Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Dermalogica MoisturisersDry skin and dehydration can be a temporary problem for most people – for example, in the winter. But for some, dry skin is a lifelong concern – they have genetically lipid dry skin (Allipoid).

Dry skin, also known as Xerosis, effects many people of all ages, even infants. As we get older there is a significant drop in the Stratum Corneum Lipids – fats that are essential for the structure and function of living cells, as well as Ceramides (one of the important components that make up the skin’s Lipid Barrier).

By the time we reach our 40’s, our skin will most likely be dry as well as dehydrated.

Lifestyle can also contribute to a dry or dehydrated skin – stress, continued exposure to the sun, wind, and chemicals in the environment will all weaken your skin’s barrier and vital moisture is lost.

Also the products you choose can sometimes irritate and artificially dry your skin out, avoid S.D Alcohol (specially denatured- also known as Alcohol Denat) Any toners that feel like they are burning are a no no! they most likely contain S.D Alcohol or some other form of barrier solvent, you really want to strengthen your skin’s barrier and keep it as intact as you can.

Dry skin, or Allipoid skin, generally refers to a skin that is lacking in oil, whereas dehydrated skin is defined by the lack of water in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis. Typically, skin cells that make up the deepest layers of the epidermis have around 80% water content, while cells of the stratum corneum are about 10% water. Anything below 10% is perceived as dehydrated.

Oily skin can still be dehydrated, it has enough levels of sebum (your skin’s oil) but that doesn’t help maintain water levels in the skin. A true dry skin will lack oil and also be dehydrated, due to a poor barrier that is leaking vital moisture.

Both dry and dehydrated skin is often irritated, inflamed and itchy, and it is worse in areas with very few sebaceous glands – such as arms, torso and legs as well as cheeks and eyes.

Other symptoms of dry skin can include a feeling of tightness or tautness, especially after bathing (having a bath is actually the worst thing for dry skin!), skin can flake and dry skin is more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Dry skin will not have visible pores, the follicles will be quite tight.

Dry Skin Genes

Scientists at the University of Dundee have discovered the gene that causes dry skin. The Dundee research team says that its work has discovered the gene that produces “Filaggrin“, which helps the skin form a protective barrier, isn’t producing Filaggrin in a true Dry Skin. Filaggrin is normally found in large quantities in the outermost layers of the skin and is an essential part of the skin Barrier Function, helping to retain water and has moisturising properties, as well as keeping foreign organisms and bacteria out. They may have found the genetic reason for dry skin, but no cure! all I can say is moisturise, moisturise and then moisturise a bit more!

Winter Xerosis

This is also known as Chicago winter skin. It occurs when people live in a climate that goes from humid to very dry. This can be very uncomfortable for your skin, the reason is the low humidity which causes a decrease in the water content of the Stratum Corneum.

Lifestyle facors to avoid!

  • Over Cleansing – Yes! you can wash your skin too much! – avoid soap, it’s too alkaline and will strip your skin’s barrier. Use acid balanced cleansers, in a cream or cream/gel formulation. Also avoid very Hot water.
  • Over exfoliation – too much is definitely bad for your skin, dry skin needs a certain amount of exfoliation, but keep it light and less frequent, I like Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, it’s a super gentle polisher that leaves skin really smooth and glowing.
  • Avoid products with artificial colours or fragrance.
  • Smoking can also have a drying and dehydrating effect on the skin, as smoking inhibits the body’s ability to provide oxygen, nutrients and water to the skin. Smoking also drains the skin (and your body) of Vitamins A and C, and restricts blood vessels. You suffocate your skin from the inside.
  • The Sun can also contribute to dry skin, constant exposure to the sun causes water to evaporate from the skin, tanned or burned skin requires a lot more moisturising for this reason. Always wear an SPF at all times!
  • A Fat Free diet is definitely a trouble! and will put you on the path to dry skin and premature ageing! Skin friendly Essential Fatty Acids are the “good” fats and will provide your body the ingredients to support your skin’s barrier. I like Viridian’s Organic Beauty Oil or Udo’s Choice Oil blend  and take a tablespoon every day! It is also thought that taking “Hyaluronic Acid” supplements can plump cells and hydrate skin from within.
  • Excess Alcohol, and certain medications (such as decongestants) can also contribute to dry skin and cause dehydration.

