Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it functions as a barrier against all sorts of environmental aggressors like pollution and UV rays. It's important to take care of our skin so...
Do you know the difference between a dry skin type and dehydrated skin?
In this topic, we’re going to address dehydrated skin - a condition that affects all skin types.
So do I have dry skin or dehydrated skin?
Typically people with dry skin have an underproduction of sebum - our skin’s natural oil. This makes the skin less well conditioned and it doesn’t absorb or retain moisture as well as similar skin types. So if you have a dry skin type your skin will be more prone to dehydration.
But what if I have oily skin?
People with oily skin tend to overproduce sebum - characterised by enlarged pores and a tendency towards more frequent breakouts, blackheads, and whiteheads. Just because your skin has more sebum present doesn’t mean it is hydrated. Oily skin can be equally (and often more) impacted by chronic dehydration or a lack of moisture in the skin.
So how do I know if my skin is dehydrated?
Sebum levels are different to moisture levels. When your skin feels tight, dry, and possibly even has a light sheen of oil coating its surface - this is a sure sign of dehydration. Dry skin and dehydrated skin may sound the same but it’s not.
The Main Causes of Dehydrated Skin
- Cold & dry weather.
- Exposure to harsh chemicals in soaps or other products.
- Acne products designed to dry out excess sebum production.
- Washing the skin excessively.
- Unbalanced skin pH.
- Using the wrong skincare products
- Skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis.
- Spending too much time in direct sunlight.
Some of the factors may be out of our control such as weather conditions, but most of these causes are things we can control. This is good because now we can remedy them and get our skin back to its healthy, supple, hydrated state.
Exposure to harsh chemicals in skin products, excessive washing, drying acne products and unbalanced skin pH –all fall under the umbrella of skincare and can be the most common culprit.
When we use products, such as strongly alkaline soaps and cleansers, or wash excessively, we strip away the acid mantle, leaving our skin open to the air and without its natural hydration. Our acid mantle is a very thin, natural protective film that lies on the surface layer of your skin that’s made of sebum (skin oils), amino acids, fatty acids, lactic acid, water (from perspiration), and skin’s own natural moisture. A damaged acid mantle is, in fact, one of the most common reasons for dehydrated skin, without us even realizing it!
So how can we repair the damage and get our acid mantle back to functioning at its optimal level - aka healthy, bouncy skin!
Ways to Hydrate Your Skin & Repair The Acid Mantle
#1: Drink Enough Water.
We know you probably heard this so many times before. But that’s just because it is so important for your skin’s health. It allows your skin cells to function optimally, keeping them plump and happy. 8 glasses is the recommended amount, but this can vary depending on your weight, your daily activities, eg. intense daily exercise, and the environment around you.
#2: Use Oil-based Skincare That Doesn’t Dehydrate Your Skin
Oils (correctly matched to your skin type) are a powerful way to restore & protect your skin barrier. Plus use of oils in your skincare routine will balance out your sebum levels - conditioning your skin and making it more able to retain and absorb moisture.
The most effective step you can take, when introducing oils into your skincare routine, is swapping out your regular cleanser for an oil-based cleanser. Foaming & stripping facial cleansers are the number one culprit when it comes to dehydrating your skin!
Aim for an all-natural cleansing oil, which includes high quality, natural carrier oils - no fillers, emulsifiers or preservatives (often brands will combine oils with water and emulsifiers so they feel less oily to touch and wash off better with water - this removes a lot of the cleansing oils benefits). And be sure to avoid at all costs products that use mineral oils!
Following up oil cleansing with a high quality oil serum is even better as we further condition and treat the skin with plant-based lipids, free fatty acids and ceramides. This will help the skin to better retain moisture at a deep cellular level, soothe any redness and irritation, and provides a dose of antioxidants essential for optimal skin health. Look for an emollient facial oil, which will repair damage to the acid mantle, and fill in the gaps to create a smooth and soft surface.
Choosing the right oil based routine is dependent on your skin type. If you have oily/ combination skin get started with the Supercharged Routine. If you have dry/ sensitive skin get started with the Nourishing Routine.
#3: Avoid Hot Showers
As contradictory as it may sound, taking long hot showers can eradicate your acid mantle. This may result in loss of moisture content and necessary oils which can dehydrate your skin. Using lukewarm water while bathing is ideal.
#4: Apply Your Sunscreen Religiously
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to prevent UVA and UVB skin damage every time you step out in the day. Sun exposure can dehydrate your skin, causing it to lose moisture and break down its collagen and elastin, which are responsible for its strength and elasticity. This can cause premature signs of aging.
#5: Don’t Over Exfoliate
Exfoliating is a good thing - especially as the skin ages - it can help dissolve dead, dry skin cells and prep the skin to better absorb moisture. However - keep your exfoliation to once or twice a week, to prevent further drying out the skin. Excess exfoliation will disrupt the skin barrier and can cause micro-tears in the skin.
When choosing an exfoliating routine - aim for a product that is all natural, and most importantly - gentle on the skin. If you have an oily/ combination skin type - be sure to look for a product that includes AHA’s - these are natural fruit-based acids that can help break down excess keratin & sebum - without being too harsh for the skin. If you have a dry skin type - aim for a product that provides gentle physical exfoliation - but also includes additional nourishment & hydration.
We’ve created a range of custom exfoliating masks that are ideal to supplement your regular routine. Bright Skin Powder uses a natural AHA - Pineapple enzymes (Bromelain) that’s perfect for oily skin types. And our Unmask is a deeply nourishing mask with Australian pink & Kaolin clay that is the perfect, gentle exfoliating option for people with dry skin.
#6: Add Moisture The Correct Way
Simply adding water to your skin isn’t an easy dehydration fix. Water can evaporate from the skin, carrying additional moisture with it and dehydrating the skin further.It’s important that moisture is combined with a humectant - an ingredient that bonds water to the skin.
The perfect fit is our Cushion Hydro Essences. We combine a deeply hydrating mist spray with powerful humectants and a selection of premium, plant based essences. It’s an ideal way to boost up your hydration levels.
You can apply a spritz in between steps of your regular skincare routine, to build and layer in additional hydration. You can also use it throughout the day to refresh the skin and maintain moisture levels.