Help, my skin feels dry and flaky

| April 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

Dehydrated Skin

This must be the most common concern/condition we see as Beauty Therapists, almost everyone that comes in for a treatment has Dehydration. But what is it? The term Dehydration has been misused for ages we now know it’s more of a cause then a condition. Dehydration simple put is a lack of water or moisture in the skin, actually it’s 2 fold, lack of water and also a deficiency of Essential Fatty Acids better known here solved. A lack of EFA causes the skin to lose water known as Trans Epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) I’ll get to this later in more details. Because it’s a lack of water in the skin it can affect any skin type, especially Dry skin as this skin type is also lacking oil.

Help, my skin feels dry and flaky

What you’ll see

The surface of the skin looks crepey with fine lines, surface dryness and patches of flaky skin. It will feel dry and taught, can be itchy and rough to the touch. There is generally a build up of dead skin cells that can clog the pores causing blackheads to form and giving the skin a dull appearance.

Factors that can cause this are:

Chemical: Alcohol based and harsh, drying products

Physical: Wind, excessive heat / cold, air conditioning, sun, lack of moisture protection or too light. Low humidity (Dry Climate)

Lifestyle: Smoking, Alcohol, toxins, tea and coffee, not drinking enough plain water, Poor nutrition, fat free diet.

Dis-ease: Eczema, Psoriasis, under-active thyroid, Diuretics medication.

Water is Essential to the body

Not only to maintain a healthy skin but many systems in the body are dependent on water to function properly. Loss of water through perspiration, using diuretics or just not drinking enough plain water results in dehydration, signs are headaches, muscle weakness, confusion, cramps and fatigue, the body can also retain fluid and cellulite may be present. Thirst is a sign the body is already dehydrated. To help the skin maintain and retain the correct hydration depends on a number of factors including how much fluid is ingested and the amount of Essential Fatty Acids taken. EFA’s help form the bilayers of the skin slowing down the water loss through the skin. It’s also important to maintain the skins acid mantle (this is the 1st line of defence) and that the skin has good circulation – the Lymphatic system is working well, because this brings fresh supplies of water and nutrients to every cell, as well as removes the waste.

What you can do

We need to look at what we can do externally and more importantly internally.

To start the #1 thing is Increase your water intake atleast 6 to 8 glasses of plain water.

Take supplements of Omega 3, 6 & 9 if you can’t source them from your diet. (The body doesn’t make these it self.)

Reduce the amount of tea, coffee and alcohol beverages these are diuretic (makes you go to the toilet).

Limit sun exposure and air-conditioning.

Avoid products that strip and dry the skin out – alcohol based toners, soap and foaming cleansers, masks that dry on the skin.

Use products high in EFA – Evening Primrose oil, Rosehip, safflower oil and Jojoba oil is good for the skin this will ensure adequate moisture levels on the surface.

Exfoliation is a key to remove the build up of dead skin cells.

Masks that are hydrating and smoothing, make sure they don’t dry on the skin.

Dry body brushing and walking  helps the circulation.

Remember it’s about changing your habits and as they say ‘it wont happen over night, but it will happen’.

Given time your skin will be soft and supple, you’ll even look younger and feel better.

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