Do you spend all winter with itchy, chapped, rough dry skin? Me too! In a dry, cold climate like Salt Lake, we need to moisturize heavily, but did you know that most of us are doing it wrong?
The oil in a moisturizer creates a surface layer that traps water underneath it. Because oil and water don’t mix, the water in our skin will not pass through the oil layer to evaporate. Water loss through evaporation is damaging our skin all day every day, but is especially bad in the winter because of the way heating units de-humidify the air in our homes and cars. When you add that to the wind blowing and people drinking more hot drinks that contain caffeine (a diuretic), we become dehydrated inside and out.
To properly function, our skin needs a balance of OILS AND WATER. Most people overlook the dehydration of our natural protease, which is an enzyme in our skin that dissolves and releases old dead skin cells. This enzyme is activated by water in the skin, and cannot work without enough. This causes dead skin to build up instead of sloughing off naturally, causing flakes and blackheads. It also causes excess oil to crystalize and harden into Milia, which are unattractive white chunks trapped in our skin that can cause lasting damage.
The top layers of our skin do not receive any water from inside our bodies because they are too far away, so the only way those surface layers can receive water is from our products and environment. If you travel to a humid climate, you may notice your skin improving as it absorbs water right out of the air. Not gonna happen here! We need to supplement it with skin care products. I know… you drink a lot of water… but that doesn’t fix it. Our body prioritizes where it uses that water, and internal organs get it first.
So what’s the number 1 thing we’re doing wrong?
Moisturizing without Hydrating!
If you’re using a body oil, coconut oil, or rich creams to moisturize, you’re not applying any water. There may be a small amount in lotion, but without specific water-binding ingredients to hold on to it, this water evaporates before it has a chance to absorb.
Estheticians call this “dehydrated skin” or “water-dry skin” to keep it separate from dry skin that is lacking oil production, although they usually happen together. So what does it look like? When dehydrated, skin will look thin, dull, papery, dry, irritated or red, and develops fine lines, clogged pores and milia. Those rough bumps on your upper arms? Same thing. You can even get a type of acne that’s caused by lack of water! Dry skin is also very sensitive and may be burned or irritated by otherwise harmless products.
And the worst part? Dehydrated skin ages faster!
How do we fix it?
-Use a facial cleanser that is right for your skin type. Not one that you read about online! For example, many people with dull dry skin have read that salicylic acid cleansers can help brighten dull skin. What that article didn’t tell you is that only works if the dullness is caused by a buildup of oily dead skin. In those with dry skin, salicylic acid sucks out more moisture and makes it worse.
-Use an alcohol-free water-based toner with hyaluronic acid (an awesome water-binding magnet) I LOVE Skin Script's Cucumber Hydrating Toner.
-Apply a hydration serum designed for professionals. More Hyaluronic Acid water binders! Over the counter products, or those from home party sales companies, aren’t designed with the chemistry and molecule size to absorb as deeply. They are just a waste, sitting on the surface of your skin until you wash it off ☹ The best serum is the Ageless Hydrating Serum I get from Skin Script.
-Lock that water in with a professional-quality moisturizer chosen with your esthetician. You need a lighter one in the summer and a thicker one in the winter. Sometimes, you need some trial and error here to find the right one for your unique skin. I can help you narrow it down, no problem.
I can do your skin analysis as part of a massage, back facial or facial, depending on where your skin bothers you, book now!