What causes dry skin?
With ageing, the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) begins to thin, causing the junction with the dermis (inner layer) to flatten. Sun Damaged Skin also has a thicker epidermis (keratin), which is "dead" and irregular. There is increased water loss from the skin and a decrease of the sebaceous glands, which provides natural moisture to the skin. Your skin gets about 10% drier every decade. While oil production decreases, the lipid barrier of skin, which traps and holds in moisture, becomes increasingly defective over time. With ageing you have less moisture production and less ability to hold moisture in the skin.
How can one treat dry skin in-clinic?
As with most of our skin and body solutions we believe in taking a multi-level approach to treating dry skin so that the patient gets fast effective and noticeable results. We combine treatments in order to give the patient the very best outcomes:
PDT with hydrating serums
Dermapen with hydrating and barrier repairing serums
What can we do to combat dry skin at home?
At Body Renewal we recommend the following:
Switch to a light cleansing cream rather than a soap which strips the skin of its natural oils causing an impaired barrier
Always apply hydrating products and/or moisturiser immediately after cleansing to allow it to be maximally absorbed.
Use good quality moisturisers which provide a ‘seal’ over your skin to keep water from escaping
Use medical grade topicals at home containing AHA’s, PHA’s which mildly exfoliate the skin’s surface (dead layers) and hydrate the deeper layers.
Try to avoid:
Skincare products that are high in alcohol
Cleansers that are particularly soapy (high foaming)
Soaps that cause the skin to become tight and uncomfortable after use
Products that are particularly heavily fragranced
Fortunately, most dry skin results from environmental factors that can be wholly or partially controlled and managed. These include:
Weather. In general, your skin is driest in winter, when temperatures and humidity levels plummet. Winter conditions also tend to make many existing skin conditions worse.
Central heating and air conditioning. Central air and heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and dry your skin.
Hot baths and showers. Frequent showering or bathing, especially if you like the water hot and your baths long, breaks down the lipid barriers in your skin. So does frequent swimming, particularly in heavily chlorinated pools.
Harsh soaps and detergents. Many popular soaps and detergents strip lipids and water from your skin. Deodorant and antibacterial soaps are usually the most damaging, as are many shampoos, which dry out your scalp.
Other factors of dry skin, including certain diseases, can significantly alter the function and appearance of your skin. These include:
Psoriasis: This skin condition is marked by a rapid build-up of rough, dry, dead skin cells that form thick scales.
Thyroid disorders: Hypothyroidism, a condition that occurs when your thyroid produces too little thyroid hormones, reduces the activity of your sweat and oil glands, leading to rough, dry skin.
Alcohol, drugs and nicotine: Alcohol and caffeine can visibly dry your skin. Prescription drugs such as diuretics, antihistamines and isotretinoin (Roaccutane) also have a drying effect. The nicotine found in tobacco constricts blood vessels which decreases blood flow and oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin cells. The result? Dull, lifeless skin with grey undertones.
Dehydration: One of the first signs of dehydration is skin that has lost its elasticity. When you become dehydrated, your skin loses its fullness and natural glow. Make it a practice to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to keep skin tissues well hydrated. Avoid excessive alcohol which can promote fluid loss and contribute to the problem of dull, lifeless skin.