In a recent survey of women over 18, 59% said that dry, dehydrated skin was their #1 concern. However at this time of year, that percentage is even higher due to cold, wind, heat, and holiday stress. The other thing to be aware of is that there is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Dry skin lacks oil, while dehydrated skin lacks water; put the two together and you have a recipe for irritation and inflammation. You can have oily skin and still have dehydration. Dehydration contributes to thickening of the skin and inadequate natural exfoliation, which means that the skin is not shedding properly, so you can end up with scaly, cracked skin. Also, if you have mature or environmentally damaged skin, hydration is critically important to improve the look and feel of your skin.
If you would like to stop dealing with dry, tight, flaky, itchy skin; be aware of the skin care products you are using on it and what is in them, because they are your best defense. These products can be your worst enemy as well, by contributing to the problem through the use of cheap, irritating ingredients and pH levels that are too high or low for your skin. pH levels that are too high or low can compromise the barrier of your skin, leaving it dry and susceptible to irritants. Soap is a perfect example of this, as it has a high pH level, which is why your skin has that tight, squeaky feel to it after you use it.
Moisturizers are so important, next to a good cleanser, they are your most important skin care product. Moisturizers contain a mixture of emollients, occlusives, and humectants that form a barrier on the skin to prevent water loss, lubricate, and act as a water magnet to draw moisture to the skin. Some occlusive emollient ingredients to stay away from that are often used in cheaper skin care products are: mineral oil, lanolin, and petrolatum; these ingredients can be irritating to the skin and can clog pores. The most effective humectant is Hyaluronic Acid, which can hold a thousand times its weight in water; this keeps the skin hydrated, especially after age 50 when skin begins to break down. Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Booster is a concentrated serum containing hyaluronic acid along with several other humectants to smooth, hydrate, and minimize fine lines. Exquisite: Skincare and Waxing has several different Dermalogica products available, along with Skin Hydrating Booster, for retail to combat dryness and dehydration in your skin.