Our final discussion is on Skin Type: Dry/Sensitive Skin.
Dry is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. This leads to an impaired barrier function.
The follicles are usually small and the sebum is minimal. If you can barely see the follicles or they are small, this indicates a dry skin type. The natural oil secretions in our follicles help protect us from environmental damage and aging. Dry skin needs extra care because it lacks this normal protection. Stimulating oil production and protecting the surface is imperative to taking care of dry skin. Occlusive products also protect the skin’s top barrier layer and hold in moisture, which helps to combat dryness.
Dehydration is a condition that can be seen on all skin types. Dehydrated skin lacks water. Drinking plenty of water and hydrating the skin with moisturizers and humectants can help minimize the negative effects of dryness and dehydration.
If you have dry skin, you may feel a tightness in your skin. There may also be scaly patches or flaking. Those with dry skin types generally have almost invisible pores, and may suffer from premature wrinkles and regular irritation to the skin.
Description: Skin is tight, flaky, dehydrated or easily irritated. Irritation can take on the form of redness, blotchiness or inflammation.
What Causes Dry Skin
Dry skin is hereditary, as genetic predispositions can affect the amount of sebum produced in the skin’s oil glands. Sebum is responsible for keeping our skin soft and supple.
Many assume that dry skin is due to a lack of moisture, but the water content of dry skin is generally found in similar levels to that of oily skin. Adding water to dry skin is actually counterproductive to treating this skin condition.
The Importance of Moisturizer for Dry Skin
Finding a moisturizer that helps replenish your skin is essential. Those with dry skin often suffer from slight allergic reactions and tend to benefit from creams instead of lotions when it comes to moisturizers, as they contain more oil, making it thicker and more moisturizing. The more oil found in a moisturizer, the better it can absorb throughout the epidermis’ barriers to help hydrate the tissue. Before adding a daily moisturizer to your routine, test it on a small portion of your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
Skin is constantly loosing water via:
- Perspiration: active water loss from the glands caused by heat, stress and activity.
- Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL): the natural, passive way in which skin diffuses about half a litre of water a day from the deeper skin layers.
As a result, the skin’s barrier function can become compromised.
Kathleen Flanagan, CEO and Founder of Espirit de Vie Day Spa, Aromatherapist, Harmonic Healer, Esthetician and Author.