How to Fix Dry and Dehydrated Skin (Winter SOS Skincare) | Lab Muffin Beauty Science


Hi it’s me Michelle from Lab Muffin
Beauty Science, your resident skincare science nerd. Today I’m going to be
talking about dry and dehydrated skin and the different ways to treat them. You
might have noticed that your skin gets flaky in cold and dry weather. It might
make you feel prickly or itchy or like your skin’s stretched tight across your
face. How do you fix it? Well, that depends on whether you have dry or dehydrated
skin. Dry and dehydrated skin are similar in lots of ways.
Both are worse in cold and dry weather, can cause flaky skin, and can be treated
with moisturizers and other skin care products. But here’s the big difference:
dry skin lacks oil and dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin is a skin type which means it’s
built into your skin and isn’t going to change too much. It means that your skin
doesn’t produce enough oil and it’s the opposite of oily skin. Oil is important
in your skin to keep it flexible and to keep it waterproof. It stops water from
getting in and getting out of your skin. It also stops other chemicals from
getting in and out. How much oil your skin produces mostly depends on your
genes but it can also be affected by diet, stress, and the weather. Skin gets
drier when you age and oil production can be reduced by some medications like
hormonal birth control, accutane or isotretinoin, and
spironolactone. If your skin is producing the right amount of oil, in the
Goldilocks zone of not too little and not too much, it’s called normal skin. If
different parts of your skin fall into different categories,
it’s called combination skin. Dehydration is commonly referred to as a skin
condition since it can happen to anyone at any time and your skin’s hydration
levels can change suddenly, very quickly. Any skin type – dry, oily, normal or
combination – can lose too much water and become dehydrated. Hydration is important
for your skin. Having the right level of water in the
right places keeps your skin flexible, plump and smooth. It also makes sure that
the normal biological processes inside your skin are working properly.
For example, desquamation, the shedding of dead skin cells, doesn’t work properly
without proper hydration. Usually dehydrated skin happens when your skin
barrier is weakened so it can’t effectively slow down water from
evaporating. This water evaporation is called transepidermal water loss or TEWL. Dehydration can be caused by lots of
things: cold dry weather, overwashing, overexfoliating and wind or sun exposure. In
general dehydrated skin isn’t caused by not drinking enough water,
unless you’re drinking a dangerously low amount. Now how can you work out if your
skin’s dry or dehydrated? Firstly let’s talk about skin type. To work out if you’re
oily or dry, see which of these two descriptions fits your skin better. Oily
skin usually has large pores and blackheads especially in the t-zone: your
forehead, chin and nose area. It’s more prone to acne and breakouts. If you have oily
skin you might have visible shiny patches of oil on your skin or see
greasy spots on your pillowcase. If you touch your face you might get some oil
on your fingers. You probably don’t use too much moisturizer and you might
notice that your makeup slides around during the day. On the other hand if you
have dry skin you probably have really tiny pores and no visible shiny oil
patches on your skin. But your skin will be more prone to cracking, rough patches,
fine lines and visible flakes. Moisturizer probably sinks into your
skin very easily but makeup settles into fine lines and creases on your face. If
you can’t tell from these descriptions you can try testing using some blotting
paper. A few hours after washing your face, press the paper onto your nose. If
it sticks to your skin or shows a greasy spot
you’re probably oily and if it doesn’t you’re probably dry. Hydration level is
pretty straightforward. Unlike dryness there’s no happy medium:
you want your skin to be as hydrated as possible. Dehydrated skin feels tight and
stiff instead of soft and plump. Pinching it might cause stiff wrinkles. It can feel like
you have a tough film sitting on your skin.
In general if your skin is dry then it’s likely to also be dehydrated as well,
unless you look after it really carefully since oil helps your skin
retain water. If your skin is oily and still feels tight then you almost
definitely have dehydrated skin. Oily and dehydrated skin feels like a bit of a
paradox: it’s like it’s oily and dry at the same time, like there’s oil sitting on
top of parched leathery skin. Now that you know whether your skin is dry and
lacks oil or is dehydrated and lacks water, or both, let’s talk about how to
fix it. Let’s start with dry skin. Dry skin needs oil so obviously we need to
put oil back into your skin. There are two categories of oil ingredients in
skincare: emollients and occlusives. Sometimes reading about these terms can
get a bit confusing since they’re used in different ways even by dermatologists
and cosmetic formulators so keep that in mind. These are the definitions I’m using.
Emollient ingredients sink into the skin making it more flexible and
smoothing it out. Occlusive ingredients partially block water from evaporating.
They won’t form a perfect film that stops everything from evaporating, but
they will help. Emollient ingredients include most natural plant oils like
jojoba oil, natural skin components like cholesterol and ceramides, and stearate
and oleate esters. Occlusive ingredients include petrolatum or petroleum jelly,
paraffin, mineral oil, dimethicone and lanolin. There are also some less
occlusive ingredients that still work as occlusives
like shea butter and waxes like beeswax. Most occlusives are emollient as well and
emollients are usually also slightly occlusive so the two categories aren’t
mutually exclusive. If your skin is dry you’ll want to look
for moisturizers that have occlusives and emollients high on the ingredients
list. In general products with a heavier texture will be richer in these oil
ingredients and suitable for dry skin. Some moisturizers that are really
popular for people with dry skin are The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors and HA,
Cerave Night Cream, Clinique Moisture Surge, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream
and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. You can also try using facial oils like
pure plant oils or oil blends. They’re really great on their own if you don’t
have dehydrated skin or if you have a bunch of sensitivities and have to avoid
a lot of ingredients. They also work really well in multi-step routines.
