Drink plenty of water to offset the dehydration winter weather and indoor heat creates. Drinking alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and some medications (especially antihistamines) dehydrate your skin further.
Immediately after cleansing your face, apply a few drops of Hyaluronic hydration serum. Hyaluronic holds 1000 times its molecular weight in water, and hydrates skin from the outside-in plumping up the tissue and smoothing fine lines and crepey-ness! Follow with an appropriate moisturizer to hold the hydration in and protect your skin's acid mantle.
Don't forget to moisturize your body immediately after bathing. Seal in all the hydration with one of our all natural body moisturizers, or glide on a Lotion bar. If winter bathing dries out your skin, take shorter, cooler showers or baths. You can add colloidal oat flour to your bath to calm skin that tends to be irritated. If you're prone to eczema, consider adding a fish oil supplement to your daily nutritional regimen, and eat more healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Can't keep the itch at bay? Topical CBD products will calm the nerves in the skin and reduce inflammation.
The Skin Barrier
The skin’s moisture barrier, made of cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides, is responsible for (READ MORE) locking in moisture and keeping skin hydrated and healthy. When it’s damaged or compromised, it can cause serious skin dehydration issues. A healthy skin barrier retains the right balance of water and sebum, is resilient and supple, and appears radiant rather than dull and dry. With the right combination of skincare products containing effective active ingredients, they’ll be able to provide the skin with what it needs to defend, rebuild, and rejuvenate itself.
TEWL and Hydrating Compromised Skin
TEWL, the culprit.
Trans-epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) is a normal process in which our skin releases its water content into the air. While it happens continually, it should try to be minimized because dehydration can lead to dull, irritated skin that’s also prone to fine lines and wrinkles. TEWL is a completely natural process that serves a function, and just like with everything else, balance is key. Therefore, the goal isn’t to completely stop TEWL. Rather, the goal is to prevent excessive moisture loss. If TEWL is low, meaning less water is passing through the skin, then it will feel hydrated and moisturized. If TEWL is high then the skin will often feel dry and may crack, peel, or feel irritated, which happens quite frequently with compromised skin.
Why Does Skin Lose Hydration?
A loss of the lipids (sebum/ceramides) that normally seal in moisture can lead to dry skin. You can deplete skin water content quickly by extended exposure to cold or heat, using harsh soaps/detergents/and strong chemicals, using rough sponges/washcloths/exfoliating products, taking long, hot showers or baths and not drinking enough water. Of course, some medical conditions can take a toll on the barrier and skin health such as thyroid diseases, hormone imbalances, autoimmune disorders, poor nutrition, and other severe medical conditions along with the medications associated with them.
Healing a Compromised Barrier
In the treatment room, there are many ways to promote barrier health and perform treatments to help heal, nourish, and improve barrier function. Turning to more gentle natural enzymes, and mild polishes for exfoliation is the key to success when treating dehydrated skin conditions. There are many other treatments for this type of skin type such as hydrodermabrasion, LED, oxygen infusion, and using products with ingredients that help with redness, inflammation, and hydration that will assist in healing the barrier.
8 Tips To Hydrating Compromised Skin
1. Avoid Harsh Cleansers. If the skin is compromised, it needs to heal. Choose gentle, non-drying, cleansers that are fragrance-free and pH-balanced.
2. Use a low alcohol-filled type toner when necessary to remove traces of makeup and aid oily/acneic skin conditions. Tonic type toners will enhance product penetration.
3. Moisturize. When skin is compromised, it needs hydration AND moisturization so it can heal. Choose a moisturizer with ceramides, natural oils, butters, and natural anti-inflammatories that will help to repair the skin.
4. Avoid Harsh Exfoliators. Give skin a break from harsh acids, scrubs, retinoids, and other products. When the skin is compromised, they can add to more redness and irritation.
5. Keep it Simple. If your barrier is damaged, now is not the time to try new aggressive treatments, products, or makeup. Stick with nourishing, more clean versions of cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and sunscreens.
6.Don't overuse active ingredients. Overusing or misusing ingredients like retinoids or exfoliating acids can damage the skin over time. And once the skin barrier is damaged, TEWL is worsened.
7. Use serums to heal. The power of serums to help heal and hydrate even the most severely dry skin is so very important. Serums are key to repairing the damage to the barrier and its proper function.
8. Be Patient. It will take time to heal compromised skin. Give skin several weeks for the repair to begin until improvements can be noticed.
What are the best ways to hydrate compromised skin?
The importance of hydration and skin moisturization is key in maintaining desirable levels of TEWL for compromised skin. Hydration refers to the water content of the skin, whereas moisturization is the skin’s ability to retain those water molecules. Both are needed: hydration and moisturization for optimal skin health. Try maintaining a complete approach to the skin by using skincare products that contain effective moisturizing ingredients that won’t cause irritation or dryness from strong actives like acids and retinoids.
High-end moisturizers also add ceramides or other ingredients to repair the lipid barrier and prevent water loss. As the skin heals and the signs of a compromised skin barrier are no longer present, the skin will start to look and feel better and be less dry, red, inflamed, and reactive. Then, slowly reintroduce active ingredients like acids and retinol back into the skincare routine.