Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Beauty Talk: Dehydrated and Dry Skin in Winter

Dehydrated skin refers to a condition when there is a lack moisture in the intercellular system of the skin. Skin can become especially susceptible to dehydration and severe dryness in winter due to the aggressive environmental factors. Dry skin types suffer the most from symptoms of dehydration.

Signs of Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin can be recognized by the following signs:
  • feels tight and/or burning
  • gets often irritated
  • has lower ability to regenerate and heal
  • flakes
  • develops dry lines

    If your symptoms are serious, you should consult a dermatologist.

    What Causes Skin’s Dehydration

    There are several reasons for skin’s dehydration and dryness. I won’t go into extreme detail: skin dryness is a huge separate topic. I would like to list several important causes which include external and internal factors.

    - use of harsh products on the skin
    - saunas, hot baths
    - harsh environment such as winds and cold temperatures
    - dry air, hot weather
    - pollution

    - illness
    - medication
    - indulging into dehydrating drinks: coffee and alcohol
    - smoking

    How Skin Gets Dehydrated

    Let’s look in more details at how skin gets dehydrated. This way you can understand better, what to do to prevent or treat this condition. The top, most superficial skin’s layer, called horny layer, normally contains 15% of water; deeper layers contain up to 80% of water. Horny layer plays a key role in helping to contain moisture in the deeper layers of the skin. It is important for regulating natural (balanced) flow of moisture from the deeper skin’s layers to the upper ones and its evaporation from the skin’s surface.

    To fulfill its vital protective functions horny layer needs lipids and sebum. Put simply, the latter coat the skin and create a water-proof barrier which also protects skin from bacteria, viruses, fungi etc. Harsh environment conditions and skin care products can strip skin of protective lipids/sebum or/and result in lower production of lipids and sebum. This leads to weakening of the protective skin’s barrier. Water can evaporate from the skin’s surface easier. When moisture level in horny layer gets down to 10%, you have a problem. Natural functions of the skin stop working efficiently and skin looses more and more water which results in its dehydration. It is important to treat this condition as soon as possible to avoid some permanent damage.

    So as you can see, any skin type can experience dehydrated skin. “Oily” skin does not mean “moisturized” skin. Oil, which is sebum, helps to lock moisture in the skin.

    Read Other Posts in the Series:
    How to Get Moisture Back into Your Skin:
    Exclude(or Minimize) the Dehydrating External and Internal Factors

    Our smart bodies know how to keep themselves balanced and hydrated… Just help your body and do not undermine its work!

    - keep up healthy water intake (1-2 liters a day)
    - avoid dehydrating drinks: coffee and alcohol
    - do not overindulge into saunas and baths which strip off lipids, make you sweat and stimulate water evaporation from the skin’s surface
    Read more

    Treat Dry and/or Dehydrated Skin: Facial Oils

    Face Oils can be especially beneficial for the dry and dehydrated skin as they can balance it fast and help to lock the moisture in. Oils have high penetration capabilities. They penetrate deep into the skin and deliver much needed nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.
    Read further

    Read more on Winter Skin Care

    - How to choose

  • Cleansing Products for Winter
  • Moisturizer for Winter
    - Post on general Winter Skin Care Tips
    - More detailed “Skin Care in Winter” Article
    - Click for more information on skin care products for winter.
    - Feel like shopping? You can buy skin care products for dry skin online right away.
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