Do You Really Have Dry Skin?

Posted on 12/05/2020

Do You Really Have Dry Skin? name

Winter is officially here folks, and for some, that brings some big changes to their skin. 

Flakiness, tightness, dullness and noticing your make-up is no longer sitting right on the skin are all some of the few tell-tale signs your skin may be lacking hydration! But why? 

Dehydration is very different to dry skin. In fact, dry skin is one of the most misdiagnosed skin conditions we educate our clients about daily in clinic. 

A true dry skin lacks the ability to hydrate itself effectively and lacks the all-essential lipids and proteins. Often there can be medical skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and/or dermatitis also observed within the skin, or there can be a history of these skin conditions stemming back from childhood. Irritation, soreness, plaque-y patches and/or scaly skin for example tend to be signs of having a dry skin and a dry skin condition that is not due to seasonal, environmental, temporary skin dehydration. (Although seasonal change and external factors do play a big role in exacerbating and causing flare-ups of these skin conditions.) 

By contrast with dehydration can happen seasonally or throughout various times of the year depending on state of general health, mental health and particularly stress, environment, hormones and/ or illness. This is due to a cascade of reasons occurring within our body and skin metabolism, which impacts the function of our natural moisturising processors (glycosaminoglycans and aquaglycoporins) operating in the deeper layers of our skin.  

Dehydration tends to be temporary and easily resolved, whereas with dry skin you are inherently and continually fighting to retain moisture in the skin and combat against flare-ups of inhibiting skin conditions such as eczema, because you lack the necessary naturally occurring lubricants and lipids a non-dry skin has. 

Dehydration can also occur when starting a new skincare regime where cell renewal and regeneration has been dramatically increased. This is in fact a very normal and healthy, temporary, process. 

How does hydration naturally occur in our skin? 

Our unique skin is an enormous sensory organ full of various processors that carry out an array of skin- functions. In particular with skin hydration, this has a unique process. 

The top layer of our skin (in a healthy skin) should detect that we need hydration. It then sends a chemical signal down to our natural moisturising processors within our skin to initiate the production of hydration (hyaluronic acid) to travel up to the surface of our skin and retain moisture. We also produce ceramides and lipids to protect, hydrate and keep our skin healthy. 

When a season changes, particularly from a warmer climate to winter, our natural moisturising processors need time to naturally adjust and regulate itself against this, which can take up to a few weeks. So be patient with temporary flakiness or the skin appearing a little rough in texture and your glow disappearing for a short time because our skin is constantly fighting against external factors such as environment, weather, heating and temperature change - it’s a lot to handle! 

Exfoliation and the Vitamin A in your skincare routine are two things to increase when this happens but your skin will adjust. If it hasn’t and you need further hydration, there are additional or alternative ingredients you can incorporate into your skincare regime throughout winter such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and/or growth factors, for example. These can combat against lack of moisture and assist in your skin’s natural hydration. 

On the opposite side of things we treat in clinic are people who are over hydrating and saturating their skin with occlusive moisturisers and products! Applying too much, or the wrong ingredients, to a non-dry skin can also cause dehydration and disrupt the natural function of hydration - leading to a dependent and unhealthy functioning skin. This is where the Medical Skin Therapists at The Face Place can help you. 

Diagnosis, treatment and prescription of topicals (if needed) for any medical skin condition, especially those suffering with stubborn and re-occurring dry skin conditions, should always be under the care and/ or assessed by a medical professional, specialist or dermatologist. Treatment can be supported further by medical-grade skincare and/or over-the-counter emollient products to suit the condition of skin. 

Forget the second guessing and self-diagnosing and come in and see us for expert advice and assessment on your skin! Even if it’s just to give the skin a little TLC and prepare it for the cooler, harsh winter months. 

We look forward to welcoming you in clinic and guiding you down the path to optimum skin health and achieving your skin goals! 

With Best Wishes, 


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