March 17, 2013

Dry and Dehydrated Skin? Here is How to Restore Your Skin Fast

Jana Elston
I came back from walking my dog and it's pretty windy out there today! It's lovely and refreshing but it can play real havoc with your skin.

The wind can literally suck the moisture out of your skin. And if it's a sunny day as well, it's easy to get wind burned. Imagine a fan forced oven crisping up the roast. It's a bit like that, the sun heats up and 'toasts' the skin and the wind dries the skin resulting in a skin that feels parched, tight, stinging & sore, and the surface of the skin looks all crackly.

During windy days it's important to protect your skin from over drying because if it's left untreated it can lead to severe dehydration which leads to premature wrinkling, and even skin sensitivities. Dehydration means loss of moisture (water) and it can occur in dry skin as well as oily skin types.

A dried out skin if untreated will slow down the cellular turnover, building up a thicker dead cell layer attempting to protect itself from excessive moisture loss. This can make the skin look dull and sallow and if left untreated can lead to other problems such as blackheads and milia.

If your skin has been dried out by the wind, a moisturizing and hydrating mask can provide instant relief. Prepare your skin first with a gentle milky cleanser designed for sensitive dehydrated skin. After cleansing, patting in a gently hydrating toner is an absolute must. The toner saturates the skin with moisture and often contains soothing plant extracts full of vitamins such as vitamin B5 which helps to re-hydrate and strengthen the skin.

Next, use a gentle, creamy or enzyme-based exfoliant to slough off dry dead cells and smooth the skin. Your mask will be able to moisturise deeper if you exfoliate beforehand.

Apply a mask formulated for a dehydrated or sensitive skin. Leave on for 10-15 minutes ( some you can leave on overnight). This will restore your skin's hydration levels, plumping and softening your skin and reinforcing the skin barrier.
After washing off the mask, apply a hydrating moisturizer. During windy days look for moisturizers with Hyaluronic acid which is a powerful skin hydrating ingredient.

using serum to boost skin results
If your skin is also lipid dry (not enough oil) look for a more emollient cream rich in essential fatty acids. When the skin is lacking lipids, just saturating the skin with moisture is not enough. Your skin is unable to manufacture omegas so if essential acids are depleted it will weaken the skin barrier making it 'porous' allowing it to dry out and can lead to flaky and sensitive skin. A lipid (oil) dry skin needs to restore essential fatty acids. Choose serums and creams rich in omega 3, 6, 9 essential fatty acids that will create a barrier on the surface to help prevent moisture loss in a drying environment. Add a drop of the precious lipid elixir to your moisturizer, mix through before applying to the skin.

Eating more oily fish can help repair the barrier from the inside out. Flax seed oil is also very rich in essential fatty acids which are great for dry skin.

Of course, during sunny and windy days it is especially important to use a sunscreen and opt for sunscreens that have added antioxidants to protect the skin.

So when the wind picks up, your skin does not have to look like a crocodile skin. Adjust your skin care to keep it moisturized, hydrated and protected and if you need advice, have a professional beauty therapist look at your skin. Even better, book yourself in for a lovely, relaxing hydrating facial for a real boost that will make your skin glow!

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Have a beautiful day!
Jana x

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