What can you do?

There are many steps you can take to lessen the discomfort of dry and dehydrated skin. The right lifestyle choices are a great start, as well as a Professional Skin Treatment and effective home-care products.

Contrary to popular belief drinking water does not directly hydrate and impact your skin! your better off topically applying products to combat the moisture loss.

We need our bodies to be hydrated in order for our cells to get the water they need, but we are only as good as our circulation and lymphatic system! If they are not great, the blood vessels will not be carrying all the nutrients, water and oxygen to our skin! So the key is to do enough exercise (regularly) to get the blood flowing and you sweating! and your face nice and rosy!

It is true our body loses around 2 litres a day through sweat, urine etc, and we do need to put that back in, but we get water from our food as well as drinking, I try to drink about 1 litre of water a day as well as other drinks, and I eat lots of fruit and veg.  The signs of dehydration are –  lethargy, headaches and thirst – don’t let your body get to this point, so always keep some water handy!

The use of a humidifier will also help add moisture to surrounding air – central heating is terrible for our skin, warm dry air acts like a giant sponge, soaking up moisture from everything it touches. Dry-it-out  has a wide range of affordable humidifiers, or you can place some bowls of water around the house, house plants will also help.

Topical Solutions For Dry Skin

Effective skin-care for dry skin will include the use of emollients and hydrators to replenish skin, and antioxidant vitamins and peptides to stimulate collagen production and increase the skin’s barrier protection. Make sunscreen as much a part of your routine as cleansing and moisturising, apply at least a teaspoon to get the correct SPF.

Cleansers For Dry Skin

Avoid stripping the skin with one of these creamy, hydrating cleansers, if your skin is too dry to use water then simply tissue off.

Toners For Dry Skin

Spritz toners are great for dry or dehydrated skin, apply your moisturiser onto freshly spritzed, damp skin and you will seal in and trap extra moisture.

Moisturisers For Dry Skin

Treatment Masks for Dry Skin

Use a mask 2-3 times a week as a super hydrating and nourishing fix, especially in the winter or on holidays.

Products To Combat Dehydration

Some of the products above will be too emollient for skin’s that are dehydrated and not genetically dry, some of them though are still fine to use, even on oily skin. If in doubt, please ask me. The products below will tackle dehydration, even on oily, easily congested skin.

Skin Treatments For Dry And Dehydrated Skin

Sometimes your skin needs an extra boost, regardless of what products you are using – that’s the time to get a skin treatment. Treatments are tailored to your skin, as I am sure you may have other skin concerns apart from dryness or dehydration. Using Professional strength products and equipment that give real results. In a treatment we can use higher strength exfoliants, enhance the penetration of active ingredients with electricals, and enhance circulation and the lymphatic system.


Sleep – Skin’s Best Friend

Lack of Sleep can lead to the Premature Ageing of your Skin, as well as making you grumpy! Being aware of sleep and the role it plays in healthy ageing is vital to anyone concerned with getting older (aren’t we all?)

Do you ever stop to think of the effect too little or too much sleep has on the body? You only have to look in the mirror after a good or terrible night’s sleep to see where the term “Beauty Sleep” came from! The role of sleep and successful ageing is huge and so important for overall health.

Lack of Sleep Causes Inflammation
One revelation that has come to light is that sleep loss is pro-inflammatory, inflammation is characterized by the release of inflammatory molecules that damage the structure and integrity of the skin – reducing inflammation is now a key focus in anti-ageing skin care products.

Aside from inflammation, it has also been discovered that the stress that sleep deprivation causes has an effect on the skin’s barrier function (this can trigger or make worse Psoriasis, Eczema and Atopic Dermatitis), it’s clear then that the role that sleep has on maintaining healthy skin functions is important, but when it comes to looking good, the benefits of sleep don’t stop there.
The effect that sleep deprivation has on hormone secretion is interesting, growth hormone is produced naturally in the body by the Pituitary gland at the base of the brain, and more than 70% of it is secreted at night, mostly during deep sleep or slow wave sleep. Although growth hormone secretion has been found to naturally decline with age, poor sleep that is lighter and more disrupted will also impact on growth hormone secretion. There is a whole host of skin and hair complaints that low levels of growth hormone are responsible, as well as premature ageing.

