Dry and Dehydrated Skin? Here is How to Restore Your Skin Fast
I enjoy walking my dogs every day and on some days it can get pretty windy out there like today! It's lovely and refreshing but the dry wind can play real havoc with your skin.
The wind can suck the moisture out of your skin. And if it's a sunny day as well, it's easy to get wind burned. Imagine a fan-forced oven crisping up the roast. It's a bit like that, the sun heats up and 'toasts' the skin and the wind dries the skin resulting in skin that feels parched, tight, rough, and sometimes stinging & sore, and the surface of the skin looks all crackly.
During windy days it's important to protect your skin from over-drying because if it's left untreated it can lead to skin barrier breakdown, severe dryness and dehydration. Untreated dehydration leads to premature ageing, wrinkling, and even skin sensitivities. Dehydration means loss of moisture (water) and it can occur in dry skin as well as oily skin types.
In dried-out skin the lack of moisture levels impacts skin function and regeneration, slowing down cellular repair and turnover. The skin's natural exfoliation process is impaired which results in a build-up of dead cell layers. In a way, it's like the skin is trying to protect itself from excessive moisture loss. This can make the skin look dull and sallow and if left untreated can lead to other problems such as blackheads and milia.
If your skin has been dried out by the wind, a moisturizing and hydrating mask can provide instant relief. Prepare your skin first with a gentle milky cleanser designed for sensitive dehydrated skin. After cleansing, patting in a gently hydrating mist or lotion is an absolute must. The water-based skin tonic saturates the skin with moisture and often contains soothing plant extracts full of vitamins such as vitamin B5 which helps to rehydrate and strengthen the skin.
Next, use a gentle, creamy or enzyme-based exfoliant to slough off dry dead cells and smooth the skin. Your mask will be able to moisturise deeper if you exfoliate beforehand.
Apply a mask formulated for dehydrated or sensitive skin. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, in low molecular weight for deep hydration and high molecular weight for surface relief. Leave on for 10-15 minutes ( some you can leave on overnight). This will restore your skin's hydration levels, plumping and softening your skin and reinforcing the skin barrier.
After washing off the mask, apply a hydrating moisturizer. During windy days look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid and ceramides and essential fatty acids to lock the moisture in.
If your skin is also lipid dry (which means there is not enough oil between the skin cells to lock the moisture in) look for a more emollient cream rich in essential fatty acids. When the skin is lacking lipids, just saturating the skin with moisture is not enough. If ceramides and essential acids are depleted from your skin the skin barrier will be weaker making your skin 'porous' allowing it to lose too much water which will lead to flaky and sensitive skin. So you need to seal the moisture in and reinforce the barrier with ceramides and essential fatty acids.
A lipid (or oil) dry skin needs essential fatty acids and ceramides to restore the barrier and make the skin feel more comfortable. Choose serums and creams rich in omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids and ceramides that will create a barrier on the surface to help prevent moisture loss in a drying environment. You can enrich your moisturising cream with an oil-based serum, add a drop of the precious lipid elixir to your moisturizer, and mix through before applying it to the skin. Look for jojoba oil, rosehip oil, sea buckthorn oil, argan oil, or grapeseed oil. Any of these are terrific for repairing the skin barrier.
If your skin barrier is broken down, you will need to support the skin from the inside as well. Eating more oily fish can help repair the barrier from the inside. Flax seed oil is also very rich in essential fatty acids which are just fantastic for dry skin.
Lastly, don't forget to protect your skin from the sun whenever outdoors. Windy, dry, and hot sunny days can impact skin moisture levels but can also contribute to premature ageing and sun damage. During sunny and windy days it is important to use sunscreen and opt for sunscreens that have added moisturisers such as Aloe Vear and antioxidants such as Vitamin E to protect the skin.
So when the wind picks up, your skin does not have to look like crocodile skin. Adjust your skincare to keep it moisturized, hydrated and protected and if you need advice, have a professional beauty therapist look at your skin. Even better, book yourself in for a lovely, relaxing hydrating facial for a real boost that will make your skin glow!
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