How to hydrate dry and sensitive skin
Dry skin sufferers are often plagued with sensitive, irritated skin, just to top it all off.
Is this you? Do you know why your skin is so dry and sensitive? Before we dive into the solutions, we need to know the causes of dry and sensitive skin.
Causes of dry and/or sensitive 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
- skin requires a more intensely hydrating product, rather than higher volume
- skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis
- spending too much time in direct sunlight
As you can see, some of these factors are out of our control, such as weather conditions, but most of these causes of dry skin 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.
Many of these causes will damage our acid mantle, which is lies on the surface layer of your skin, and is a very thin, natural protective film that’s made up of sebum (skin oils), amino acids, fatty acids, lactic acid, water (from perspiration), and skin’s own natural moisture. 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.
A damaged acid mantle is, in fact, one of the most common reasons for dry and sensitive 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 and repair the acid mantle
#1. Drink enough water
We know, you have 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. A hydrating skincare routine
This is where the magic can really happen.
Aim for an all-natural cleanser, which includes grapeseed oil (rich in Linoleic acid and resveratrol), and Avocado oil, (high in essential fatty acids/ oleic acid to nourish and moisturize dry skin) Look for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich properties, such as Rose Geranium extract.
The use of a powerful moisturiser is the next step to hydrating your skin. A facial oil, rich in plant-based lipids, free fatty acids and ceramides, is a good place to start, as this will aid in replenishing 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.
A serum should be an essential step in repairing dry skin. We recommend a humectant serum rich in a natural source of Vitamin C, such as native Kakadu Plum, as it is absorbed directly into the skin without oxidation, as well as attracts moisture from the air and draws it into the skin. This ensures maximum potency to help the skin's repair process, aiding in reversing visible damage caused via dehydrated skin.
#3. Avoid hot showers
As contradictory as it may sound, bathing for long hours 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
Keep your exfoliation to once a week, to prevent further drying out the skin. Aim for an all natural, super gentle exfoliant that will dissolve dead, dry skin cells, and soften and smooth the skin underneath.
#6. Spritz a facial spray for a midday boost
In the moments where you wish you could replenish your skin’s moisture in the middle of the day but don’t want to disrupt your makeup, grab a facial spray for a quick midday pick-me-up. Our favourite is Cushion Hydro Essences, rich in antioxidants, potent Vitamin C, and essential fatty acids for the ultimate hydration dose.