The way you sleep also determines your wrinkle pattern. If you favour one side, your face may end up more pleated on that side. To help prevent this, try sleeping on a Silk Skin pillow case. Also cotton pillow cases can absorb moisture from your skin and your moisturiser, so you may not get the benefits and is a waste.

Sleep – The Lifestyle Prescription

  • Sleep Hygienic – keep your bedroom calm and tidy, with clean bedding.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures.
  • Avoid TV or computers in the bedroom.
  • Avoid stimulants (Caffeine, Nicotine, Alcohol) have a Chamomile or Valerian tea instead.
  • Try eating a Low Glycemic load diet – this will help keep blood sugar levels steady, foods such as chicken, eggs, tuna, nuts and seeds are linked to sleep inducing hormones melatonin and serotonin.
  • Regular exercise will help with anxiety and depression, and control excess glucose and cortisol (the stress hormone)
  • Try some Lavender Oil for inhalation (I put a few drops on my pillow) or in a warm bath before bedtime. You can also try this with Chamomile Essential Oil.

Looking Good The Morning After a Bad Nights Sleep!
If you have had a bad night and are looking less than your best, here are a few tips!

  • A quick bout of exercise can restore some glow to your complexion.
  • Eat some protein for energy.
  • Instead of your normal tea or coffee, try some antioxidant rich Green Tea with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, brightens and polishes your skin.
  • Dermalogica Total Eye Care  disguises tell tale dark circles.
  • Mineralogie Mineral Make-Up bounces the light off your face, creating a healthy, flawless skin.
  • Apply a rosy pink blusher, this makes you look less tired – try Mineralogie Pink Sand.
  • Massage your skin lightly to increase the micro-circulation and try a Yuroll Jade Roller around your eyes to help with puffiness and aid Lymphatic Drainage.

Let’s Go Bananas!

BananaThe humble Banana is an interesting tropical fruit, and definitely one to add to your everyday diet to give you a significant energy boost. Bananas are rich in fibre, and contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose, it’s these that give you an instant, long-lasting boost of energy, they are also rich in many minerals and vitamins.

Energy isn’t the only bonus of eating a banana, research has shown them to prevent or overcome a number of common health complaints, making a “Banana a day” an essential part of your diet.

The Healing Powers of the Banana

Here are some of the ailments Bananas can help us out with………

  • Depression– According to a survey by MIND, among people who were suffering from depression, most of them felt much better after eating a banana. The reason for this is that Bananas contain “Tryptophan“, a type of protein that the body converts into Serotonin, which is known as a happy chemical, and can improve your mood and relax you.
  • PMS –  Hooray for Bananas! The amounts of Vitamin B6 they contain helps regulate blood glucose levels, which can affect our mood.
  • Blood Pressure – Bananas are extremely high in Potassium, low in salt, making them the perfect fruit for someone with high blood pressure. Eaten regularly they can potentially reduce the risk of  blood pressure and stroke.
  • Constipation – Including Bananas can help restore normal bowel action due to the high fibre content, so put away the laxatives.
  • Heartburn – Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, for a soothing relief from heartburn.
  • Morning Sickness – Eating a banana in-between meals can help keep blood sugar levels up, and minimize the morning sickness and keep your energy levels up!
  • Hangover – Make yourself feel better the morning after the night before with a Banana Milkshake with a dash of honey. The banana will calm your stomach and combined with the honey, will restore your blood sugar levels,  the milk is also soothing on your stomach.
  • Giving Up Smoking? – Bananas may help you with the effects of nicotine withdrawal, they contain Vitamins B6, B12, Potassium and Magnesium which can help with controlling stress levels and calm the nervous system.
  • Anemia– Bananas are very high in Iron, and can stimulate the production of Haemoglobin in the blood, so can boost Anemia sufferers.

So as you can see, Bananas can boost our health in many ways! and they taste great, I personally love green Bananas! If you are trying to lose weight, either have a banana every other day or just have a very small one.

