People usually associate acne with oily skin, but what about dry skin and how is it contributing to aging and acne?
Stay with me and I'll break it all down for you!
The key to healthy skin is balanced skin.
Without balanced skin, nothing you do will give you the results you want.
Dry skin is unbalanced skin and when it's left untreated it can turn into irritated, acne-prone skin or you may exhibit signs of pre-mature aging.
So let's examine why and what we can do to help our skin achieve a healthy balance (it's easier than you think).
Putting a medication on top of the skin to help solve your problem is often needed, but remember, it's like a bandaid.
You have to go to the source of the cause if you actually want to fix the problem.
Plus, as we age, most of us tend to become drier and lose our elasticity making a good skin care routine even more essential.
Here are some things that can contribute to dry skin:
- Using products with drying agents
- Benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and acne medications, such as accutane.
- Living in drier climates
- Over-exposure to sun
The outer layer of your skin protects your skin so when it becomes dry and/or dehydrated (two separate issues we will address separately) the skin is compromised and exposed to free radicals and irritants making it more vulnerable to acne conditions.
When your skin becomes dry or dehydrated, over time it becomes sensitized which can lead to other conditions such as acne or pre-mature aging.
It's always easier to prevent damage than it is to correct it, so why not be proactive?
What you can do:
In order to keep your skin from becoming dry/ dehydrated and to avoid it from becoming sensitized to begin with, you need to choose a product that's WATER based, not oil based.
Humectants will hydrate your thirsty skin, and occlusive agents, such as oils will work to seal in the moisture you create with your humectants.
So what are humectants and how do I do this?
Humectants are water loving agents that add moisture to your skin. Some of my favorite humectants are Hyaluronic acid, which your body normally creates and loses over time, and aloe for its healing and anti-inflammatory benefits.
A cheap and very effective hydrating humectant agent is also glycerin, which can be purchased just about anywhere!
The best time to apply this first step is when your skin is clean and moist from the shower. Instead of wiping your face squeaky clean with a towel, pat it dry and allow your humectant agent to feed off the moisture.
A hydrating toner (in a spray bottle) can also be a lovey source of added hydration and additional benefits. Once your product is dry on your face, you may choose to use another moisturizer that contains other like-minded ingredients for added hydration.
There are a myriad of wonderful face creams, but just know that thicker formulations doesn't mean it's hydrating or working better.
And it's true, not all oils are created alike.
If you choose an oil that is 0-1 on the comedogenic scale you will be less likely to have it clog pores and generate any sort of unwanted outcome. The exception to this oil-clogging rule is when they're mixed into other formulations by chemists that may alter this.
In fact, some oils have extra benefits, such as antioxidants and anti-aging properties that help protect the skin from harmful free radicals.
In addition to feeling luxurious on, facial oils are occlusive agents which means they will help seal in the moisture, but if worn alone they are not moisturizers. If this seams confusing it's because it kind of is.
We always see "moisturizer" advertised on oil labels, which is true, depending on how you're using the product.
If your skin is perfectly balanced you can use an oil (i.e. coconut oil) to keep the skin moist and subtle.
But if your skin is dry, the oil alone will not moisturizer your skin.
During the day, the most important thing to remember is to protect your skin with a finishing product that contains broad spectrum SPF (around 30 SPF is the standard).
If you have breakouts, you can apply a spot treatment before you apply your moisturizing agent.
During the week, it's also important to exfoliate to get rid of dead skin cell build up so that your products can penetrate properly - listen here to by beauty bite on exfoliating for younger skin.
At night, your skin and body's job is to heal itself, so this is when you apply products that "work" for you, such as a retinol.
Summary to help balance your dry skin and avoid breakouts and pre-mature aging:
First, apply a humectant, then apply a non-comedogenic facial oil.
1) Choose a water loving humectant, such as hyaluronic acid serum and apply when first out of shower, follow with hydrating toner, if desired
2) Apply additional moisturizer for added benefits, then apply a high quality facial oil if desired to help lock in moisture and for added benefits
3) Exfoliate regularly and apply a night treatment, such as retinol, to increase cell rate turn over.
BONUS TIP: you may apply your active night treatment(s), like retinol, every other night to avoid over-drying your skin
You don't need a ten step program -- it's more important to know why you're using the products you're using to achieve the results you desire!
Practice these simple steps with consistency for happier, healthier skin!
Please drop me a note below if you have any questions!
Your Beauty BFFL,