‘Tis the Season of Dehydration

LEAVE THE RED NOSE TO RUDOLPH THIS HOLIDAY!

This time of year I hear the same complaint over and over, “my skin’s so dry!” Fine lines, flakiness, redness, roughness, itchiness, tightness, unusual breakouts…such are the woes of winter skin. But given the season, it’s possible that dehydration, not dryness, is the real culprit.

Dry or dehydrated–what’s the difference? Dry skin is defined as a lack of oil production. It is your genetic “skin type,” and probably something you’ve dealt with your whole life. It can definitely be made worse, or better, by your products, the season, and your lifestyle. Dehydration is defined as a lack of water or moisture in the skin. Even oily skin can experience dehydration. It is a “skin condition,” thus much easier to control.

What causes dehydration? Living in California, specifically during the winter, is especially hard on the skin due to the low humidity. And we all admit that when the temperature drops below 60 we start blasting our heaters, which evaporates water from the skin. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as holiday stress, hot showers, cold medications, winter sports, and increased party-going make matters worse.

What can I do? The key to treating dehydrated skin lies in retaining moisture. You need to re-hydrate the cells, from the inside and from the outside, while preventing water evaporation. Use moisturizers and serums rich in hyaluronic acid, glycerin, squalene, and plant lipds, and don’t forget to keep exfoliating or your products won’t penetrate. And drink plenty of water. Sleeping with a humidifier can also help tremendously.

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