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Why Your OILY SKIN is actually DEHYDRATED SKIN
The differences are studied in esthetics school extensively and professionals know that they are quite significant. However, you, the ever-seeker-of-skincare-knowledge, might be confused. I can assure you, dry and dehydrated are quite different and the remedies for treating each vary. Everyone needs a balance in the skin of BOTH moisture oil and hydration water. Not too much of one and not too much of the other is best. This balance is truly the foundation of smooth, glowing, and beautiful-looking skin. The epidermis, or the top layers of skin, is responsible for keeping skin hydrated. These processes maintain a proper balance between water retention and water loss. We can, however, use what knowledge we do have to our benefit. Oily skin means your skin produces oil. These simply contradict each other. You can be oily and dehydrated, but not oily and dry. If you take away only one thing from this post, this should be it. Drinking water is actually the least efficient way to hydrate the skin. Want to make your skin less sensitive? To properly retain water to keep the skin looking and acting healthy, you need lipids oils. These can either be your own built-in lipids or topical ones, in the form of emollient moisturizers. Dry skin that produces little to no oil , does not retain water easily. Think of leather, which can dry out and harden over time. As stated in the previous fact, dryness needs oil. Similarly, leather requires frequent oil conditioning to keep it moist and pliable. If you apply water to leather, it only gets drier and more cracked. Without oil, the applied water quickly evaporates, taking all other existing water in the leather with it! For dehydrated skin those who DO produce oil but just need water , avoid using aggressively harsh products. For excessively oily skin types prone to acne and breakouts, the goal is to lessen oil activity since oil significantly contributes to breakouts. This subjects it to water loss, which can result in tightness or even flakiness. Choose your moisturizer wisely. Moisturizers are comprised of emollients and hydrators, or humectants. All moisturizers contain a mixture of both but the percentage of each can vary. If you have oily or combination skin, you probably make enough of your own oil, a natural emollient. This means you should opt for a lighter lotion like Sheer Moisture Lotion that contains more humectants and fewer emollients. These will act as a seal and protect the skin from water loss. But wait…before you read on for more details, remember to apply this information based on how your skin is TODAY. What exactly is dry skin? Dry skin as a skin type like skin types 7, 8 and 9 , is known as alipidic skin. This means the skin does not produce much oil sebum. Skin relies on oil to retain moisture; without it, dryness ensues. What are the characteristics of dry skin? Pores are medium to small and often even invisible-looking. This usually results in a smoother texture. This is a major plus for those with lifelong dry skin, so consider yourself lucky in this regard. Oily skin types, like me, have to use retinol faithfully to achieve smaller-looking pores. There is minimal to no acne. This is another benefit! Oil is one of the underlying causes of blemishes. Do note, though, that even dry skin types can get an occasional hormonal cystic blemish. This is a unique type of blemish that can occur at any age. Skin consistently feels tight and dry and may appear rough and flaky. For medium to deeper skin tones, the skin can take on a dull or ashy look. Read my 10 tips that guarantee glowing skin. Fine lines and wrinkles are pronounced. This is, of course, related to how much or little sun damage your skin has had. Dryness means the barrier function is compromised, which usually results in increased sensitivity. Inflammation causes a chain of biochemical reactions that lead to collagen and elastin breakdown. Keeping skin irritation to a minimum is essential. Increased exfoliation is required to prevent dry skin cell build lessening the look of dryness. Read my complete guide to exfoliation. What causes dry skin? The skin has a harder time retaining moisture as you get older. Airplane travel, alcohol consumption, and antihistamines taken for allergies are big contributors. This can include climate, heaters, and air conditioning units. Prolonged exposure to the sun and heat Overly drying skincare products such as bar soaps, high-foaming cleansers, and prescription retinoids Hormones: Estrogen, which normally retains water in the dermis for a plump, moist look, naturally diminishes with age. The skin deflates and wrinkles become more pronounced. How can you treat dry skin? The simplest way is to use a skincare routine formulated exclusively for dry skin. This should include gentle but effective exfoliants to smooth away the dry cells that can contribute to a rough texture. Take this Skin Type Quiz. Choose the right type of moisturizer or skin oil. It should contain the right combination of protectants and emollients to create a barrier that prevents moisture loss. Not all moisturizers are equal so read this list of the best ingredients to look for in a dry skin moisturizer or oil. Use gentle leave-on acid exfoliants to remove surface flakiness and promote cell renewal. Lactic acid, in particular, helps improve natural production of intercellular lipids for a healthy barrier function. This one has both lactic and glycolic and is great for correcting dry skin. Wash with mild cleansing lotions formulated for your skin type. Avoid using bar soap or harsh foaming cleansers. Cleansing lotions contain emollients that are very soothing and comforting for dry skin. After cleansing, never leave the skin bare for more than 60 seconds. This helps prevent moisture evaporation. Use a humidifier during winter to keep moisture in the air—and in your skin. Use a moisturizing skin serum underneath moisturizer to provide an additional layer of protection and nourishment to the skin. For the final step in your nighttime routine, layer a skin oil on top of your moisturizer. Pro Remedy Oil is an excellent one to use and is essential for those who live in cold, snowy areas. A lot of people use a facial oil incorrectly. Read more about that here. Use a gentle exfoliant around the eye area to smooth away dry, crepey lines. Yes, exfoliating around the eyes is a thing and you really should be doing it. Read why you need to exfoliate around the eyes. Use prescription retinoids or retinol carefully. What exactly is dehydrated skin? Dehydrated skin, as a skin condition, lacks water content. Watch this quick video to see what dehydrated skin actually looks like. The technical name for this is transepidermal water loss. The skin can still have normal or even overactive sebaceous oil activity. What are the characteristics of dehydrated skin? Skin feels tight and can easily form fine lines due to lack of water in surface cells. It can feel tight one day and normal the next based on various factors. Look closely in a mirror, then press and hold your finger firmly on your forehead or cheek and move it in tiny circles. Dehydration can appear as tiny triangular fine lines.
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