Dry skin is caused by the skin’s failure to produce oil. The follicles are usually small and the sebum is minimal. If pores are barely visible or they are too small, this indicates a dry skin type.
The natural oil secretions in our follicles help protect us from environmental damage and aging. Dry skin needs extra care because it lacks this normal protection. Stimulating oil production and protecting the skin surface are imperative to taking care of dry skin. Occlusive products also protect the skin’s top barrier layer and hold in moisture, helping to combat dryness.
Dry skin tends to be dehydrated. It can feel scaly, rough, and itchy. It rarely has comedones, and when it does, they tend to be on the nose area.
The lack of oil in dry skin reduces its ability to retain moisture, since oil in the skin acts as a natural barrier against moisture loss. Dry skin is characterized as very fine, overly delicate, thin, and wrinkled, and is often filled with tiny superficial lines.
Dry skin problems are aggravated by exposure to the sun, wind, and heat. Improper skin care, especially the lack of protection against moisture loss, further exacerbates this problem.
Care for dry skin should include the use of products that will stimulate skin functions, activate oil gland secretion, and provide deep hydration. Moisturizers that can form a “sealing” film on the skin surface will prevent or reduce moisture loss.
Moisturizing ingredients are also essential to activate the skin’s natural water retention ability and to place additional moisture into the skin. These ingredients are:
- Ceramides: help generate and sustain the skin’s barrier function, improve skin hydration, and increase the feeling of softness.
- Glycerin: It is water binding and able to draw and absorb water from the air, thus helping the skin retain moisture.
- Shea Butter: protects the skin from dehydration.
- Hyaluronic Acid: is a natural moisturizer and helps skin retain water.
- Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B-5): improves and increases the moisture retention capacity of the skin while promoting the formation and function of healthy cells
- Honey Extract: is soothing, softening, and moisturizing.
- Lanolin: in an emollient with moisturizing properties and an emulsifier with high water absorption capabilities.
Causes of Dry Skin
When the skin is unable to retain moisture and the level of the sebum decreases, it become very dry, rough, and red. Skin feels stretched, tight and uncomfortable and even itchy, especially the areas around the cheeks and lips.
One of the major and most common problems is dehydration that can easily cause dry skin on the face. Drinking insufficient water throughout the day or consuming excess caffeine or sugary products, will almost certainly lead to dryness. Another main cause of dry skin is unhealthy eating habits.
Dry Skin Care Tips
- Use an oil-free moisturizer every day. Apply the cream to your face after your shower. Pat the skin dry then apply the moisturizer to your skin slightly damp face.
- Avoid using soap; use fragrances free cleanser.
- Avoid toner and aftershaves containing alcohol. Alcohol evaporates very quickly and cause the skin to dry out.
- Avoid hot water.
- Cleanse, tone, and moisturize each evening.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen in the morning.
- Drink as much water as possible. Water helps avoid dry skin, while also helping to reduce breakouts.
- Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit.
- Avoid excessive exposure to direct sunlight and heat.
- Install a humidifier in your home if you find the air to be excessively dry. A humidifier will keep the air moist, thus keeping your skin from drying out too much.
The goal in treating dry skin is to balance the moisture and oil of the skin. Use of products that contain ingredients that hold moisture, special serums and water based treatment creams such as the following are recommended.