition that can occur in everyone. For example, someone with oily skin can also have dehydrated skin at the same time. The confusing thing is that people with both dry and dehydrated skin can suffer from flakes, itching, sensitive, tight and dull skin.
Therefore an overview of the differences:
Dry skin is dry everywhere, also on hands and scalp, is very sensitive to premature aging and needs constant nourishment by means of oil-rich products. Dry skin has a thin structure and very fine pores. In addition, dry skin often has a dull appearance and immediately feels tight after washing. Dry skin also has a tendency to wrinkle and rarely suffers from pimples.
Dehydrated skin can feel oily and dry at the same time. This skin condition is often of a temporary nature and may arise due to environmental factors such as weather or nutrition. With a low-moisture skin, the natural protective layer of the skin (the lipid layer / fat layer) is too low, causing the moisture from the skin to evaporate. Dehydrated skin therefore needs constant hydration and is mainly recognizable by fine lines, flakes and a tightness. A tight shine is often visible on the forehead and cheeks. In addition, impurities can be a sign of dehydration.
Although dry skin can be congenital, it is usually the result of wrong habits in daily skin care and/or living habits. The main causes of dry skin are:
- Shower and bath habits: The combination of soaps, bath products and shower gels with aggressive detergents and very warm water not only removes dirt, but also affects the skin barrier causing the skin to dry out.
- The use of certain ingredients in personal care products: Synthetic ingredients such as fragrances and preservatives in care creams or lotions can damage the skin barrier, making the skin less able to retain moisture.
- Nutrition and lifestyle: A shortage of certain nutrients such as proteins and certain fats as well as too little drinking and smoking can dry out your skin from within.
- Age: As you age, the skin becomes drier due to hormonal changes. Especially during and after the menopause, many women notice that their skin feels a lot drier. The amount of estrogen decreases, making the skin thinner and drier.
- Weather conditions: Cold temperatures, wind and dry air dry out the skin from the outside. During the winter, your skin may feel even drier.
- UV radiation: too much sunlight can dry out the skin.
- Dry air in the house: The ideal humidity level in the house is around 45 to 50%. If you have a lower level, usually caused by heating or air conditioning, this can cause your skin to become drier. A humidifier or trays with water can help.
- Stress: Stress not only disrupts skin functions, but also influences the production of proteins in the skin that help to retain moisture.
- Sensitive skin: With sensitive skin, the defense mechanism that protects your body against external stimuli is disturbed. Dry skin can result from this. Dry and sensitive skin often go together.
- Heredity: Dry skin can be hereditary and therefore congenital.
- Adapt your showering or bathing ritual: Shower as short and cold as possible (max. 37 degrees) Use natural, mild shower creams that do not damage your skin's protective layer but rather enrich it. After showering, moisturise your skin with a body cream or oil.
- Clean your face without water: If your facial skin is very dry, you can cleanse it without water for several weeks. Use the milk/tonic combination. See how your skin reacts to this, whether it becomes calmer and more supple. If it does, you can also switch to a soap-free washing gel once a day.
- Nourish your skin with rich creams and add a serum to your daily care: After cleansing, use a serum of your choice and leave it on for a few minutes. Then apply a face cream for dry skin until your skin feels pleasantly nourished.
- Face mask: Use a face mask for dry skin 1-2 times for extra nourishment and hydration.
- Nourish your skin from within and choose a healthy lifestyle
Drink 1.5-2 litres of water daily and put enough proteins and healthy fats rich in omega-3 fatty acids on the menu. Also, make sure you get enough relaxation, exercise and sleep. Stop smoking and limit the consumption of alcohol.