Popular oils include argan oil, rosehip oil, avocado oil, squalene and squalene.
Coconut oil is also popular but it can make some people break out really badly. It’s not just moisturizers that can help
out dry skin – you might also want to try looking into cleansers that contain oils
as well to stop your cleansing routine from washing off too much oil from your
skin. Non-foaming cleansers and cleansing oils are good for cleaning skin without
stripping it. French pharmacy brands like Bioderma La Roche-Posay and Avene have
some great non-foaming cleansers that people with dry skin love. Nivea and QV
have some really great products too. You can get cleansing oils from lots of
brands like Simple, Shu Uemura, DHC, Dermalogica, and Hylamide. Micellar waters are good too if you want
a less oily product, but I’d recommend rinsing them off afterwards like you
would with a regular cleanser. Dehydrated skin needs water but unfortunately just
splashing more water on your face isn’t actually helpful. If your skin gets
waterlogged it gets leakier so it’s worse at holding on to its water. Instead
what you’re looking for is firstly humectants. Humectants are ingredients
that bind to water and stay on your skin, sort of like little sponges that sit on
your skin and keep it wet. Examples of humectant ingredients are glycerin,
sorbitol, glycols, PCA, hyaluronic acid, amino acids and urea. Alpha hydroxy acids
like glycolic acid and lactic acid also work as humectants. For my dehydrated
skin I always look for moisturizers with humectants high on the ingredients list.
They usually come in lighter textures that are really great for oily skin. Some
of my favorite moisturizers with humectants for dehydrated skin are
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel and La Roche-Posay lotion, Toners containing
humectants are also fantastic since you can use them as a weightless layer in
your skincare routine. My favorites are Klairs Supple Preparation Toner and Jurlique
Activating Water Essence. Hada Labo Lotion is also really popular. You
can also use slightly heavier humectant serums like Indeed Hydraluron. Your
skin also naturally contains minerals called the natural moisturizing factor
that acts as humectants. Thermal waters are a really good way of adding these
minerals back into your skin after they get rinsed out after washing. I also look for cleansers containing
humectants for my dehydrated skin since they help replace the humectants that
cleansing strips away. I particularly like Nivea Soothing Cleansing Mousse, QV
cleansers and Neutrogena Hydro Boost cleansers. I also only wash my face with
cleanser in the evening and I just use plain water in the morning, so I keep my
skin barrier as intact as possible, since cleansing is probably the most damaging
thing you’re forced to do to your skin on a regular basis. This cuts down on
your skin’s exposure to surfactants that make it leakier. Occlusives can also be
really good for dehydrated skin because once you’ve got some humectants on
your skin you can seal the water in with an occlusive product like Vaseline,
sleeping masks or other heavy moisturizers that have lots of
occlusives. Some of these occlusive ingredients I’ve mentioned before:
petrolatum, paraffin, mineral oil, dimethicone, lanolin, shea butter and
beeswax. If your skin is dehydrated and oily you’ll probably want to avoid
occlusive ingredients during the day since they tend to be heavy and greasy,
but I found that for my oily and dehydrated skin if I use occlusives on
top of my usual skin care products when I go to bed at night it’s fantastic for
giving me an overnight facial sort of effect. And I don’t really care if I’m
loaded up with moisturizer and look really really shiny in the safety of my
own room. There are a bunch of other things that
you can do to help your dry or dehydrated skin suffer less. Protecting
your skin from sun, heat and wind is important to keep it happy. Air
conditioning can also dry out your skin so you might want to look into a
humidifier if it’s unavoidable. Avoid long hot showers. Harsh cleansers and
soaps now quickly strip your skin of its natural oils and humectants. Products
that are high in SD alcohol, also called ethanol, ethyl alcohol, or denatured
alcohol, can also speed up water evaporation. While ethanol binds to water
like a humectant, it evaporates instead of staying on the skin so it can
actually evaporate and take water along with it. It also disturbs your skin
structure a little which means it can increase water evaporation and it can
wipe away oils as well. But there aren’t any other permanent effects so if
there’s a product that you love that has high alcohol, just make sure you use lots
of moisturizing ingredients along with it. Using harsh products too frequently
can also make your dry or dehydrated skin unhappy. Rough physical exfoliants
and drying active ingredients like retinoids and benzoyl peroxide can make
dry and dehydrated skin worse. That’s a guide to dealing with dry and dehydrated
winter skin. Of course your skin can be dry or dehydrated year-round and these
tips will apply as well. Thanks for watching my video! If you liked it please
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which I’ve got tons and tons of beauty science. See you next time for more nerdy
talk about beauty! 🙂