Winter is upon us here at Pretty Lane and there’s one glaring topic that we simply must address...dry skin! Cold weather commonly found to accompany winter months, can wreak havoc on your skin, zapping it of moisture and leaving you feeling a little something like the Saharan Desert. Don’t panic ladies, we’ve compiled 5 ways you can remedy dry skin before the turkey is cooked or the tree is dressed.
What causes dry skin?
First things first, let’s talk about why you’re prone to dry skin. To start, not just one thing is the culprit. Several things are at work when creating the perfect storm for dry skin.
Specific to winter, consider this. Warm air can hold twice as much water vapor in it than cold air; our skin needs water vapor to function correctly. Once the humidity inherently found in the summertime packs up and leaves, we immediately start to feel the effect on our skin.
Loss of moisture, coupled with the dry heat from a furnace, evaporates water from our skin at a rapid rate, which leads to transepidermal water loss. What in tarnation is transepidermal water loss? To keep it short and to the point, transepidermal water loss is the amount of water that is evaporated from our skin due to the external environment. The result? Dry, dehydrated skin.
Do I have dry skin?
Often times, women will tell us that since they don’t have peeling or flaking skin, they didn’t realize their skin was dry. Symptoms of dry skin can appear in many ways that go beyond just the surface appearance.
If you notice any of these traits, chances are your skin needs moisture...stat!
- Rough texture
- Itchy skin
- Dry patches
- Feeling chapped
Healthy, moisturized skin should feel soft, supple and plush. That’s what we’re going for here!
*Pretty Pro Tip: If you have an oily skin type, be careful! Just because you have oily skin, does not mean you are immune to dry skin. Often times, products used to treat oily skin have harsh side effects that will actually strip your skin of its natural oils to prevent oil production. As a result, your skin becomes unbalanced and dry. If this sounds like you, try something like Dermalogica’s Active Moist.
Alright, now onto the good stuff! You know you have dry skin and you know why you have dry skin. Now, how the heck can you get rid of it and restore your skin to its pretty potential?
#1 Switch your cleanser
Some cleansers are made with a high pH level that rapidly depletes your skin’s natural oils. These cleansers are formulated to wick-up oil or cut grease which is not what you want if combatting dry skin.
The goal of remedying dry skin is to slow down the rate of water loss.Choose a cleanser that is cream-based or lotion based. Look for words that say ‘gentle,’ ‘calming,’ ‘moisturizing,’hydrating,’ ‘for sensitive skin’ or ‘soothing.’
*Pretty Pro Tip: Never cleanse your skin with hot water! Always use lukewarm to cool temperature water. Hot water can increase the irritant capacity of skin cleansers which will send your skin into a tailspin.
When you exfoliate, you’re buffing away any dry skin that acts as a barrier for moisturization or hydration to penetrate the skin. If trying to introduce more moisture to the skin, this only makes sense!
When done correctly, exfoliation promotes epidermal regeneration (essentially production of new skin cells) and brings forward new healthy skin cells that leave skin supple, soft, hydrated and even textured.
It’s important to avoid harsh exfoliators that can lead to more dryness. Look for words that say ‘gentle’ or ‘daily’ like one of our faves here from Dermalogica. Use soft ingredients, like powders or beads, that won’t micro tear the skin. Avoid exfoliators that use seeds, pits or shells that have rough irregular shapes, and those with drying ingredients like clay-based exfoliators.
#3 Switch your moisturizer
If your skin is showing signs of dryness, try switching your moisturizer. A moisturizer that feels “thicker” usually means it is more occlusive. Occlusive moisturizers are dedicated to protecting your skin from transepidermal water loss (look at us getting all technical) which is what you want when remedying dry skin.
A good moisturizer will contain two things: occlusives (waxes like beeswax, carnauba, candelilla, silicones, fatty acids, and oils) and humectants (hyaluronic acid, sorbitol, propylene glycol). These two besties work in tandem to draw moisture from the deepest layers of the skin to the epidermis for hydration and softening of the skin.
*Pretty Pro Tip: Botanical extracts are also known to facilitate the hydration of skin (such as sunflower) because of their anti-inflammatory effects which prevent disruption of the moisture barrier.
#4 Invest in a humidifier
A little science paired with a little technology is a sure-fire way to remedy dry skin. Break out the humidifier or invest in one. A humidifier’s job is to add moisture back into the air. More moisture in the air means more moisture for your skin and less transepidermal water loss. It’s that simple!
If you’re noticing dry skin, drinking your hydration is one of the easiest ways to restore the skin’s moisture. Ladies, we’ve all seen J. Lo’s remarkable skin. Talk about goals! What’s her secret? She’s been very open about the role that hydration plays in her overall health, including her skin.
If J. Lo isn’t enough proof in the pudding, check out this study done by the Research Center for Health Science and Technologies, Universidade Lusófona, Campo Grande, Lisboa, Portugal. It concluded that “higher water inputs in regular diet might positively impact normal skin physiology, in particular in those individuals with lower daily water consumptions.”
The moral of the story? Drink water...lots of it!
With busy schedules, it can be easy to let your skin health fall by the wayside. Pair that with Old Man Winter and dry skin can happen in the blink of an eye.
Rest easy knowing this is a simple fix! Try out our 5 tips to remedy dry skin and you’ll be glowing brighter than the Christmas lights before you know it.
Looking for a skin consultation? We can do one better! Grab a few friends and try out one of our Facials & Fizz classes. We cover all the basics of skincare, PLUS there's champagne! What more could a pretty girl ask for?