Not sure how best to tackle dry, flaking skin? Read on for our in-depth guide to identifying dry skin, and most importantly, the best dry skin solutions to soothe, nourish and relieve discomfort.
Discover tips and tweaks you can make to your skincare routine to keep your skin calm and happy from head to toe - in winter and beyond.
What causes really dry skin?
There isn’t one simple answer to the age old question: why do I have dry skin? It’s a little more complex, and often hard to pinpoint the causes behind it.
Dry skin – sometimes known as Xeroderma as a skin type – is often confused with dehydrated skin, which is a temporary skin state that any skin type can suffer with.
Largely down to our genetic makeup, dry skin is lacking in oil, while dehydrated skin lacks water. Luckily, dehydrated skin can be reversed, while dry skin needs to be managed and cared for with products designed to condition and soothe.
How to tell if you have dry skin
Dry skin isn’t just about a dry, flaky or cracked appearance. It can feel itchy, tight and uncomfortable too. That’s because the skin’s sebum – the natural oil that dry skin produces less of – is what keeps its outer layers soft, conditioned and protected. And that’s why dry skin is often left flaky and exposed.
Still not sure if your skin is dry? Try rubbing gently on the skin to see if flakes or redness appear – a telltale sign of drier skin types.
How to prevent and soothe dry skin
From supercharging the skin with fatty oils, to regular exfoliation and the things to avoid – read on for your easy-to-navigate guide to both soothing and managing dry skin.
Moisturise and hydrate
Think of this as a three-pronged attack on dryness - sandwiching skincare steps that work at different levels.
The first step is to ensure the skin is really hydrated, to prevent further discomfort. Try a skin-loving serum like our Back To Life Hydration Serum, which can travel further to hydrate deep within the skin - where it's most needed.
Then, moisturise. The purpose of this step isn’t just to hydrate the skin, but to lock that moisture in and stop it from escaping. We recommend the Love & Haight moisturiser for dry skin which includes fatty oils (Avocado and Jojoba) to help restore skin that’s lacking in natural oils, leaving it moisturised and soft.
Face oils are even better at creating a barrier on the skin to keep water inside. We recommend using a moisturiser each morning, then in the evening use a serum followed by a moisturiser and a facial oil to hydrate and protect as you sleep.
Be mindful of water
We’re not saying don’t have baths. That would just be plain cruel. But ensuring your bath or shower water isn’t too hot is really important. The longer your soak and the hotter the water, the more likely it is to further strip the oil from your skin - which is why your skin is dry in the first place. We recommend you always keep soaks below ten minutes and aim for warm water, rather than hot.
And of course, it goes without saying - but make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to hydrate from the inside out. It all helps.
Look out for triggers
Like many other skin conditions, you might not experience dry skin all the time. It might have flare-ups once triggered. A common trigger for dry skin is detergents, in particular foaming ones such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Ammonium Laureth Sulphate. Commonly found in shower gels and washes for the face and body, they can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it exposed, dry and vulnerable. Try our natural sulfate-free body wash instead to help keep skin calm.
Another trigger to avoid is alcohol (in your products - don’t worry you can still have that well-deserved glass of wine this evening!). Similarly to detergents, alcohol strips away the skin’s oils too. That’s why we formulated alcohol-free toners; that way they’re even better at quenching your skin’s thirst.
Supplement your diet
Essential fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy skin. By increasing your intake of Omegas 3, 6 & 9 through food or supplements, it will condition the skin from the inside out, repairing and protecting its moisture barrier to prevent water loss.
Exfoliate 2-3 times a week
Dry skin sheds its dead skin cells in clumps or ‘flakes’ rather than individually, which can feel uncomfortable on the skin.
Book a skin consultation
When your skin looks and feels out of whack, it can be really hard to distinguish what is normal for you, what can be easily treated and what you shouldn’t have to put up with anymore. That’s where talking to someone with a deep knowledge of the skin can really help.
Our skin experts are here to help you understand your skin, how to optimise its health, what triggers to avoid and the small routine, lifestyle or skincare changes you could make to feel your best. You can book your free online skin consultation here - choosing from video or phone appointments.
Shop our full range of targeted organic skincare for dry skin right here on our website.