Dry skin is a tough one. If you’ve got redness, flaky skin, Rosacea, Eczema or any other irritation, the chances are you’ve been given the dry skin diagnosis. And yet, every type of dry skin needs a different skincare approach.
From what to do, avoid and apply, if you are confused about dry skin and how to manage it, here’s what you need to know.
Do you have dry or dehydrated skin?
First off, it’s important to know if you have dry skin or a dehydrated version of it! Dry skin can often be mistaken as dehydrated and the other way around. Dryness of the skin makes your face produce lesser sebum making your skin dry. Dehydrated skin on the other hand is a condition where your skin lacks water. In fact, those with dehydrated skin may not even have completely dry skin as it could present itself as oily or normal even. Common ways of determining if you are dehydrated include pinching the skin and watching it bounce back. Slower than usual elasticity means it is dehydrated.
What causes the skin to be dry?
In a city like Singapore, people are taken by surprise when they notice dry skin. Weather aside, there can still be several reasons for your dry skin including extensive time in air conditioning, hot showers, medications, genes, a poor diet and alcohol consumption. Another common factor is the overuse of exfoliants and anti-ageing products such as retinol. These can be extremely drying for the skin, so remember to always top up with a hydrating product.
How do you prevent dryness?
You may have heard horror stories about overdoing exfoliation on dry skin, but it still is essential. Make sure you use a gentle cleanser on a regular basis and follow it up with a weekly exfoliant. Without proper exfoliation, your moisturiser won’t be as effective or penetrate your skin to make things better. Remember to switch to chemical exfoliants like Glycolic or Lactic Acid and stay away from old age walnut or abrasive scrub types.
Always make sure to moisturise as soon as you come out of the shower so your body can absorb the goodness while it’s still damp. Keep those showers cool and try to stay away from hot water that can dry you out further.
Choose your skincare well.
You may think all you need is a moisturiser for dry skin, but we assure you the right ingredients matter. Ceramides are popular humectants that work by extracting water molecules from the air and absorbing them onto the skin’s surface. Similarly, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin and Sorbitol can help your skin retain moisture. All that mask-wearing can also be abrasive for the skin. Moisturisers that provide a physical barrier to trap water in and prevent moisture loss are a good investment too. Choose products that contain lanolin, dimethicone or even white petroleum for this. Other ingredients that can help with dry skin include oatmeal(perfect for those with Eczema), oils, she butter and lipids.
Note – Normal dryness is okay but if you start to see constant redness, swelling or incessant itching, you could be dealing with something more serious. In such cases, you are best advised to see a skin specialist or aesthetician who can recommend the next course of action.