During Winter it’s not only our immune system that suffers thanks to cold temperatures. Blasting air-conditioning, hot showers and cold wind that come hand in hand with the chilly season all wreak havoc on our complexions too. Couple the aforementioned with a drop in air humidity and you’ve got a recipe for unhappy, dehydrated skin. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to make dehydrated skin a thing of the past. To find out exactly how to do that and to clear up the confusion about dehydrated and dry skin, we spoke with Sothys National Technical Trainer and skincare expert, Vanessa Feehan-Meldrum.
We often hear people saying they have dry skin but what is the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin?
In very simple terms, dry skin is lacking lipids, or our skin’s natural oils, whereas dehydrated skin is lacking water.
How can you tell the difference?
Dry skin has certain characteristics – small pores, no visible oil flow on the skin, skin can feel rough and uneven. These skins may feel they need more moisturiser added after their first application. Dehydrated skin has a crepe-like look to it – when you smile you may see fine lines around your eyes that look like crepe paper – this type of skin often feels tight.
Many of us suffer from dehydrated skin over the winter months. Why is this?
In winter we tend to increase all the heating in our homes, workplace and the car. We have hotter showers and tend to drink less water. Our skin is the last organ to receive water and with all these components contribute to the dehydration of our skin. That dehydrated feeling starts to creep in very quickly.
What steps can we take to treat dehydrated skin in winter?
You may want to look at changing your cleanser – maybe move to cleansing milk rather than a wash – try Sothys Comfort Cleansing Milk. Add in a hydrating serum, such as Sothys Intensive Hydrating Serum, before your moisturiser and look to use a night cream that will give the skin an extra boost overnight. My favourite thing to do to beat dehydration is to implement a hydrating mask over the winter months.
How does lifestyle play a role in whether our skin is dehydrated or not?
Lifestyle plays a huge role in our skin; your environment can impact on skin in ways we wouldn’t have thought of. We need to remember that exercise, those extra coffees to keep you warm, windy days and extra heating are depleting our skins natural hydration levels.
What role does exfoliation play in helping dehydrated skin? And dry skin?
Exfoliation is important to the hydration of the skin – we need to remove dead skin cells to help with the penetration of products. As for dry skin, cell turnover can be slow and generally needs a helping hand but be careful not to exfoliate every day – this can contribute to dehydration in the skin by stripping the all-important layer of oil that helps retain and lock in the skin’s natural moisture. If we over exfoliate, we remove this oil barrier and increase the skin’s dehydration as water can escape freely from our skin.
I think I have a dry skin type. What should my beauty routine look like?
Having dry skin is a process of getting it to be healthy dry skin. You want your skin to feel comfortable, nourished and hydrated. I would recommend that your routine be a cleanser (not a wash or gel as this can dry the skin out), a moisturising toner, a hydrating serum and a skincare oil at night – try Sothys Essential Lipid Elixir. Look to use a moisturiser that supports dry skin specifically and look to introduce a night cream and weekly mask. These small actions do really help your dry skin to be a skin that has more balance and health.
How important is the right moisturiser when it comes to caring for naturally dry skin?
The right moisturizers are critical – dry skin does need more help as it can suffer badly through winter months. We want to be using a moisturiser that helps to contribute to the skins own natural oils such as Avocado, Macadamia and Omegas 3,6,9.
These oils do not block the skin but help to support a specific layer in the skin. They provide nourishment but also protection. Dry skin can become sensitised if it has lost its protective layers.
Are there any skincare ingredients that you tend to recommend for dry skin?
Try skincare that has been formulated with the following: Omegas 3,6,9; Shea Oil; Jojoba Oil; Hyaluronic Acid; Macadamia Oil; Avocado Oil.