Dry skin is characterized by an underproduction of sebum, which makes it less smooth to the touch and also prevents your skin from retaining the amount of water needed to keep it optimally balanced.
Your skin type is dry if:
- Your skin feels tight
- Your skin feels dry to the touch
- Your skin appears dull
- Any fine lines or wrinkles you may have, appear more pronounced
Dry skin can also sometimes be indicated by:
- Red patches
- A textured appearance
It’s important to note that sometimes people mistakenly believe they have dry skin, which is a skin type, when they are actually experiencing dehydrated skin, which is a skin concern. The difference is that dehydration is a temporary state that causes rapid water loss due to damage tom the skin’s natural protective barrier. The moisture barrier damage is generally brought on by outside factors. Additionally, it’s possible (and actually common) for skin to be both dehydrated and oily. Dehydrated skin can be remedied in a few weeks and, with vigilance, kept away indefinitely once it’s repaired.
By contrast, dry skin is dry even if the natural barrier is intact, because it’s simply not producing enough sebum on its own. It is the long-term state of your skin rather than a temporary condition that has a long-term remedy.
Dry skin benefits most from multiple layers of hydration in the form of light, hydrating toners, humectant-based serums, and emollient face oils with a thicker, more occlusive cream layered on top to seal in the moisture.
When buying products:
- What you should be aiming for:
- Which product types will help you get there:
- What will hinder your progress:
- Alkaline/high-pH cleansers and products made for oily skin. These products are to spot, and usually contain the words pore, sebum, oil-free, or tightening.
- Words to look for in product names and descriptions:
- Aqua, bomb (e.g. water bomb), nutrition, rejuvenate, rich, moisture.