The cold weather is set to be with us a while longer. Sorry for you sun lovers, but it’s true! Colder weather means changes to your wardrobe, and probably your makeup… but maybe you should consider changing your skincare routine too! Especially if you have dehydrated and combination skin.
At Jersey Beauty we are passionate about skin education and one thing we don’t think gets talked about enough is dehydrated skin, particularly if you have combination skin. So we wanted to highlight 10 common misconceptions about combination and dehydrated skin that we hear… a lot! And to give some tips on how to change up your skincare in the colder weather.
1. Is it possible to have skin that is dehydrated and oily at the same time?
The answer is a massive YES. A common misconception is that your skin will either be dehydrated or oily - but not both. Actually this couldn’t be further from the truth. Often skin that is oily is also dehydrated.
Let’s rewind a second to understand more. Dehydrated skin is skin that lacks water, unlike dry skin that lacks oil. Oily skin is caused by overproduction of sebum (oil produced by the sebaceous glands to protect your skin).This sebum sits on top of your skin to form a barrier to stop nasties getting in and good stuff getting out. When your skin produces too much of this oil it can clog up your pores.
So how can oily skin be dehydrated or vice versa? Well clogged pores can not only cause breakouts but can also stop hydration from getting into the deeper layers of skin. This can cause the skin to be dehydrated.
At the same time, when your skin lacks moisture your sebaceous glands can actually start to produce more oil. Even though it’s water and not oil your skin needs, your skin reacts the only way it knows how to try and protect itself, which can cause even more excess oil.
So it is perfectly possible to have both dehydrated and oily skin at the same time!
2. What causes dehydration on combination skin?
A lot of us have a combination of skin ‘types’ all at the same time! So you may have dry patches and an oily t-zone and even some sensitivity. This is commonly known as ‘combination’ skin. It just means we don’t fit one type easily. Combination skin can often be dehydrated for different reasons.
Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL) - one major cause of dehydration is when the skin’s barrier (the outer layer that protects the skin) is impaired. The barrier has two functions - to keep out the nasties, such as pollutants and irritants, from being able to affect the deeper layers of skin, and secondly to lock in the good stuff - like retaining moisture. When the barrier is impaired, water can seep out and leave the deeper layers dehydrated. This isn’t always that easy to fix, as it needs ingredients that can penetrate deep into the skin to rehydrate.
The thing is when you have combination skin, you can sometimes avoid moisturiser as part of your skincare routine because as well as dry patches you also have an oily forehead, nose and chin. Understanding how your skin works as a whole is important when choosing the right skin care products for your unique combination skin.
3. The science of dehydrated skin
We have already touched on this but it’s worth saying again… a lot of us don’t understand dehydrated skin. That’s partly because the beauty industry doesn’t talk about it a lot! We have all heard of dry skin but dehydrated skin… so what is the difference between the two?
Dry skin is when your skin lacks oil. Your sebaceous glands produce oil (lipids) that sit on top of the skin holding together a barrier of dead skin cells to protect the skin underneath. When your sebaceous glands don’t produce enough oil, this means that barrier starts to break down, without the lipids which act like a glue between the cells. Once the barrier is impaired, pollutants and irritants can easily get the layers of skin underneath causing sensitivity and redness. This is why dry skin leads to sensitivity, redness and dry flaky patches where the dead cells shed.
Dehydrated skin is where your skin lacks water. This can be a result of dry skin areas - when the lipid barrier is impaired, it not only means bad stuff can get in but that water can seep out. This a process called transepidermal water loss. The result is that the deeper layers of skin are left dehydrated.
Fixing my dry skin concerns won’t necessarily fix my dehydrated skin concerns.
The thing is you can address dry skin concerns by putting oil back into the skin, even fixing the barrier, but that won’t necessarily treat your dehydrated skin. Why? Because dry skin needs oil - dehydrated skin needs water putting back in. That isn’t as simple as splashing water on your face or even drinking more water. This is because when TEWL occurs, it allows the moisture to seep from the deeper layers. The only way to get moisture back in is to use ingredients that can penetrate into those deeper layers and lock in goodness.
4. What does dehydrated skin look like?
Dehydrated skin can be confused with ageing skin. That’s because it often results in fine lines and wrinkles, or in ageing skin, deepening lines. Think about what happens when you leave a grape in the sun. It shrivels as the water is evaporated. It becomes a raisin eventually. Now the result may not be as obvious in your skin (thankfully!) but your skin may start to have silvery fine lines, a rough texture and start to look dull and hollow. This is because as you lose moisture, you also lose plumpness and skin health.
5. Weather and dehydrated skin - does skin get dehydrated in colder months?
There is a reason we wanted to talk about this, because yes… during the colder months your skin can get dehydrated. That might sound strange… we often associate dehydration with summer - when we are always being told to drink more water! But actually, cold weather like wind and rain and hot radiators inside can be a really bad combo for your skin!
