A dry skin may be one of the most common client complaints, especially with mature clients. Most importantly we have to differentiate between dryness and dehydration. When your skin feels dry, you assume that it is dry, but it’s possible that it’s actually dehydrated and in need of water.
Ultimately there is a skin type and there is a skin condition. A skin type is what you are born with, such as oily or dry skin. A skin condition is something that can cause you to experience various other problems such as acne and irritation, or external elements like the weather or harsh soaps. It is temporary and more easily treatable than dry skin.
Dry skin is a skin type that is related to oil production and the lack of oil within the skin, most likely as a result of genetics. Usually you are also dry everywhere else on your body, including hands, legs, etc. When you put on moisturizers and lotions they usually soak up quite quickly. If this is the case with your skin it is important to use specific nourishing products for dry skin that contains oil or cream based products, on a daily basis.
The skin is genetically prone to insufficient oil production, which leads to chronic dryness, or the skin may become dry as the oil production decreases with age. Skin with normal oil production will have a light film composed of oil, as well as perspiration and moisture from the air. The t-zone may produce more oil than other areas.
Commonly, clients observe oil in the t-zone and believe that they have an overactive oil production. Many people believe that skin with no oil at all is the healthiest and so even those with normal oil production may resort to stripping their skin with harsh cleansers and various other products in order to remove all traces of it. It is important to know that they need this film to keep the skin properly protected and hydrated.
A dehydrated skin condition is related to the lack of water within the skin. This can be caused by many influences such as poor diet e.g. too much caffeine or alcohol etc, makeup, weather, incorrect product use such as cleansers that can strip the skin, sun exposure and other environmental factors, etc. The skin can feel oily and dry simultaneously and can lead to tightness, roughness and can become less supple. It can affect all skin types.
To treat dehydrated skins you need to make sure to retain the skins moisture. It is important to re-hydrate the skins cells and prevent further water evaporation by keeping to a simple diet. Certain lifestyle changes can help such as using a humidifier in your bedroom whilst sleeping. Drink lots of water and apply a lotion to the skin to lock in the extra moisture.
Below are some characteristics of both dry and dehydrated skins in order to determine which you might have:
- Lacks oil.
- Needs oil rich products.
- Constantly needs moisturizer, especially during winter.
- More prone to premature ageing.
- Usually feels dry all over including hands, feet etc.
- Natural skin type from birth.
- Lacks water.
- Needs water rich products.
- Temporary and is based on diet, incorrect product use and various other environmental factors.
- May experience breakouts.
- Can feel oily and dry at the same time.
- Can be experienced by anyone and all skin types.
Both dry and dehydrated skins can feel flaky, sensitive, dull, tight and itchy.