So your skin is dry, rough, flakey, and/or sensitive and let me guess you keep grabbing your creams and lotions and potions? And its not getting better? Hm, this sounds familiar.
We spend so much time in the beauty world talking about acne and very little time talking about dry skin and how to keep non-acneic skin in balance. Since I have been working at a medical spa and spending time with some of the best estheticians I have EVER met, I am equipped to provide you with some insight to this dilemma.
Myth #1: My skin is so dry it needs a heavy cream
Sure a thick cream might feel great and provide some temporary relief but it is just putting a bandaid on the problem. Most of the time when a client complains about their skin being dry, it is usually dehydrated. Dehydrated skin lacks water (not oil). This is most likely the case if you are still having breakouts and blackheads while some areas are dry.
If your skin is lacking water then the most logical solution is to drink more water right? Well sure that will help but to be honest it will take forever of drinking TONS of water.
Our skin is the biggest organ of the body and it is the very last organ to receive the nutrients that we ingest. So basically, all the water you drink is going to hydrate every other part of your body before it starts having benefits on your dry skin.
Try using a hyaluronic acid serum. This isn’t your typical acid by any means. Hyaluronic acid carries 1000x its weight in water per molecule. It is a soothing gel-like serum that efficiently delivers water into your skin. You can use this in addition to a moisturizer or in place of one, depending on your skins needs.
Myth #2: My skin is too dry or sensitive to exfoliate
Everyone. I mean everyoneee. Needs to be exfoliating in some way.
The real cure for your dry skin is to make your skin create its own hyaluronic acid from within. To do this, we need to promote the production of new healthy skin.
No matter what your skin problem is, the solution is typically to speed up your skin cell turnover by exfoliating. When you take the dead skin off the top of the epidermis, the bottom layers of the epidermis kick into high gear to produce new skin!
There are many ways to exfoliate even if you have sensitive skin. Here are the main ways you can exfoliate.
- Enzymatic exfoliators tend to be the most gentle. I have recommended this cleanser by Mario Badescu to my mom and friends and they absolutely love it! My mom has really sensitive skin + rosacea and this cleanser has been working great for her!
- Chemical exfoliators include products that contain AHAs or BHAs. Glycolic acid, an AHA, is my ingredient of choice most days. Lactic Acid is another great ingredient you can look for. If you are more acneic, Salicylic (a BHA) may be a better choice for you. Look for cleansers with these active ingredients to make sure you are breaking down the dull and dead skin cells.
- Mechanical or physical exfoliation is the third option. This includes using a scrub or some sort of device that removes dead skin. Physical exfoliation (especially those of poor quality) can be the more irritating for skin so its best to only do it a few times a week in conjunction with the other methods listed above. BE CAREFUL what type of scrub you use. Most over-the-counter or drug store brand scrubs can cause microscopic tears to your skin because the beads are not fully rounded. My favorite scrub is the exfoliating polish by ZO. The beads in this scrub are magnesium crystal and are completely rounded (the same crystals used in micro-dermabrasion!)
Other Products To Consider
Retinols (or vitamin A derivatives) are AMAZING for almost every skin problem including acne, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles etc. I have been using a retinol from Skin Drop Beauty and my skin has improved dramatically!
When starting a retinol product you will experience what is called an anticipated reaction. Your skin will get red/dry/peely/flakey until it adjusts to the new product. This is just your skin’s way of purging off all the dead skin so the new, healthy skin can come to the surface.
Start by using a retinol every few nights and slowly build up to using it every night. Make sure you wear SPF very single day especially while on this product! Discontinue use of retinols 4 days pre and post waxing or other facial treatments.
If you live somewhere where the climate is very dry, consider getting a cold air humidifier. This will help bring more humidity into the air in your home and in turn, hydrate your skin!
The Take Aways
Dry skin doesn’t just need oils or cream, it needs to be hydrated with products that contain water! People with dry skin still need to be exfoliating. Promoting the production of new, healthy skin is the best way to cure your chronic dry skin problems.
I hope this was helpful! Stay glowing xo