Having dull and flaky skin can negatively impact your appearance and your confidence. It can also prove uncomfortable as some people feel irritation and tightness. Just as the term suggests, dehydrated skin refers to when the skin has lost water content. This condition is different from dry skin which is a skin type caused by a lack of natural oils.
To tackle this problem and restore your skin to its smooth radiant glory, you need solutions that work on the inside and out. Here are some simple yet effective ways you can care for this important organ and resolve the effect of dehydration.
1. Consume Adequate Water
Skincare begins from within. Drinking sufficient amounts of water will have a positive impact on your skin. Do not expect to drink litres of water and expect instant results. This has to be a consistent and prolonged effort. You do not need to push yourself hard on this. Ensuring a diet high in moisture-rich foods can also be helpful. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be particularly beneficial as many have high water content and additional nutrients that are good for skin health.
2. Turn On the Humidifier
Many people live in dry indoor environments, especially during winter months when the thermostat is set higher. Not to mention those that reside in dry climate areas. The low moisture in the air can dry out the skin. Using a humidifier is a simple way to restore moisture content in the air, helping to relieve effects of dehydration like chapped lips and itchy skin.
Humidifiers are available at different price points, but if not affordable right now, you could also opt to add some houseplants. The moisture from when you water the soil and transpiration can help restore water content in the air. Leaving out a glass or bowl of water and showering with the door open can also boost your efforts.
3. Cleanse Gently
Dry and irritated skin can encourage the desire to do a thorough wash. Especially if you have been in a dirty environment or have used make-up. However, you need to be gentle with your skin when it is dehydrated. You do not want to strip what limited natural oils you have.
Use a gentle cleanser that will allow you to get rid of the day's grime while protecting your skin barrier. If seriously dehydrated, opt to cleanse once a day in the evening. A night rinse is a must to remove the build-up of oil, dirt and any other skincare products and make-up. It will also soothe irritation, clear your pores, and reduce free radical damage to the skin.
4. Apply Product to Damp Skin
When you get out of the shower or bath, do not vigorously rub your skin dry with a towel. This can not only irritate dry skin but also cause you to lose more moisture. The best option is to leave your skin damp and apply your skincare products in this state. This will allow your products to seal in the moisture, helping preserve that hydrating goodness. Research already shows that applying moisturiser to damp skin will help prevent water loss and provide a protective barrier.
5. Use an Emollient Cream
Making emollient creams a part of your skincare routine makes sense if you are particularly prone to bouts of dry skin. This moisturising product helps to trap moisture that will rehydrate skin. It also helps to soothe irritation and inflammation. it contains ingredients that fill in micro-cracks in the skin, helping it to heal and better retain moisture.
While you can get them in lotion form, it is better as a cream as it tends not to be greasy and is easily absorbed. If you can get an emollient soap, this is a good option for reducing the problem of skin drying out when you bathe or wash your hands.
6. Try A Humectant Serum
The higher concentration of active ingredients in serums makes them an ally when it comes to combating dehydrated skin. Humectant serums like hyaluronic acid and glycerine are particularly popular as they not only help promote moisture retention of the skin but also draw moisture from the environment onto the surface of the skin. Adding them to your daily skincare routine can help to also improve the appearance of the skin, giving it a plumper healthier glow.
7. Wear A Mask
Our skin tends to lose a lot of moisture when we sleep at night through a process known as transepidermal water loss. The most exposed skin area is the face, hence the recommendation to use a sleep mask with actives that will penetrate and help heal and condition the skin.
If you find this uncomfortable, consider using a face mask regularly. There are hydrating options that contain ingredients like squalene and hyaluronic acid. These masks can help restore your skin, improve its elasticity, and reduce signs of ageing.
Though it may seem counterintuitive when we have mentioned a need to be gentle with your skin, exfoliation about once a week does have its benefits. When your skin dries out, there are areas of irritation, clogging of pores by dead skin cells and more that can interfere with the absorption of moisturising products. Exfoliation helps make the rest of your skincare efforts more effective.
9. Skip The Coffee
Just as there are foods that can promote water content in the skin, there are those that encourage dehydration. The caffeine in coffee does encourage dehydration as it is a diuretic that drains water out of your system. If you must have that hit of caffeine, you can counteract this effect by having it alongside a glass of water and limiting yourself to no more than two cups a day. Limiting your alcohol intake for the same reason also applies.
10. Keep Baths Short
While it can feel like a relief to indulge in a long hot shower when the temperatures outside are at an extreme, this is not good for your skin. This exposure will not only encourage moisture loss but will also strip your skin of necessary oils that further encourage dehydration. Try to keep your shower or bath short and opt for lukewarm water at best. Follow with slathering on of moisturiser to your damp skin.