When skin is dehydrated it is lacking water on the skins surface cells (epidermis), it can feel tight and when skin is slightly pinched it forms lines and wrinkles it can have a texture and feel of parchment paper . Serve dehydration will appear as flaking skin.
What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?
Dry skin is lacking in oils. Dry skin can easily become dehydrated as the skin lacks natural oil content and the ability to hold moisture to the skin and is affected by the same factors as dehydrated skin.
Dry, Oily, Acne and combination skin types can become dehydrated if the skins protective barrier has become compromised, from environmental factors, weather low humidity, sun exposure, poor skin care and high pH products that strip the skin own moisture barrier, as we age, hormones and medication can also be a cause.
Moisturising and hydrating the skin
Moisturising and hydrating the skin what’s the difference? Is there a difference? Or are they just some fancy marketing terms used to describe the same thing? Skin care products and the terms used in the industry can be confusing and there are so many products out there, which ones will keep my skin moisturised?
Well there is a difference between moisturising and hydrating the skin:
Hydrating is about maintaining an adequate level of water in the skin Moisturising means to create a skin barrier to prevent water loss from the skin
lets look deeper.
Humectants are skin hydrators, they attract water from the atmosphere and hold water molecules to the skin and help increase water content within the cell membrane. There should be around 20% water in the top layer of our skin, this is considered an adequate level. There are a number of natural humectants used in skin formulations here is just a taste:
· Lactic acid
· Hyaluronic Acid
· B5 panthonol
Occlusive's are oily compounds that can dissolve fats, they coat the skin to trap in the water to prevent the TEWL (transepidermal water loss), so they keep the water from evaporating from our skin, creating a barrier.
· Cocoa butter
· Olive oil
· Soybean oil
· Grapeseed oil
There are also ingredients that function as humectants and occlusive lecithin, lanolin and bees wax are examples.
Emollients are oils and butters that"enhance the flexibility and smoothness of skin and provide a secondary soothing effect to the skin and mucous membranes" (Cosmetic Dermatology: Practices and Procedures). Some emollients can also acts as occlusive, such as olive oil and soybean oil.
· Humectants: Attract water to the skin
· Occulsives create a barrier to keep the water from evaporating
· Emollients make the skin feel smooth and flexible.
To keep the skin healthy and happy we need to choose products that can protect and balance our skin from lack of moisture and hydration.
Choose pH balanced cleansers that will not strip the skins natural barrier that will hydrate and moisturise as well as clean deep into the pores.
Exfoliate your skin to remove dead skin that may be stopping moisture and hydration getting into the skin.
Choose a hydrating toner for your skin type. Look for plant hydrosols with humectants such as glycerin, mushroom extracts and vitamin B5.
Hydrating serums with algae, seaweed and hyaluronic acid.
Look for balms with occlusive and emollients to lock in the moisture and create a barrier, look for the right products for your skin type.
Make sure you apply your products in the right order. Cleanse, hydrating tonic/toner, water based serums, oil elixirs, balms, or creams and lotions.