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The Natural Elements Guide to Dry Skin

Written by John Hamilton

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Posted on 02 June 2020

Does your skin feel parched? Dry skin is an uncomfortable condition that is sadly all too common but often misunderstood. Natural Elements Co-Founder John Hamilton answers the most commonly asked questions about the best skincare for Dry Skin, what causes dry skin and how you can treat it.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Dry skin is caused by the skin’s hydrolipid film being compromised or removed. The hydrolipid film is your skin’s defence shield, keeping external aggressors out and moisture locked in. It is a light protective film which covers the surface of your skin. Many things remove this film such as synthetic chemicals in shower gels or shampoo,  petrochemicals in skincare and even using tap water which is heavy in chemicals can strip the hydrolipid barrier. Make-up can also absorb moisture from the skin, to prevent this, we advise applying our Facial Oils to replenish the skin followed by a moisturiser which seals the oil into the skin, creating a barrier to prevent the make-up leeching moisture from the skin. Cleansing can be a key factor behind dry skin. Adding a drop of facial oil to our cleanser will remove even waterproof mascara but will not compromise the skin's protective film


Is Eczema The Same As Dry Skin?

No, eczema sufferers can have dry skin but eczema is a mutation of skin cells where skin can become inflamed, red, cracked and itchy. We have a range of skincare for Eczema sufferers which has seen great results for many of our customers

 

Is Dry Skin Different to Dehydrated Skin?

Yes and no! Dry skin is more commonly related to someone who has had dehydrated skin for a long time but a compromised hydrolipid film will mean your skin loses moisture making dehydration more likely. Balance is important, remember even drinks such as tea and coffee and many foods provide you with water. If you have disturbed sleep you may be dehydrated but don’t drink too much before bed as you may have extra toilet trips during the night!

Also, be aware that moisturisers that don’t use water won’t hydrate the skin, there’s a trend to use plant butters in skincare: shea, coconut etc but you need water molecules to hydrate - if you’re thirsty and dehydrated, would you drink water or oil?! Hydrate first with water molecules then seal in the hydration with moisturising oil.

 

I have Dry Skin and Breakouts, What’s going on and what can I do about it?

This could be hormonal, caused by hormonal contraception or by using unsuitable products which makes the skin produce more oil from the sebaceous glands in an attempt to get rid of the product / chemicals it doesn't like on the skin. It also could be product choice in that if you are using products to dry out any breakouts the skin will react and produce more oil to counteract the stripping action of the product, creating a vicious circle and a bigger problem. If this is the case, using gentle but effective natural products to bring harmony to skin and calm it down. Our range of skincare for breakouts helps balance the skin but is gentle and does not stimulate oil production.

 

I’ve been using an emollient cream for dry skin but it sits on top of my skin, makes it feel greasy and makes my skin sensitive, what could be causing this?

Many products that are accepted by Doctors and Dermatologists as being suitable for dry skin often have petrochemicals in them such as paraffin which is comedogenic (pore blocking / spot encouraging). These harsh chemicals can be sensitising and make a dry skin problem even worse.  Look at the ingredients on your products closely, you want to be as natural as possible to help heal and soothe your dry skin. The best way to treat this fast is to use a natural oil in the shower, directly after washing. Applying a natural oil such as our Recovery Facial Oil directly onto wet skin and gently massaging it replaces the hydrolipid film and the high fatty acid content encourages your skin to produce its own hydrolipid film.

 

Does dry skin need exfoliation?

A regular gentle exfoliation will help remove dead skin cells which will enable better product absorption and also reduce dullness. We are currently testing a new konjac exfoliating sponge which will be ideal for dry skin - watch this space!