Dry, parched, irritated skin. What’s going on?
In my part of the world, it’s winter which often means dry, parched, irritated skin. Sometimes, it’s even flakey and painful.
Why is that? Of course, it’s obvious. Right? Sitting in front of the fire, long hot showers, over-heated offices and constant exposure to the extremes of winter. But what about when your dry skin is ever-present?
For some of us, red rosy cheeks, or skin that looks and feels dry or worse, is rough and flakey is an all-year-round event.
To be honest, this shouldn’t be happening to you or me for that matter; as when the skin is perennially healthy even with the advent of seasonal changes, with a few minor adjustments to your skincare routine, the skin should power on through.
But of course, it does happen, and if you’re unprepared or your skincare regimen is a bit hit-or-miss, then it’s quite likely your skin will at some point become dry.
All may not be what it seems.
Sometimes, the dry skin conditions felt in the skin are caused by a dysfunction which goes beyond a lack of natural oil or moisture. Of course, it feels dry and certainly looks dry, and it’s a constant source of discomfort for you, and no matter what you do, your dry skin issues never seem to be resolved.
Before you accept your dry skin as just who you are, consider this: You could be suffering from dermatitis or eczema which is being exacerbated by seasonal changes in the weather or worse, by the remedies you’ve adopted to solve your dry skin problem.
Still not sure? Try this little test.
If your skin’s feeling dry, particularly on your cheeks or it’s slightly red, flakey or even a little rough in patches, before you rush out and buy yet another skincare product, check the back of your arms. Rough and bumpy? Okay, this suggests the dryness on your cheeks could be dermatitis.
Eczema and dermatitis?
Dermatitis is a generic term for any inflammation or irritation occurring in the dermis of your skin. Often this type of localised dryness is common in younger skins and is usually associated with asthma or hay fever.
Eczema can be subtle and often mistaken for ordinary dryness.
Eczema can be hard to treat. Left untreated or mistakenly diagnosed as a dry skin type rather than a severe condition will lead to more frustration. Without proper care, the overall health of the skin of the face becomes compromised and weakened, leaving the sufferer with constant issues with dryness, flaking and itchiness and eventually premature ageing of the skin.
Give your skin a fighting chance.
Of course, regardless of whether your skin is suffering from seasonal changes caused by the weather or it is, in fact, eczema, it’s essential to give your skin every chance to protect itself as naturally as possible.
When the skin is feeling dry, the typical reaction is to seek out a richer moisturiser or, if your skin is so dry it’s flaking, then the second reaction is to scrub away the offending flakiness.
Neither of these actions is going to help you. Truly. It’s not going to help.
Just add moisture to fix your dry, parched skin? Right?
It’s simple enough, find a richer, more nourishing moisturiser and all your dry skin woes will be solved.
If only it were that easy!!
While a well-formulated moisturiser will help, if you don’t get to the heart of the matter, over-nourishing your skin with a richer moisturiser could make matters worse, which is, for anyone with dry skin caused by eczema, exceedingly frustrating and confusing.
So balance is the key to dry skin conditions. How do you cleanse your skin? Start there. Are you still using the same cleanser from your youth? A foaming cleanser might feel good, but it’s just going to strip your skin.
If you’ve got your cleansing right, then you can begin to look at providing your skin with balanced protection. There’s no need to over nourish your skin, but your skin will need moisturising products to replicate your natural lipid barrier while it repairs itself.
Are you scrubbing away your dry skin conditions?
It’s important to note, the rash-like bumps on the back of your arms and the dryness on your cheeks will not respond well to exfoliating scrubs. Stop scrubbing. Right now. Yep, step away from the scrub. It’s not going to help. Your skin is already over-exfoliating itself. Scrubbing your skin will make the problem far worse.
Environ provides a range of products that directly support dry or dehydrated skin conditions.
The best place to start is with a gentle exfoliating cream that lifts aways dead cell build-up without the use of harsh abrasive scrubs. No matter how you’re feeling about your skin, harsh scrubs will not help your dry skin. It might give you an instant pick-me-up glow, but the long-term impact will be more of what you’ve already got.
Focus Care Moisture+ Alpha Hydroxy Night Cream is a great place to start. Start slowly, building up to 3 times a week. As you gently exfoliate your skin, you’ll be strengthening your lipid barrier and activating moisture from within the skin.
Seek out professional help.
If you suspect your dry skin is more than just seasonal dryness, then it may be time to visit a skin specialist like a dermatologist. Eczema is never easy to treat, but trying to sort it out on your own through constant trial and error is costly, time-consuming and ultimately disappointing.
A dermatologist can help determine what’s happening to your skin and will also look at other internal aspects and underlying causes contributing to your dry skin issues.
Part 2 coming up.
When finding the truth behind dry skin, eczema is just one possibility. In part 2, I’ll be looking at other reasons your skin may be dry and the solutions to tackle this prevalent but troubling skincare condition.
Part 2 is here.
And now you?
Have you found yourself with dry skin that doesn’t respond to moisturising alone? Are you struggling to find a solution to your dry skin? You can shoot me an email right here.
If you think this article can help someone you know, why not share it.
See you next time,