Is your skin Dry or Dehydrated?
Our skin can’t speak which is a pity because if it could it would probably sue us for slander. We are desperate to give it a label – oily, congested, combination, acneic, dry – but what very few of us realise is that skin’s appearances can be deceptive. Some skins are dry – a skin condition which can be controlled –while others are simply thirsty; air conditioning and too little water all compromise its equilibrium.Too often we confuse the two - so what’s your dermalogical diagnosis? Let me break it down for you.
Dry skin is a definite skin condition. Some faces simply do not make enough of the oil and sebum needed to retain much-needed moisture. If left to its own devices dry skin won’t look shiny (hoorah) but will probably appear uneven, patchy or dull and possibly more lined than that of your oily-skinned friends with a slight lack of plumpness (boo). It’s also more susceptible to sensitivity as oil creates a natural protective barrier and so redness, inflammation and irritation are a gloomy side-effect also.
Treat dry skin appropriately by choosing a gentle nourishing cream or oil-rich cleanser. I always recommend a balm or oil consistency and both Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel, £28 and Emma Hardie's Moringa Cleansing Balm, £36 are beautiful. Be sure to exfoliate regularly to eliminate the dulling, dehydrated surface cells and encourage a more radiant complexion. I would recommend adding a Clarisonic to your daily routine to gently lift away dead skin, the vibrations in this device should boost oil production by stimulating pores and so alleviate dryness. When skin is feeling really dry try applying your moisturiser while skin is still damp after cleansing as this will help to seal the precious water into skin. Be sure to look for products rich in natural oils such as shea butter, beeswax, sunflower seed or jojoba oils in all aspects of your skin care routine. Pick up a tube of cult product Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, £20- a rich yet fast absorbing moisturising lotion rich in fatty acids that will revitalise dry skin and leave it looking incredibly radiant instantly. This is a product I swear by in my kit as it gives incredible results SO quickly, plus unlike many rich creams it sits perfectly under make up. As an added extra keep a facial spritz in your handbag to top-up moisture levels on the go. Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir, £32 is a nutritive cocktail of essential oils, smells incredible and won’t ruin your make up.
Dehydrated skin lacks moisture but can still make oil which is why it’s often a real mixed bag with shiny bits and flaky bobs leaving us totally confused and not sure where to start with solving it. Dehydration is a condition most common amongst those with blemish-prone skin who strip out all the moisture using harsh astringents. It’s also a frequent complaint at this time of year when it quickly becomes cold outdoors and we whack on the central heating, all of which combine to cause complexion mayhem! So if dryness isn't something your usually fighting likelihood is your skin is dehydrated.
The most important step and the cheapest to solving dehydrated skin is to drink plenty of water, this is something I myself am so guilty of but it really is so so important. H20 is a natural detoxifier and so will naturally flush away toxins reducing blemishes while keeping skin plump and moist. To soothe tightness choose sulphate-free, balancing cleansers and absolutely avoid anything that foams up very quickly, the NUDE Purify Cleansing Wash, £20 is one I've stuck to for years now for my morning in-shower cleanse as it helps to freshen up skin and purge pores without ever drying skin.
After cleansing sweep skin with a cotton pad soaked in the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Face Tonic, £22 - a skin conditioning tonic designed to restore and balance skin with softening ingredients such as vitamin B5 and soothing Camomile and Lavender. gentle Choose a lightweight hydrator so as not to overwhelm skin, instead layer your moisturiser with a serum which is designed to work deep in the dermis of the skin to instantly relieve tightness and ensure your future skin feels soft and supple nipping any dehydration in the bud. Glycerin or hyaluronic acid are your best friend while dehydrated as both help to attract and retain moisture, without suffocating or exacerbating oiliness. My current serum crush is the Sarah Chapman Intense Hydrating Booster, £57 which when layered under my daytime moisturiser gives skin an added kick of Hylauronic acid while leaving it silky soft.
Beat the harsh effects of winter and get treating your dry/dehydrated skin so you'll be glowing this christmas! Enjoy xoxo