Guest Post by Kristin Cristiano, Director of Education
There are several misconceptions about “dry” skin. First of all, let’s be clear, dehydrated skin is not the same as skin that lacks oil. Dry skin lacks oil and is a skin type. Dehydration occurs when there is a lack of water in the skin. It is not a skin type but rather a condition that can come and go depending on the weather, medication, diet, alcohol and caffeine intake, not drinking enough water and/or not keeping the skin protected and moisturized. Even mild dehydration can affect the look and health of the skin.
Dehydrated skin needs to be treated both internally and externally. Drinking lots of water is important, but more important is keeping the surface of the skin protected. You can be dehydrated and still have naturally oily skin. Sometimes oily skin gets dehydrated from the use of harsh products that strip the surface barrier. As a matter of fact, if acne prone skin is too water dry, it can cause more breakouts because the skin will attempt to compensate for the “dryness” by producing more oil.
It’s not unusual for people with oily skin to be wary of applying anything topical that is categorized as a moisturizer. However, there are oil-free moisturizers, such as Oil Free Moisturizer, and Oil Control Emulsion. Another option for those of you with oily skin is the use of a clear hydration serum with the humectant Hyaluronic Acid. Both Daily Hydration or Daily Hydration+ would be appropriate for this.
If the skin is oil dry, it can develop “cracks” in the surface where moisture leaks out. (Think of what severely chapped skin is like). At that point you have skin that is lacking both oil and water. Using an emollient type moisturizer that provides both, will help to protect the skin and alleviate dehydration. Moisture Rich Cream or Restorative Cream fit this description.
Even skin that is well balanced can develop dehydration in arid climates or because of lifestyle. For skin that is normal to combination, a mid weight moisturizer such as Conditioning Hydration Cream or Vita E Essential Cream should be used regularly.
To sum it up, every skin type should use some form of hydrator topically as an insurance policy. Luckily we have one for every possible skin type and condition!