Aghhh – my skin feels so dry!
The weather in Brisbane in the last week has been variable to say the least. The first few days my skin felt as dry as old leather. Fortunately for me it didn’t look that way but it made me realise that the humidity has dropped and finally the cooler weather is on its way. Skin dryness or dehydration occurs when the water and oils that form part of the protective layer are out of balance as it is the balance of sebum (skin oil) and perspiration that keeps the skin healthy. This can happen for various reasons that I have outlined below:
1. Evaporation of moisture through the skin. Factors that promote moisture evaporation include dry air (ie lack of humidity in winter, heating or air-conditioning), wind, and prolonged water exposure (swimming in pools or long showers).
- I love swimming and swim about 3 times a week in a 50:50 salt water chlorine pool. The way I manage my skin dryness is to have a quick shower immediately after swimming and then slather myself in a good, rich natural moisturiser. My favourite is Remedica Vanilla and Shea Body Butter – my skin just soaks it up.
- If you want to have a relaxing, hot bath just add some oil to the bath water. This coats your skin in a light layer of oil, helping to protect from water loss. I use Remedica Monoi Blue or Coconut Magic Pure Coconut Oil.
- Dry Skin Brush – it gets rid of dry, dead skin cells. Need I say more!
2. Damage to the waterproof barrier or disruption of the acid mantle leaving the skin open to issues such as dehydration, roughness, infection, redness and irritation. Synthetic foaming agents such as sodium laurel sulphate are a significant cause of acid mantle disruption.
- For very dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin choose the Haven Scent Coconut Cream Cleanser. This is almost like using a cold cream to remove make up as it is very rich and creamy. You can use a moist flannel to wipe the cleanser off.
- For normal skin types, the La Mav Soothing Cream Cleanser or Mukti Gentle Foaming Cleanser
Choose a richer moisturiser. Generally if you just choose the next richest moisturiser up from your current one. Alternatively, try using your night cream during the day. If it sinks in without a greasy feel, then it is suitable for day use. A few good recommendations include:
- Devita Rx Ultrahydrate – a rich cream with hyaluronic acid to increase skin moisture holding capacity
- Sophyto Omega Daily Moisturiser – great for moisture depleted skin
- Third Stone Botanicals Rosewood Moisture Lotion – a lighter lotion that has a lovely moisturising effect.
3. The inside stuff. What you put into your body also has an impact in skin hydration. Reducing factors that have a diuretic effect such as alcohol and coffee will increase cellular hydration. It is also important to have adequate good fats in the diet. Good fats such as essential fatty acids (EFA’s) ensure the cell membrane remains flexible. This allows the cell to excrete toxins and cellular waste products and hold onto nutrients and water. EFAs also help to keep skin flexible and hydrated and promoting skin healing. Deep Sea fish are among the best source of EFAs including tuna, salmon, anchovies and sardines. Other good sources of EFA’s include avocado, nuts & seeds, flaxoil and Evening Primrose Oil. Keep in mind…
- Drink enough water as adequate water intake is required to maintain cellular fluid.
- Essential fatty acids from good fats help maintain the fatty membrane surrounding the cell, holding in moisture and nutrition. Good fat sources include deep sea fish, olive oil, nuts & seeds, avocado and flax seeds.
- If your skin is really dry, try the Lemon Detox drink for 7 days. The difference this will make is truly astounding. The recipe calls for Flax Oil but you can use Liquid Fish or Cod Liver Oil (with natural lemon flavouring) as well.
4. Ageing. As we age the production of sebum and natural oils lessens effectively reducing the water holding capacity of our skin. This leads to drier skin. You can counter this by using an oil based serum. Apply the serum under your moisturiser during the day (only use half a pump) or instead of a night cream. Any serum you use should sink into the skin completely within 5 minutes. Our product picks are:
- Remedica Regenerate Visage or Mismo ACE Serum – either of these lovely serums will nourish the skin deeply and more than that help improve the skin cell health.
5. Stress increases the likelihood of heightened neuro-sensory reaction in the skin. In situations such as this wind, touch and cosmetic brushes can cause irritation or redness. Managing stress can be quite individual and often required internal nervous system support as well as de-stressing practices such as yoga, breathing exercises or meditation. If your skin becomes red or irritated easily, particularly in dry cold weather, choose products scent free products and nourishing oils
- Mukti Calendula Cream is ideal for very sensitive, reactive skin. It is rich and nourishing. The addition of Calendula helps to reduce inflammation and heal flaky skin. For more tips about very sensitive skin, go to our Sensitive Skin Page.