If your skin is flaky, feels tight, is sensitive or appears red, it’s likely you are suffering from an impaired barrier. Whether you’ve been born with dry skin (thanks, genetics!) or outside environmental factors have played a role, here’s everything you need to know about this skin type.

What is dry skin?
Dry skin lacks sufficient lipids in the stratum corneum – the skin’s outer layer. If you have a dry skin type, your skin produces fewer natural lipids than other skin types.

Signs and symptoms of dry skin
Dry skin can present in different ways. Normally, there is redness, flaking,itching and irritation, along with highlighted small, fine wrinkles, rough patches. One of the best ways to tell if you have dry skin is when washing your face—if your skin feels tight straight after a cleanse, it’s a sure sign that you have dry skin. Even if your skin appears oily an hour later, it is a sign that you may be suffering from dry skin.

Difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin
It’s a common myth (link to myths blog post once loaded) that dry skin means it’s dehydrated. The fact is that while they may appear very similar in appearance, there are a few notable differences between dry skin and dehydrated skin.

  • Dry skin – This is a skin type where the skin lacks lipids. Using face oils and skincare ingredients formulated for dry skin (link to Products & ingredients blog post once loaded), can help skin retain more moisture.
  • Dehydrated skin – This is a temporary skin condition where skin lacks water. It can affect all skin types. The best ingredient to treat dehydrated skin is hyaluronic acid.

Causes of dry skin
If you have dry skin, you may have it all year round, or it may change throughout the year. Here are a few of the factors that cause it:

  • Heat – Hot climates, fireplaces and indoor heating all reduce humidity in the air.
  • Environment – Cold, windy conditions or low-humidity climates.
  • Long hot showers or baths – Over-bathing / showering or soaking in water that’s too hot can strip your skin of its natural oils.
  • Harsh soaps and detergents – Certain ingredients in cosmetics and detergents are formulated to remove oil. Stay clear of essential oils, fragrances, denatured alcohols, glycolic acid and salicylic acid.
  • Medical treatments – Certain medications (especially those for cancer and dialysis) can cause dry skin.
  • Naturally impaired barrier – insufficient production of natural lipids
  • Ageing – The skin’s ability to trap moisture diminishes with age.

Caring for dry skin
If you have dry skin, focus on products that repair the barrier as well as water attracting ingredients. SKIN functional’s products are formulated with heavy-hitting ingredients at optimal concentrations that help repair the skin barrier, ensuring your skin is functioning optimally.

Get the lowdown on the best skincare ingredients and products for dry skin.