A horny layer covers the hardened flat cells on our skin surface. It is water-resistant, but unfortunately not waterproof. We are continuously losing water through pores of our skin, as water from your cells slowly moves to the skin surface and evaporates. Typically, we lose about one pint of water each day this way. (Not including water we lose through sweats.)
But some factors may make our skin loses water faster. In a place with dry climate, for example, you will probably experience dry skin as arid air makes the evaporation process faster. We can also get dry skin during the winter, because heated air in your room has low humidity level.
Another factor is our age. On older people, the horny layer holds less water. Not surprisingly, elderly often complain of dry skin.
Dealing With Dry Skin
How can you deal with the drying process? Without doubt, an effective moisturizer and mild cleanser are important.
In addition, try the following tips:
• Striving for cleanliness isn’t always a good thing, showers and baths strip away our skin’s natural oils and can make it drier. Sometimes, you may choose spot-washing, like cleaning your feet, genitals, and armpits, rather than immersing your whole body.
• When you need to bathe or shower, try to make it quicker. Dry skin is often caused by long immersion in water.
• Keep your water lukewarm rather than blistering hot. Hot water strips oil faster from your skin.
• Bath oils aren’t effective to combat dryness. Bathing in warm water removes more natural oils than from skin than the oils in your bath water can keep in.
• After bathing, avoid brushing your skin with the towel, just blot on wet areas until you’re just damp. Then quickly pat some moisturizer on your body to seal in the existing moisture.
During the winter, consider adding a humidifier in your rooms. Just be sure to regularly clean it to avoid additional problems with bacteria and mold. In hot, humid climate, you should open the windows to increase moisture inside your rooms, if it doesn’t enough, put a bowl of water on the open windows. Moving to a place with different climate may cause dry skin. For example, if you move from a place with abundant rainfall and temperate climate to a city with colder and drier air, your skin may not be able to compensate to the changes.
Soap can also cause problems, for example fragrant fruit-scented soaps can be harsher on your skin than most cleansers, while citrus juices, and other fragrances, can also cause problems. A good solution should be to establish a skin care routine and use safer products, for example choose creamy fragrance-free moisturizer and water-soluble liquid cleanser. In matter of months, you’ll be beaming. Your flaky patches will smooth out and your skin no longer feels tight.
Dealing With Oily Skin
Some people would simply beg for a drier skin. Calling your skin as oily is actually a misnomer because it implies that your skin thoroughly coated with oil. Sebum is a glossy lubricant that is found on the skin surface and it is produced by oil glands deep under your skin. The term “oily skin” refers to a condition where your sebaceous gland produces sebum at an abnormally high rate. Oil on your skin is a good thing, if you have enough sebum, they will hold water in and make your skin well moisturized. Your skin may feel smoother and the higher moisture will reduce wrinkles.
The problem is, of course, you may have way too much oil on your skin. Sebum has liquid and waxy consistency. When there is too much sebum on the pores lining, the cells may stick together. This skin-cell and sebum mix can plug those pores tightly. As the plugged pore still produces more sebum, the pore will stretch, break, and turn into nodules that are often known as acne.
But for now, these are a few general guidelines on dealing with your oily skin:
• Avoid skin irritation. Yes, people with oily skin problems are often suggested to wash with abrasive scrubs and extremely strong soaps. However, making your skin irritated and red will make your problem worse.
• Don’t experiment with cleansers. Potent antibacterial soaps are not always good for you. You probably should also avoid fatted, lipid-rich, or moisturizing soaps.
Unlike those with dry skin, it is alright to bathe often. However, washing your face often is a bad idea, no matter how bad your acne condition is. Use warm water (not cold or hot), and avoid bath oils which may make your oily skin stickier. After washing, use a clean towel to blot your wet skin.
Should you use moisturizer? Perhaps, not. Some people make their acne condition worse by applying heavy lotions on their naturally-lubricated complexions. Try to not use moisturizer in a week and see whether your condition improves. If you need to use moisturizer, try the one without oil content.
Your best chance could be with oil-free foundations that don’t contain mineral or vegetable oil.
You can use light-textured oil-free powder after the foundation dries completely. Choose a matte powder rather than the shiny one because an oily skin is already glowing. Some powders and foundations actually have oil-absorbing components. They are usually publicized as oil-regulating or oil-control products.
It is also a good idea to use powder-based foundation that can dry to a powdery finish. With this product, you won’t need any powder at all.
In the case of acne outbreak, don’t squeeze or pick. Torturing your skin may inflame blemishes further, which causes permanent scar your skin. Ask your dermatologist, if you think your pimples need to be squeezed.
Dealing With Combination Skin
Your chin and nose are oily; and acne break out on them frequently (usually after some stressful days). Meanwhile, your cheeks and forehead are dry. The skin there feels rough and flaky, and soaps make those areas burn.
If you have those symptoms, welcome to the world of combination skin. People with this problem have the worst characteristics of each skin type, in fact products that can help one skin type may make the other worse.
We have combination skins to some extent. Some areas on your face contain more oil glands, the oily T-zone is consisted of chin, nose, and forehead. This is an absolutely normal condition, no matter what those cosmetics salespeople try to tell you.
Combination skin frequently shows a typical pattern of dry and oily areas. Even so, some people have wildly differing symptoms, like extreme dryness and acne, at the same time. Having combination skin can be frustrating, but there are a few things you can do to improve your condition.
First of all, check your current skin care routine. Could it be making acne problem or drying out your skin? Maybe you need to stop applying toner (most toners contain alcohol, which can make your dry skin worse), or choose an oil-free moisturizing products rather than cream, heavy moisturizer products are a common cause of acnes. As always, restrain your urge to experiment, your dermatologist advices is your best chance for success in treating your condition.
Use gentle skin products; modify your overall face care routines to the needs of your dry and sensitive skin. If you believe that stronger measures are needed on the oily areas, limit them on oily areas only.
Don’t scrape your skin. Vigorous rubbing with washcloths, loofahs, and scrub pads can scrape your skin, leaving it irritated, rough, and red. It also stretches and pulls your skin.