If you've been dealing with dry skin and your efforts to manage it have hit a snag, you should go back to the beginning. Figure out the cause of your dryness to find the best moisturizer.
Causes of dry skin
To understand what causes dry skin, we need to start by learning about sebum.
Sebum is the body's natural moisturizer that protects the skin and hair from external pathogens and loss of water.
The sebaceous glands occur everywhere on the human body except the palms and soles. These glands secrete sebum to the surface of the skin to help create a protective barrier and keep the skin smooth.
Sebum is made of cholesterols, fatty acids, and wax esters. However, everyone's chemical composition of sebum is different, meaning that the oily-dry balance also varies.
SEBUM OVER A LIFETIME
To a large extent, hormone levels affect sebum levels within our bodies. For example, women can have different skin issues throughout the month, while teens often experience oily skin and clogged pores.
As we age, our bodies produce fewer natural hormones. Fewer hormones lead to less active sebaceous glands. Our skin is more exposed to dehydration, environmental damage, and it ages faster.
The importance of moisturizer
Moisturizers mimic balanced sebum production, which keeps the skin moisturized, protected, hydrated, and looking supple.
DEHYDRATION VS. DRYNESS
Dehydration means that there isn't sufficient water to plump up your skin cells. To fix this, hydrate first and then add moisturizer to ensure that you're giving your skin proper care.
CHOOSING BETWEEN OIL AND CREAM/LOTION
Both oils and creams are moisturizers, but we choose to work with carrier oils rather than creams. This is because creams consist of an oil and water emulsification.
To create a lotion, you need additional ingredients such as wax. Wax has to be melted to mix completely. The high temperatures required can ruin the antioxidant activity making the lotion less effective.
WATER IN SKINCARE
Many companies add preservatives to their cream products to eliminate mold that results from water coming into contact with the acids and fats in oils. Unfortunately, most times, these preservatives aren't tested for quality and safety of use.
However, some companies use clean, organic ingredients for their lotions (like our Awakening Organic Body Lotion).
The best carrier oil for dry skin
There are various alternatives for the carrier oils that you use as a moisturizer for dry skin, but you need to choose the right one.
You may need a bit of trial and error to know what your skin needs and also since everyone's sebum is different. Here are three carrier oils that we recommend for dry skin.
Jojoba oil consists of fats and wax esters- this makes it texturally similar to the skin's sebum. This oil is excellent for dry, flaky skin because it soothes the top layers of the skin, and its antioxidants fight environmental stressors.
We use it as a base in our Rosehip & Calendula Triple Cream
to give your skin extra protection and rejuvenation.
This oil is less thick as compared to jojoba. Therefore, it's less likely to remain on the skin surface. Its deep penetration helps to hold in hydration- perfect for parched skin.
Avocado oil contains lots of omega fatty acids and offers a fantastic boost of vitamin E. Both of these nutrients keep the skin supple.
Shea butter's moisturizing and creamy nature makes it perfect for dry skin. It allows you to enjoy the creaminess of lotions minus the preservatives found in lotions. It's also excellent for sensitive and baby skin since its rich vitamin content and smooth texture make it the gentlest natural moisturizer available.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team