WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DRY AND DEHYDRATED SKIN?
First and foremost, it is important to clarify that dry skin is not equivalent to dehydrated skin, but of course both can be present at the same time – this is very common. If your skin is dry it means it’s deficient in fats and lipids, if it’s dehydrated, it’s deficient in water. It is quite difficult to see the difference when you look in the mirror, but perhaps the most typical difference is that while dry skin is more prone to peeling, dehydrated is to pimples and acne.
REPLACE YOUR FACE WASH
Have you ever checked what are the top 7 ingredients in your cleanser? If you see SLS / ALS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate) in there, you should switch to another sulfate-free version immediately! Is your face wash makes a big foam? Then almost certainly one of these sulfates is included. The same if after you wash your face your skin is itchy and feels tight. Sad news, but the now popular eco-friendly, zero waste bar soaps are not a good solution to cleanse your face! Soaps are too alkaline and so they shift the healthy pH of your skin, leading to dehydration, skin irritation and other problems.
CHECK THE ALCOHOL
Look carefully at all the products you use on your beautiful face and, if you happen to find alcohol in any of them, throw them in the trash! Unfortunately, alcohol works by first creating a very pleasant feeling on the skin, even for weeks, and then suddenly, out of nowhere your skin starts to react. You keep using more and more of it and your skin will become more and more dry and irritated.
EAT MORE GOOD FATS
What you eat will greatly affect the condition of your skin. As winter approaches, start consuming a little more good fats than usual. These include nuts and seeds (e.g. almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, etc.), plant oils, ghee, avocado, sea fish (e.g. salmon, sardines), linseed, chia seeds. These will help restore the healthy lipid layer of your skin from the inside.
USE A HUMIDIFIER
The more we heat our apartments or the office, the drier the air gets in our environment, where we are sitting all day. If you can, get a cool mist humidifier and use it every day. Many employees in Korea also have a mini version on their desk to keep their skin hydrated. (Yes, even men!) Also, make sure it is not warmer than 21 degrees (69.8°F) in your apartment and preferably at your workplace.
USE A FACE MIST FORMULATED WITH OILS
It’s time to replace your thermal water face spray with one that contains some nourishing plant oils. If you have 5 minutes, you can also try this DIY Green Tea Rejuvenating Facial Mist Recipe of mine! Keep this on your desk and if you feel you need a little extra hydration during the day, spray a little on your face!
AVOID HOT WATER
As a rule, only lukewarm water can come in touch with your face. Of course, even when showering, avoid hot water.
Exfoliation is a good thing, and the fall-winter period is absolutely great for that, but be careful not to overdo it! Once or max. twice a week is more than enough to use some kind of chemical or enzymatic peel. Physical (like scrubs) exfoliation is best avoided with sensitive, dry skin!
CHOOSE YOUR MOISTURIZER WELL
It is very important that you choose a moisturizer that contains lipids, ceramides (eg ceramide AP, EOP, NG, NP, NS) , fatty acids (eg linoleic acid), fatty alcohols (eg Cetearyl / Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Myristyl Alcohol) , cholesterol (cholesterol) and natural vegetable oils (eg almond oil, avocado oil). An added bonus if it includes antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents as well (such as panthenol).
I suggest you to apply a layer of humectant-rich product after your face mist, eg. hyaluronic acid serum and then lock the moisture in your skin with a nice, heavier hydrating moisturizer. You can add a couple of drops of facial oil to this or, if you prefer, apply it separately to your skin as the very last step of your routine.
Have a nice day and beautiful skin!