Changes in temperature can affect the skin’s barrier and can also cause transepidermal water loss. When you have been in the cold then go into a really hot room your skin’s moisture can be sucked out easily. So it’s really important to understand that dehydration isn’t just a problem in the summer months - it can happen all year round and especially when you are experiencing changes in temperature.
6. How do I know if I have dehydrated combination skin?
We’ve already talked about some of the signs to look out for when it comes to dehydrated skin - those fine lines that could easily be put down to ageing and rough feeling skin. But here’s a couple of simple tests, recommended by skin therapist Christine, to try and identify your dehydrated skin:
1. Gently pinch the skin between your fingers, in front of a mirror. How quickly does it regain its position? Dehydrated skin will struggle to bounce back straight away.
2. Take your finger and run it over your skin. If it feels rough to touch this can be a sign of dehydration.
3. When you use moisturiser watch how your skin absorbs it. If it seems like your skin is drinking the moisturiser thirstily this could be another sign of dehydration.
7. Can moisturisers make acne worse? How?
This may surprise you to read but yes… however it massively depends on the moisturiser! At Jersey Beauty we are passionate about skin education because we know that the right skincare products can change the health of your skin. But equally the wrong ones… or just plain bad skincare products even… can also have a big impact.
When it comes to moisturisers, combination skin that is dehydrated needs products that build back in moisture but that won’t clog your pores even further. Oil free moisturisers and light-wight moisturisers are great for making a positive difference. Products that will clog up your skin or sit on top and not allow your skin to breathe may not only make breakouts more likely but also won’t treat the skin concerns you have.
Dehydrated skin needs active ingredients that will penetrate deep into the skin to lock in moisture. Hyaluronic acid is a great example - this wonder ingredient can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water and can get deep into your skin because of its structure. Vitamin C is great for hydrating your skin and is also an antioxidant, so can help to repair cells that have been dehydrated. Vitamin A helps to stimulate cell renewal, which is part
8. What moisturiser should I use for dehydrated skin?
Depending on your unique skin concerns, and how your combination skin is made up, there are two brilliant products from Dermalogica to consider.
Dermalogica Active Moist
Dermalogica Active Moist is a lightweight moisturiser that is oil free and massively hydrating. It has:
A deep hydration complex with extracts of Lavender, Mallow and Cucumber - this works to rehydrate the skin and to lock in that goodness, but without any heavy products sitting on the skin
Silk Amino Acids - these work to smooth and improve your skin texture - dehydration can leave your skin feeling rough so the amino acids smooth your skin
Lemon, Ivy, Watercress and Burdock are natural astringents that help to refine your skin
Active Moist MoisturiserLight, oil-free lotionSkincare100ml: £41.30
Calm Water Gel
Calm Water Gel is great if you want a weightless and easily absorbed formula. It’s a bit like that feeling when you put aftersun on - a gel that is water based so won’t clog up your pores or feel heavy.
Dual Hyaluronic Acid technology - this works to penetrate into the skin’s layers to rehydrate and lock in that moisture
Apple Fruit and Glycerine - this hydrates and softens your skin whilst defending against dryness
Cactus Pear - is really soothing for any areas of sensitivity and irritation
UltraCalming Calm Water Gelweightless water-gel moisturiserSkincare50ml: £34.30
9. What hydrating products can I use for the skin around my eyes?
Many of us forget that the skin around our eyes is very different to the rest of the face. You only have to look in the mirror to see that - it is thinner and more delicate. That said, it can easily get dehydrated - particularly in the colder months.
Hyaluronic Eye ComplexFirming and brighteningSkincare10ml: £16.00
Hyaluronic acid - this is in a lower molecular weight than normal skincare products to be able to penetrate deeply into the skin around the eyes to rehydrate and lock in goodness
Tuberose Plant Cells - which brighten the skin and treat dark circles and puffiness
Organic cucumber extract - to soothe and refresh the eye area
10. Always use a primer for combination skin
When it comes to using makeup on combination skin, the temptation can be to not use a primer to avoid another layer of product on the skin. But actually, choosing the right primer can help to hydrate the skin and lock in goodness underneath your makeup.
Dermalogica HydraBlur Primer has a specially formulated H2O Release™ Complex and Abyssinian Oil to ensure a slow release of moisture whilst also keeping the skin mattified. This is all whilst not clogging the pores and helping to keep your skin looking and feeling radiant.
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Ark Skin Protector Primer SPF30has a unique formula to protect, hydrate and restore your skin’s glow, with Vitamin E, shea butter and sunflower extract. This lightweight primer also has an SPF30 which makes it a great choice for protecting your skin from UV rays in Autumn.
Skin Protector SPF30 PrimerPrimer; sunscreen; and moisturiser all in one.Skincare30ml: £38.00
Understanding your dehydrated and combination skin is the first step to being able to treat your skin and restore its health. Dehydrated skin may be just one of the skin concerns you have. It is perfectly possible to have oily patches and also have dehydrated skin. To understand more about how to treat your dehydrated skin, why not download our Ultimate Guide To Skincare? You’ll also find loads more information on different skin types, age related issues and how to choose the right skincare products for your remarkable skin!