The general cause of dry skin may seem obvious: it’s a lack of moisture. But how does that lack of moisture happen? While dry skin can be brought about by a number of factors, essentially it’s a sign that your skin barrier is not functioning properly.
The very top layer of our skin is made up of dead skin cells and natural oils which help trap moisture and keep our skin lubricated. The skin barrier keeps bad stuff out (like environmental toxins and bacteria) and good stuff in (like moisture and natural oils).
Lots of factors can affect the efficacy of the skin barrier: cold weather, air conditioning, hot water, fragranced products, genetics, and ageing are just some.
In order to maintain healthy, balanced skin, compensating for external effects on the skin is key, and maintaining a consistent skin care routine that’s suited for your skin type is the best way to do this.
But, remember, it’s not just external factors that affect the skin’s ability to retain moisture. As we age, our skin loses natural hydrating factors like hyaluronic acid and squalane. So when building a routine to battle dry skin, look for products that contain these natural ingredients to replenish your skin.
Dry skin tends to be uncomfortable, tight, flaky, and itchy. The worst areas are typically near the eyebrows and around the corners of the nose and mouth. Dry skin lacks oil because it produces less sebum than normal skin. This means that it lacks the ability to retain moisture because the skin barrier is dysfunctional and not working properly.
Dry skin is craving balance and nourishment. It’s tempting to slather thick or heavy creams on to relieve the tight skin feeling, but this will just lead to product build-up and a greasy finish, with no real hydrating effect.
The trick is to use clean skincare products that contain ingredients that actually absorb into the skin and get to work. Look for ingredients like squalane, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E, and layer hydration onto your skin at each and every step in your routine.
To layer hydration effectively, you need to use products that work well together and give skin an intense boost of moisture. Serums are the best addition to your routine for extra hydration, because they are lightweight, highly absorbent, and generally more potent than creams or lotions. Adding a hyaluronic acid serum to your routine before moisturising is like giving your skin a large drink of water!
When dealing with dry skin, most people go straight for a moisturiser and hope it will work. It’s a mistake because every step in a skincare routine should set the next product up for success.
For example, if you use a soap-based cleanser to wash, it will just dry your skin out more and have a harsh, abrasive effect. Choose a gentle cleanser with hydrating ingredients that really cleans your skin so that every other product in your routine has the best chance to get down into the dermal layers.
In short, for a dry skin routine that works, every product should be hydration-focussed, lightweight, and packed with truly moisturising ingredients. The Pestle & Mortar Dry Skin Routine was curated to tick all the boxes so that skin gets everything it needs to quench its thirst – a complete routine of hydrating skincare to combat dry skin.