Dried out, dehydrated skin: something that happens to even the oiliest of complexions every now and again. But we often read about dry or dehydrated skin as being separate entities, so what on earth are the differences?
While dryness and dehydration generally show the same unflattering signs – irritation, inflammation, roughness and accentuated fine lines – they are actually caused by different imbalances in the skin. And it’s simple, really. Dryness refers to an absence of oil, while dehydrated skin signifies a lack of moisture. This is why oily skin can sometimes feel dry… when in fact it’s dehydrated, probably due to drinking too much alcohol, or not enough water (insert wrist-slap, right here).
Either way, the outermost layer of the skin still feels and looks the same – dried out and wrinkly rather than soft and plump. Sigh.
There are many lifestyle choices you can make in order to help ditch dryness and dehydration, notably reducing sun exposure, hot baths and harsh soaps, while upping fatty acids in your diet and saying goodbye to white wine Wednesdays.
You could also add a clinically-proven, doctor-prescribed dry skin solution into your beauty plan. And may we suggest a few of our current favorites? Good, then here we go…
1. SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier
If there’s one skincare ingredient having a moment right now, it’s hyaluronic acid (HA). A type of polymer found naturally in the skin, HA is a powerful humectant meaning it has the ability to hold moisture (up to 1000 times its own weight) to naturally hydrate the skin and keep it soft, firm and plump. It also promotes collagen production, reduces inflammation and fights free radicals which is why it’s such a no-brainer when it comes to essential, effective skincare ingredients.
Some of our favorite medical-grade brands have recently introduced HA-packed serums into their lines and none come better than SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifer which launched at the end of January. Promising to boost HA levels by 30 percent in just four weeks, it’s a must for dry, dehydrated or post-procedure skin.
2. ZO Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème
Few beauty tricks are as effective as sleep, so it makes sense that nighttime is absolutely the right time to hydrate your skin. Take advantage of the body’s inherent overnight repair process with ZO Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème – one of the best ways to successfully treat severely dry or irritated skin as you sleep. Not only does it contain squalane, ceramide and shea butter, but it is also enriched with retinol, HA’s partner in crime when it comes to skincare wonder-ingredients.
3. Jan Marini Skin Research Marini Juveneck
Similar to the skin around your eyes, the skin on your neck has fewer oil glands than your face, so requires even more moisturization. And the revolutionary Marini Juveneck for hydrating and rejuvenating that quick-to-age area is just the ticket. Packed with powerful ingredients, it does some pretty heavy lifting compared to your average neck cream and penetrates deep to restore youthful tightness and tone. It boosts cellular growth while fading sun spots, softens the appearance of deep wrinkles and creases, and drastically improves your skin’s overall texture. How so? With a combination of hyaluronic acid (are you sensing a theme yet?), shea butter and sweet almond oil to provide increased hydration and encourage improved firmness and elasticity. Over time, skin looks brighter, more youthful and revitalized.
4. SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
A huge hit with doctors and derms alike, SkinMedica HA5 has gained major kudos for adding extra hydration for all skin types, and we could go on for days about what we love about this oil-free, fragrance-free formula (don’t worry, we won’t). With a proprietary blend of five different forms of hyaluronic acid, it offers both immediate and long-lasting moisturization for even the driest of skin types. And by hydrating the skin, it consequently helps smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for an instantly more youthful look. It also includes potent antioxidants as an added bonus.
5. Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser
When skin is dry, the enzymes responsible for sloughing away dead skin cells slow down to a snail’s pace, so contrary to popular belief, regular exfoliation is even more vital than ever. Just remember to be gentle and avoid ANYTHING that contains plastic microbeads which are terrible for the environment, or sharp grains which are just as terrible for your skin. Instead choose something like Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser which is formulated with polylactic acid to exfoliate gently, effectively and in a more eco-friendly fashion.