Beauty Tips: Dehydrated Skin

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Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that most of us will suffer from during the winter months, when the harsh weather and the central heating will literally take the moisture from our skin. It’s not to be confused with having dry skin, which is a skin type that is lacking in oil. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is when the skin is lacking in water. You’ll know you have dehydrated skin if your skin feel tight or itchy with a dull complexion and fine lines more noticeable. If you step out of the shower and your skin is plump and dewy with a gorgeous glow but one minute later has lost it and feel likes it needs moisturising, then you are probably dehydrated.

My skin is permanently dehydrated, it’s just worse at this time of year, and less so in the summer but all in all it’s a skin condition I fight with most of the year round. I have made many mistakes, taken a long time to figure out certain products that were aggravating it and definitely been guilty of changing products that work for others just because I wanted to try something different, much to my regret.

Firstly, let’s talk about cleansing. I was using a particular cleanser on my face for quite a long time, maybe a year or so, before I realised that it was causing much of the irritation my skin was suffering from. It never occurred to me that my cleanser could be the culprit. Avoid any kind of foaming cleansers as they contain surfactants which leave your skin dry and tight and in turn quite sensitive. By nature, dehydrated skin and sensitive skin go hand in hand because by not treating the problem you leave your skin open to sensitivities, like breakouts, redness or over production of oil.

Next is your serum followed by your moisturiser. Here I would say that the most important ingredient you should be looking out for is Hyaluronic Acid, a humectant that keeps the skin plump and hydrated with its ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. It is naturally occurring in the human body and we are born with a high level which diminishes as we get older, particularly after 40. Hyaluronic acid is one ingredient that works on all skin types and isn’t harsh at all. Look for serums and moisturisers that have it listed as one of the first seven ingredients. If you are worried about missing out on other anti-aging ingredients or of you just need an extra shot of moisture in your skincare regime during the winter months, then try layering two serums, one high is hyaluronic acid along with, say, an antioxidant based serum.

Another way to treat dehydrated skin is through your diet. Drinking lots of water will help maintain moisture in the skin. Although there is no evidence to suggest that drinking water itself hydrates the skin, by not drinking enough water for the body to carry out its functions, it will rob water from the skin, leaving it dehydrated. The best way to hydrate your skin is to ‘eat your water’, so foods rich in water content (fruit and veg in particular), good fats like avocado and nuts & seeds.

Be mindful also, that although we need to keep our homes warm in the winter, the central heating will draw out moisture from the skin, so as well as layering up on your skincare, perhaps invest in a humidifier or place a small bowl of water in your room to stop the air drying out.

Keep your skin hydrated and you will notice the difference - younger, plumped and dewy!