Please note, if you are suffering from Kidney problems, you must avoid Bananas due to the Potassium and Phosphorus levels.

Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum

Jan Marini Topical Stabilized Vitamin C

Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum is an advanced anti-ageing serum to rejuvenate the skin with some very effective ingredients. C-ESTA is a stablized form of lipid soluble topical Vitamin C that is able to rapidly penetrate the surface of the skin. We know how important Vitamin C is in terms of healthy skin, so it is wise to choose a formula that has medically efficacious levels and able to be transported into the skin cells through a stablized formulation – Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum ticks all of these boxes.

The C-ESTA Serum is a lightweight fluid for application after cleansing, you may feel a mild tingling sensation, but this is very normal.Within a short time of using the serum your skin will begin to appear smoother, supple, and feel firmer and more resilient. Fine and deep lines will look less pronounced and skin colour and texture improves.

DMAE Tightens Slack Facial Muscles

C-ESTA Serum also contains Jan Marini’s DAE Complex, which contains a powerful antioxidant cocktail, this cocktail contains DMAE, which acts on the appearance of sagging  muscles, for a firmer tighter skin with more defined facial contours, it really does work!

The C-ESTA Serum is suitable for an oily/acne skin type, and is completely non-comedogenic. If you have a drier skin type then the C-ESTA Cream will be more suitable.

Top Tip – Use Jan Marini C-ESTA Serum or Cream after using a Medik8 Dermaroller(skin needling), this enhances the penetration of the product and also stimulates Collagen and Elastin, for tighter, firmer skin – this really gives fantastic results.  I would recommend this to anyone concerned with the signs of ageing.

Dry Skin Brushing

Dry Skin Brushing  is a very easy way to stimulate your lymphatic system and circulation, which in turn helps your body eliminate toxins. Our skin is an organ of elimination (which is often forgotten!), just like our liver and kidneys, and gets rid of more than a pound of waste products everyday, we can boost this process by a morning dry body brushing before we shower.

sisal-brush-fi-600x300Dry skin brushing can improve the skin’s appearance in many ways, the first is by sloughing off dead skin cells and creating  smoother skin that reflects the light, making it glow! Brushing also stimulates cell turnover and renewal and can boost the skin’s sebum production which helps improve the texture and tone of the skin.

By body brushing everyday, you not only improve your skin’s appearance but boost your health by an improved blood/Lymph flow and immune system. It also makes you feel amazing! and is a real boost to your energy as it is extremely invigorating – giving you vitality for the day ahead.

Now you know why dry skin brushing is so amazing, it’s time to start doing it! here’s how……..

  • Choose your brush, natural bristles are proven to be far more effective than synthetic, but should always be used dry, otherwise they can rot. My chosen brush is an “Origins Raffe Brush“, the bristles are firm enough to use light, flowing strokes without applying pressure.
  • It is vital to brush in the right direction, so remember it’s – always towards your heart in long flowing strokes, repeat the strokes a few times in each area.
  • Start from your feet (soles as well) and work upwards, I find it easier to put one foot up on the toilet seat and work on that leg first.
  • Use long, smooth strokes and brush the legs and buttocks. Concentrate on the hips and thighs to really improve the appearance of cellulite and orange peel skin.
  • Brush both arms from wrist to shoulder, the neck and shoulder area should be treated gently as the flesh is very delicate.
  • Move up to your torso but be gentle on your tummy as it can be quite sensitive! follow a clockwise direction using gentle circular strokes. This will follow the flow of your intestines and not disrupt any bowel functions.
  • Move onto your back in a downward direction, with a sweep across your shoulder blades.
  • Once finished, jump in the shower, if your very brave turn the shower to cold at the end for an extra invigorating boost! To save time moisturising, use a shower oil to nourish your skin. You may also want to apply a skin firming cream/gel to your hips, thighs and bottom.

The whole process may seem a chore, but it should only take 5 minutes maximum, and will soon become a healthy habit. You may want to increase the pressure once you have got used to the sensation.

Note – avoid areas of of cut, broken or very sensitive skin, and varicose veins. Never dry brush your face.