As beauty therapists, one of the first skin conditions we learn about is skin dehydration. I guess we learn about dehydrated skin first because it is so common and can lead to and be associated with other skin conditions such as premature aging, wrinkles, skin irritations and sensitivities, red skin, dull and sluggish skin, excessively oily skin and even clogging, congestion and potentially acne.
So how can you tell that your skin is dehydrated? The first thing people notice when their skin is dehydrated is how tight it feels. The skin feels uncomfortable and you will feel like you need to put a moisturizer on. On the surface, the skin appears dull, has almost a gray look to it. It can look shriveled, like fine tissue paper crinkled up. When you touch a dehydrated skin, it can feel rough and may be flaking off in places.
Beauty therapists use diagnostic tools to help them confirm that the skin is dehydrated. Using the magnifying lamp, they inspect the skin, touch and feel the texture and gently lift the skin with a finger to look for fine lines. They may even use a Woods Lamp or other similar tools that emit a black light to identify dehydration. Under the black light, dehydration looks dark purple to black, and we can easily spot where it is located.
Once we have confirmed the skin is dehydrated, it is relatively easy to correct but first, we need to identify what is causing the dehydration. Dehydration is caused by exposure to a harsh environment, harsh products, and not drinking enough water.
If your skin is exposed to a harsh environment, for example, air conditioning, heating or low humidity weather conditions, then protecting your skin with a good moisturizer is important. The key ingredients in a good hydrating moisturizer are hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin and sodium PCA.
If your products are drying out your skin, these will need to be replaced with the correct products for your skin type. Soap, foamy gel cleansers and cleansers with a high concentration of AHAs or salicylic acid will dehydrate the skin. Products designed for oily skin can be very stripping. If your skin is feeling tight and dry after cleansing, it’s time to look at your cleanser to determine if it is the right one for you. Look for gentle milky cleansers that will protect and hydrate as they cleanse your skin.
If you are not drinking enough water, this will show up on your skin. Your skin is last in line when it comes to water and nutrition so even small changes in lifestyle can cause your skin to reflect the stress on the body. If you find it hard to remember to drink water, here are a couple of tips.
How to Get Hydrated Other Than Drinking Water
How Drinking Water Keeps Your Skin Looking Brighter, Smoother and Youthful