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Dry skin is caused by a lack of water in the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin).
Dry skin can make the skin rough, scaly or flaking. It will also often be itchy causes people to scratch it making the symptoms worse.
When the face is kept hydrated it maintains an appearance of looking revitalised, healthy and, as a consequence, youthful in appearance.
Hydration keeps dryness at bay, meaning no visible flaky skin, and it allows a successful application of make-up to be applied whilst continuing to look good during the day.
Common symptoms of dry skin
- Rough and dry patches on the skin
- Flaky or fine lines with cracks that may bleed
- A feeling of tightness, especially after a shower or bath.
What happens to dry skin
The epidermis should contain both fat (lipid) and protein, and it is the lipids that help the skin retain moisture and prevent dehydration.
When there aren’t enough lipids the skin loses it’s protection and loses water more easily. When skin is dry and starts to crack it’s protective barrier is reduced leaving it more prone to infection from external bacteria.
What causes dry skin
There are a number of things that can cause dry skin and cases will be unique to each individual. Below we cover the most common causes.
Dry skin can be due to genetics. There is a condition called ichthyosis which is caused by old skin not being able to slough properly making the skin dry and can give it fish like scales.
As we age our bodies produce less of the natural oils the skin needs. This combined with thinning skin can make the skin dry out.
Dry air can cause more moisture to evaporate from our skin making it dry out. It is important to remember that air conditioning can dry the air so if you're sitting in an air conditioned room it might not be the best for your skin.
As with all aspects of the body, not having a healthy can cause multiple skin concerns
Low levels of thyroid hormone can reduce the amount of oil the body produces.
Having uneven blood glucose levels can cause dehydration within the body.
Reasons why skin hydration matters
- Hydrated skin is more flexible and therefore less prone to breakages, giving us better protection from UV rays and other potentially harmful environmental factors.
- Hydrating your skin maintains its natural pH levels, helping to prevent infections.
- Dehydrated skin becomes dry, which can lead it to become irritated and exacerbate skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and acne.
- Hydrating your skin plumps it out and makes it less prone to line and wrinkles, making you look healthier and younger.
How to take care of dry skin
There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make in order to achieve better hydrated skin.
- Do not scratch your skin. This might be the hardest one to follow but possibly the most important. Scratching the skin will irritate and weaken the skin barrier further. This will increase the potential for moisture to be lost and external bacteria to cause infection.
- Avoid long hot showers and baths as they can strip your skin of it’s oils. It isn’t being in the shower or bath that causes the loss of water but more the evaporation of the water once you get out.
- Avoid excessive use of soap as that can strip oils from our skin.
- Take fish and flaxseed oil as they contain EFA’s (essential fatty acids) which assist oil production within the body.
- Using a humidifier will increase the air humidity helping your skin retain more moisture.
- It is recommended to drink up to two litres of water a day.
- Reducing smoking and alcohol will also help hydrate your skin, as will a healthy diet.
Skincare for dry skin
- Cleanse using a gentle cleanser. Make sure you don’t use harsh soaps that strip your skin of it’s oils.
- In order to ensure that the skin on the face doesn’t dry out, it is necessary to choose a product which gently moistures the face and locks in this moisture for the day.
- Moisturising within three minutes of cleansing, while your skin is still slightly damp.
- Moisturise using an oil based moisturiser that will help restore the required oil levels within the skin
- Keeping the face hydrated involves not just hydrating the outside of the body, but also ensuring that the inside of the body is also kept constantly hydrated. Sönd’s Jump Start Silica Supplements are the perfect way to support the skin from the inside out. Silica is known to increase oxygen levels in the blood allowing it to absorb more water.
- Cut out chemical based products and switch to more natural alternatives, particularly those that assist in replenishing your skin's natural components.
- Avoid exfoliating too often or with harsh products as this can strip away the skin's protective layer, leaving it dehydrated and irritated, as can using stronger rather than milder soaps.