Contrary to what may appear to be common sense, dry skin is not the same thing as dehydrated skin. Sure, both can have problematic symptoms; rough texture, prone to irritation, and premature aging, but dehydrated skin is relative depending on hydration and diet, it can affect those with oily or normal skin as well. Dry skin can be a sign of an underlying condition (like psoriasis or eczema), and it needs a little extra TLC.
Dry skin is caused by a lack of the sebum (or natural oils) our body produces to moisturize and protect itself, as well as a deficiency in levels of lipids (natural fats in the skin). We need lipids to maintain a strong protective barrier for the skin, keeping out dirt and toxins, protecting the skin from damage, and holding in moisture. Our skin needs lipids to aid the skin in repairing damage.
Luckily, there are things we can do to boost our skin’s hydration (yes, we’re going to say drink plenty of water right up front) and to treat skin that suffers from dryness:
For dehydrated skin:
- Stay out of the sun- UVA rays damage skin cells and cause dehydration.
- Watch your environmental conditions- The heating and air conditioning in your home can sap the skin of hydration, as well as hard water. If you can’t control the mineral content in your water, try to take warm showers. Avoid overly hot baths and showers, as they can dehydrate skin further.
- As we age, the skin loses moisture more readily. Be aware of how this affects your skin and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. (Do we have to say it again? Drink your water and eat healthily!)
- The wrong skin products can wreak havoc on the skin’s natural balance and ability to retain moisture. Avoid products with harsh ingredients or scrubs. Exfoliators need to be gentle, and moisturizers should be effective at helping your skin create that barrier it needs to stay hydrated.
For dry skin:
- Topical treatments are available in all shapes and sizes. We, of course, prefer products with natural ingredients like what we use in our LaFlore® Live Probiotic Serum Concentrate and Live Probiotic Daily-Defense Moisturizer. Aloe vera, mineral oils, coconut oil, and sunflower seed oil are just a few of many examples of simple ingredients that help soothe and hydrate dry skin.
- For extremely dry skin, UV phototherapy or light treatment is sometimes used to alleviate more severe symptoms of dry skin, like scaly, flaky, or raised patches.
- The things we can do to help relieve dehydration are also the foundation for treating dry skin. Even though they aren’t essentially the same thing- many treatments for dehydration should be used in conjunction with therapies for dry skin.
Keeping skin hydrated, protected, and moisturized is essential for the skin’s health, to slow down signs of premature aging, and to keep your complexion glowing. Our line of Live Probiotic skincare products has been designed to keep skin balanced optimally, supporting its natural mechanisms for keeping it hydrated and helping dry skin to recover faster.