Having dry skin can be so frustrating. From the flakiness, to the itchiness, roughness and just overall dryness, it gets annoying. And don’t get me started on makeup. Applying makeup on dry skin can be daunting. You almost wonder what looks better, bareface? Or no makeup?
In order to combat dry skin, it is necessary to really understand it, what causes it and how you can prevent it. This will eventually be your remedy and very soon you will be kissing ashy skin bye bye. Because let’s be real, dealing with dry skin goes beyond just slathering lotion on your face.
Do you have dry skin?
You know you have dry skin when your face is always tight, Irritated, Itchy, Rough, Flaky, Chapped, More red than usual, Burning, Cracked.
In very technical sense, dry skin can be described as a skin type that produces less sebum than other skin types. Sebum is a substance the skin secretes which hydrates and keeps our skin moisturized throughout the day. In simpler terms, you can refer to it as your body’s natural oils.
Usually in the case of oily skin, it is the excess secretion of those natural body oils, however, for dry skin, the skin is not producing as much sebum as it should be. This can be caused by a lot of things, thankfully it can also be remedied. Which is why, some people may have dry skin for a period of time, some it only occurs seasonally and for some it could be something they have always had and never tackled.
Whatever the case may be, these remedies will definitely work for you. The goal ultimately is to get your skin the moisture it needs and hold in the moisture so your skin doesn’t end up looking flaky or ashy.
What causes dry skin on the face?
Understanding what causes dry skin can better help you eliminate it. There are several factors that can contribute to having dry skin. Environmental factors, your lifestyle factors, biological factors. Environmental factors that could be causing your dry skin;
- cold winter air
- air conditioning
- sun exposure
- seasonal temperature changes
Lifestyle factors that could be causing your dry skin;
- Very long showers/baths
- washing the skin excessively
- poor nutrition
- harsh soaps
- Using the wong skincare products
Biological factors that could be causing your dry skin;
- skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis
How to get rid of dry skin
It is no surprise that moisturizing is going to be the first step when it comes to eradicating dry skin. Keeping your skin moisturized is always essential. However, when buying moisturizers for your face, you need to be aware of the kind you buy. There are certain ingredients that are terrible for dry skin and may even make your skin worse. Some of the ingredients you need to stay away from are;
- artificial fragrances or colors
- petrolatum or petroleum
These ingredients are drying and while they may be holy grail for other skin types such as oily skin, someone with dry skin needs to stay away from them. If you are not someone who checks the ingredients of a product before purchasing, you probably should. This applies for face cleansers, serum, anything you will be applying to your skin. I will also be listing a few active ingredients you need to be checking for that will greatly improve your dry skin.
Glycolic acid is naturally found in sugarcane and fruits. It is an ingredient for all skin types, but specifically really good for dry skin. Glycolic acid helps to exfoliate and insert moisture to the skin which keeps your skin well hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid is personally my holy grail. It is a natural sugar found in skin. Its main function is to retain water, and in this case when applied to the skin, it retains moisture. When mixed in with a cream or oil, it then really locks in that moisture the hyaluronic acid is holding. As an ingredient in a moisturizer, you know that product is going to be nothing less than moisturizing all day long. It comes in different forms; hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronic acid and a few more. Just look for ‘hyaluronic’.
Ceramides are lipids that help form the skin’s barrier and help skin retain moisture. Lipids are molecules that contain hydrocarbons and make up the building blocks of the structure and function of living cells. A lipid is any of various organic compounds that are insoluble in water. They include fats, waxes, oils, hormones, etc.
In other words, not all fat is bad fat. This one in particular helps in protecting your skin from external environment. The skin gets easily damaged without that natural barrier. While ceramides can be found in the skin already. It will definitely be helpful to apply it topically in order to get the best looking skin. In this case, more is more. Ceramides promote hydration. It makes your skin look smoother, softer, and more plump.
Use a mild face cleanser
Cleansing is essential to keep a healthy skin. As someone with dry skin, you need to stay away from harsh cleansers. Possibly try soap free cleansers, because soap strips away moisture from the skin, and if you limit your use of soap on your skin, it will help you retain your natural skin moisture more. Gel cleansers are very drying as well, they were technically designed for oily skin to help balance oil secretion. Here are some active ingredients to look for in cleansers that help in retaining hydration;
- polyethylene glycol
- silicone surfactants
When washing the face, avoid using harsh elements too like a brush or wash cloth. Your fingers will do the job just fine. You need to be delicate with your skin, especially when it comes to cleansing, your don;t want to strip your skin’s natural oils. And you literally do not need to wash your face more than 2 times a day.
Stay away from hot water
Hot water strips away natural skin oils. Dermatologists do not advise washing your face with hot water. GH Beauty Lab senior chemist Sabina Wizemann says ‘For the most skin-friendly cleanse, make sure the water temperature is lukewarm and test it with a finger first’. Infact, even for showers or baths, according to American Academy of Dermatology; it is advised to shower with warm water and not stay long in water. These can all play a role in how you retain moisture in your face.
Exfoliation is very helpful when it comes to removing dead skin and revealing a more fresh healthy layer of the skin. Which all sounds amazing for someone with dry flaky skin, but you need to take it easy with the exfoliation. For starters, i would say; ditch the physical exfoliants. That will do nothing but give you the impression that if you scrub harder, you will get the dead skin off, wrong. Okay don’t ditch them, but i was just trying to make a point.
When using a physical or chemical exfoliator, you should know that you are not the one doing the work. Your job is to apply the product on your face, the product does the work. Do not scrub it in like its sand paper. Otherwise it will defeat the aim. Exfoliating works really well, but you have to do it right. Maximum twice a week, to refresh and expose a more radiating skin layer. You will also notice your dry flaky skin reduce tremendously.
You can find some homemade face scrubs here. Just go gentle on your face.
Try a humidifier
A humidifier keeps the skin hydrated. It combats dry air. Limit the use of ac or heaters as they can cause the air around you to be really dry. Invest in a humidifier instead.
Hydrate to get rid of dry skin
You are truly what you eat. Drink! Drink! And Drink some more! I cannot stress this enough. When you start to drink water, your skin starts to glow. It is recommended to drink 2.7 liters of water as a female and 3.7 liters of water for men. Tea does not constitute as water, it has to be the real thing.
I challenged myself to drink nothing less than 2 litres of water a day and till this day i get shocked when i look into the mirror. I cannot believe that something as simple as drinking water could make such a tremendous difference in my life.
Tbh i was someone who drank maybe a glass of water a day, (if i remembered). The worst thing you could ever make me do is drink water. So believe me when i say, i know exactly how hard it can be to drink water for people like me out there. Which was why i started small, by trying to get to 2 liters everyday, and right now, I am pushing to 3 ltrs. It helped me cut off soda because I cannot possibly drink 3 liters of water a day and still have room for much soda. It’s really a win win for your overall body health.