This month, we’re talking about hydration. We’ll be giving you information, products and services to overcome dry, dehydrated skin and restore more healthy balance, function and appearance to this incredible organ.
Dry or Dehydrated – what’s the difference? Let’s start with the fact that skin has two predominant kinds of moisture available to it: Lipids (fats/oils) and water (including water-binding hygroscopics). Since the skin wants to maintain it’s balance and the ability to protect you from the outside world, an imbalance of either kind of moisture will cause problems.
Dry skin typically refers to skin that can’t produce or is lacking in oil/sebum. This can affect the barrier function of the skin and can lead to more water loss from the dermis. Dehydrated skin is lacking moisture and water content in both regions of the skin, but especially in the epidermis. Skin lacking in water content will often produce more oil to keep itself lubricated. You can see a viscous cycle developing here, can’t you?
Despite the cause(s), the net effect is quite similar. Symptoms of dry or dehydrated skin are:
- Itching and irritation
- Sensitivity and inflammation
- Flaking and scaling
- Tight or drawn feeling
- Exaggerated look of lines and wrinkles
- Increased pore size
- In severe cases, cracking and bleeding
If this is your skin type and you have these symptoms, conventional wisdom will tell you to slather emollient creams or lotions on your skin, but this can actually slow down some important regenerative functions of the skin, making the problem much worse. So it’s important to know what’s causing your dry skin and the steps you can take to improve its health and appearance. Stay tuned next week – we’ll talk about those causes and how to address them skinside-out.