When it comes to describing your complexion, dehydration and dryness are thought of as interchangeable terms and are often confused. Both, however can wreak havoc on your face and tend to be exacerbated as the winter months descend upon us.
Your skin is more prone to dehydration in the cooler months due to fluctuations in temperature. Extreme cold can cause skin lipids to thicken and reduces sebum production making it more challenging for the skin to maintain moisture. Cold air also tightens the pores and reduces circulation.
Dry versus Dehydrated Skin
Dry skin is an inherent skin type that stays with you for life. It means that your skin is lacking in oils or lipids and is characterised by fewer oil glands. The lack of sebum can mean the skin struggles to maintain moisture and build a strong barrier against external aggressors. If you suffer from dry skin, it tends to feel flaky, itchy and uncomfortable. Areas that are more affected tend to be around the t-zone area – brows, eyes and nose.
Dehydrated skin is a skin condition which is more readily fixed and can concern all skin types. Dehydration can present itself as a by-product of daily life. Dehydrated skin is lacking in water and can be caused by intrinsic factors – hormones, diet, alcohol, caffeine – as well as extrinsic factors – the weather and environment. Temperature and humidity affect the skin adversely. The effects of the elements – sun, wind, cold temperatures, central heating and air-conditioning – and even using your beauty products incorrectly can all contribute to dehydrated skin.
Dehydration can result in diminished water content in the skin. It shows up as dull, uneven skin tone, itchiness, redness, congestion, inflammation, an overall feeling of tightness and an increase or exaggeration in fine lines and dark circles, all of which can be symptoms of dryness, too.
You can perform a simple self-diagnoses by pinching your cheek. If it wrinkles instead of holding its shape, your skin cells are in need of water. When the skin is hydrated the skin cells swell which minimises the appearance of wrinkles and makes us look less tired.
The skin barrier is made up of cells held together by lipids similar to a brick wall bound by mortar. Dehydrated skin is prone to spaces in the brickwork which means that water can escape and skin can also become more sensitised (dermally impaired) due to these gaps.
A compromised barrier means the ingredients in your skincare might not work as hard as they could do. When the skin barrier is impaired, it affects the skin’s ability to absorb and retain ingredients from the products you are using.
It’s important to address seasonal environmental changes. Low humidity, hot showers and central heating all contribute to skin dehydration which is why it’s important to create a specific routine for winter. Because dehydration levels typically peak in the winter months scaling back to gentle exfoliating once or twice a week and minimising the use of acids can aid to restore hydration. Keeping in mind that a build-up of dead skin can diminish the absorption of moisturisers so don’t completely omit this step.
The best approach in relation to your skincare routine is focus on hydrating products and moisturising formulas that increase water content in the skin and prevent water being lost. Avoiding products with a large percentage of glycerine is important as it can absorb and rob too much moisture and oil from the skin’s surface further exacerbating dryness. Scrutinise ingredient labels carefully and be wary of serums that use glycerine as their primary carrier.
How to Improve Hydration
- The first step is to incorporate a daily cleansing routine to remove dirt, makeup and impurities. You want to look for cleansers that are nurturing and calming as opposed to creating a bubble bath on your face which will only serve to create further dryness and potential irritation. Our Hydrating Cleansing Lotion is a rich, creamy cleanser that is free of drying surfactants. It deeply cleanses by using gentle oils and plant butters like shea and macadamia, without stripping the skin of its essential and naturally occurring lipids.
- A facial mist is often overlooked and really amps up moisture as well as delivery of essential ingredients, product penetration and spreadability. A well formulated mist can act as a quick pick me up that can be used throughout the day. Hydrosols, or hydrolats, are the pure, water-based solutions created when essential oils are steam distilled. Through this process, a potent, yet subtle form of skin food is created that can be applied directly to the skin, unlike most pure essential oils. Hydrosols are considered the homeopathic version of aromatherapy. Our Hydrating Rose Blossom Mist based with plant hydrolats from Bulgarian roses is ideal for skin that is suffering from dryness and requires additional hydration.
- Serums are generally water-based and deliver ingredients deeper into the skin. They are often referred to as the potent worker bees of any skincare line. Layering serums with a moisturiser that also contains hydrating ingredients and key antioxidants helps to prolong skin hydration by binding water in the epidermis and limiting moisture loss. Our Antioxidant Facial Serum was the first serum created in our skincare line and is a great starting serum for any skin type, even the most sensitive. It has a specific liposomal delivery system that allows the active ingredients to penetrate the deeper dermal layers ensuring optimal hydration and imparting a dewy glow.
- Heated, dry air can cause the skin to lose moisture while we sleep. At night, a few drops of our Antioxidant Facial Oil in addition to the Antioxidant Facial Serum can lock in moisture and deliver antioxidants and nurturing botanical oils while you get your beauty sleep. Overnight reparative ingredients leave the skin soft and smooth without a greasy feel.
- A moisturiser which has a good balance of regenerative essential fatty acids and plant waxes can help seal the skin and is a great finale to a your winter routine. Our Hydrating Moisturiser is a staple and has long been one of our hero products. It contains a luscious blend of Macadamia, Carrot Seed, Rosehip and CoQ10 to sooth, calm and hydrate dry skin.
mukti Hydrating collection
The key to upping hydration levels isn’t only in the products you use daily, it’s in the way you use them. For example, immediately after showering is the best time to apply your body moisturiser while your skin is still damp. Regular dry body brushing prior to showering and applying a couple of pumps of our Bioactive Body Elixir to your dry brush stimulates and hydrates the skin. Showers that are too long and too hot can deplete moisture levels, so keep it short and tepid.
Home based protocols such as regularly applying a masque like our Deep Cleanse Antioxidant Masque and skin needling can aid the skin’s ability to absorb water and replenish the skin’s moisture. Dermal rolling involves tiny pinpricks to the skin and, if administered correctly it creates clear pathways for ingredients to penetrate the skin more efficiently.
A dehydrated state can be easily corrected by increasing water intake which in turn increases hydration in the stratum corneum (the outermost layer) of the skin. Drinking adequate fluids throughout the day as well as water rich fruits and vegetables and essential fatty acids are important in cooler months when we tend to focus on hot drinks. A daily dose of our Bioactive Collagen Booster is literally skinfood that we replenish lost moisture and collagen. Including a teaspoon of evening primrose oil in your morning smoothie can also assist internal hydration.
So many people suffer from dry & dehydrated skin and feel lost for solutions, so I decided to put together ALL the skincare weapons I have formulated to beat tight, dry, sometimes flaky skin into ONE collection which I call The Ultimate Hydrating Essentials Collection.