Is Dry Skin a Sign of Ageing Skin?
We want to put the focus on your dry skin - not just on your face, but also on your body.
What is dry skin and why do you get it? Does it have an effect on how your skin ages? How can you treat your dry skin? And will that make you look younger?
We aim to answer these questions and more… and to introduce you to an amazing new range that is so natural it’s actually edible(!) and we are proud to be the first in the UK to stock it!
Dry skin - what is it and why do you get it?
Let’s start by looking at a bit of science. Your skin is an organ - in fact it’s the largest organ in your body. So it needs some protection. The epidermis, that’s the outer layers of the your skin, is protected by a barrier on top. This is often called the lipid barrier. It’s a bit like a brick wall - with loose skin cells (that are effectively dead already) as the bricks, held together by lipids (oil) that act as cement. Lipids are naturally found in the sebum (oil) that your sebaceous glands in your follicles produces.
The lipid barrier is there:
- to keep the good stuff - like natural oils and water - in, and
- to keep the bad stuff - like irritants, pollutants, dirt and bacteria - out.
When you don’t have enough lipids, either because your sebaceous glands don’t produce enough oil or because you are using products that strip oils, your lipid barrier starts to break down. This also means that the barrier is weakened or damaged, allowing access to irritants and pollutants and also allowing water to leave the skin.
This is what causes dry skin - a weak or damaged lipid barrier. Dry, flaky patches are those loose cells without lipids to hold them together and irritation, sensitivity and redness come from those irritants and bacteria getting into the deeper layers.
Does it have an effect on how your skin ages?
The short answer is… research says yes and no! Let’s look at the no first. Dry skin doesn’t cause wrinkles. That’s a fact. Everyone gets fine lines and wrinkles - they are a natural part of the ageing process. Dryness isn’t the reason your skin ages.
However, research also says that dry skin does have an effect, particularly prematurely ageing your skin. As you age, your cell renewal rate naturally slows - you don’t produce as much collagen and elastin. That’s what that keeps your face plump and taut. When you have dry concerns, this leaves the deeper layers open to free radicals that attack the collagen levels and also sun damage from UV rays. At the same time, dry skin can lead to transepidermal water loss - that’s the name given when the water in those deeper layers is able to escape, leaving the skin dehydrated.
The results of transepidermal water loss and sun damage and free radicals damage from a weakened barrier can be deepening lines and wrinkles, sagging, hollow looking skin and even age spots from sun damage. Whilst ageing is natural, dryness can cause your skin to prematurely age. Luckily, you can start to make a difference today to your skin, by treating dryness and rebuilding goodness.
Dry skin can be a sign of ageing
Not to confuse things but it is important to mention that dry skin can affect us more as we age. This can be down to changes in hormone levels, which reduce sebum production and slow cell turnover. Many women find they have dry concerns for the first time during menopause.
Treating dry skin - how and when
When it comes to treating dry skin, you should be working towards rebuilding the lipid barrier and also replacing moisture and goodness that has been lost. It can be tempting to avoid cleansing when your skin is sensitive but actually it’s really important to get rid of those irritants and bacteria that have got into the pores and deeper layers.
You should have a regular skincare routine that you follow every day, using products that aren’t too harsh. Another tip is that they call it ‘beauty sleep’ for a reason - your skin repairs itself as you sleep so make sure you use a good moisturiser at night.