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Is your skin feeling tight?

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

One of the main causes of a tight feeling skin is a lack of water within it.

I am hearing complaints from many clients that their skin feels, tight, dry and looks rather dull. This time of year in particular can play havoc with our skins hydration loss due to environmental stressors causing increased trans epidermal water loss (TEWL - the process of water evaporating from the skin).

A picture of a persons dehydrated cheek area

What could be causing it?

Excessive cold weather, environmental factors such as wind strips the surface of an under protected skin barrier. On the opposite scale, we go from cold to hot environments which again causes our skin to loose water through evaporation, do you notice that your skin feels tighter when changing environments?

Apart from feeling tight and uncomfortable, a dehydrated skin can appear dull, sallow, red and crepey. The pores on your face may change, appearing larger or smaller than normal due to a loss of plumpness and that lovely expensive serum you apply daily seems to just disappear! All of these symptoms are a sign of a dehydrated skin condition.

An impaired skin barrier will increase trans epidermal water loss and there are many factors such as poor diet, stress, lack of sleep, over exfoliation, sugar, caffeine etc which will all contribute to a lack of water within the skin.

Our bodies need to be hydrated whether that be from consuming a balanced diet high in hydrating foods, or through drinking plenty of water should your diet be a bit more unbalanced with high sugars, caffeine and alcohol. A hydrated body will allow better function of internal organs, aid in detoxification through the lymphatic system which will reduce puffiness, increase circulation in dull skin and plump the interstitial fluid in-between our cells.

So how do we treat it?

Firstly, we need to repair and balance the skin barrier. When the skin barrier is impaired it increases TEWL, lets look at the skin barrier as a roof, when the tiles are broken water can get in and heat can get out, we need to seal the barrier before we heal, further details on skin barrier function and protection were discussed in my previous blog.

We need to get the skin to retain its water content and to do this we need to be looking for products with humectants and emollients. Your humectants can be found in serums, these ingredients attract and bind water, think Hyaluronic Acid, Polyglutamine, Vitamin B5 Panthenol and Niacinamide. Your emollient's will be in your moisturisers, they add oil to the epidermis and soften and smooth the skin and include plant oils, mineral oils, shea butter, and fatty acids such as lanolin - look out for triglycerides, benzoates, myristates, palmitates and stearates on your product ingredient list. Oily skin types may opt for a lotion whereas dry skins can go for a balm or oil. Your moisturiser is your coat, it's your protection from the elements.

Apply a hyaluronic based serum and layer over an oil on top to lock it in, you can get good oil based serums. Daytime, you can apply a thin layer moisturiser on top before your makeup. Usually, we would want the oil on last but as makeup doesn't sit too well on top of oil you can cover it with your moisturiser for better application. If you don't wear makeup during the day you can reapply a thin layer of moisturiser throughout the day. In the evening, swap it round so your oil is the last application.

Keep using your acids if you already have them in your routine but consider dropping down to a Polyhydroxy acid (INCI gluconolacctone) or Lactic Acid and make sure you turn down the heat, warm water will suffice when cleansing, never hot! Opt for a cleanser which works with your skin barrier as opposed to stripping the oils and lipids, a milk or cream consistency is best, no foaming cleansers.

That extra protection....

If you are someone who is outside in freezing temperatures and gale force winds for work, dog walks and/or exercise, you may wish to apply an occlusive product on your most vulnerable areas like the cheeks and chin prior to stepping out to provide that extra coat of protection; they have a balmy, petroleum texture and sit on top of the skin. If you have an oily skin composition, only apply it to the areas showing signs of dehydration.

Love & Respect

Maddie x

Before you go, check out my go to products for a dehydrated skin

Dermaviduals Cleanser - removes makeup, spa and pollution without disrupting the skin barrier

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin B5 Serum - double hit of humectants at a bargain price.

Comfort Zone Hydramemory Essence - As light as a toner but packed with powerful serum ingredients, really easy to layer and reapply.

Neostrata Ultra Moisturising Face Cream or Dermaviduals High Classic Plus - hydrates and protects all in one

An intensive treatment to kick start your journey check out these ampoules.

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