Best Moisturizer for Dry Sensitive Skin UK 2019
A major component of feeling beautiful is feeling comfortable in your skin. Treating dry or reactive skin so it just feels… normal can make a world of difference in terms of your entire outlook. Dry or irritated skin can be caused by a laundry list of potential factors extreme weather, contact allergens, airborne allergens, diabetes, psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, thyroid malfunction, drug interactions, vitamin deficiencies… you name it. Zeroing in on the causes is critical in returning your skin to a happy, healthy state.
Your skin is full of moisture—we’re more than 70 % water, after all. The challenge is retaining that moisture. The skin is also full of oils and lipids designed to keep moisture within, but sun exposure, ageing, temperature extremes, and outside aggressors (alcohol, detergents, or other chemicals) can dry out your skin. Moisturizers of all types from oils to serums to gel-creams—form a barrier that keeps moisture from escaping, in different degrees. Irritation also interferes with the skin’s barrier function, which is why dryness and skin sensitivity can be so intertwined; one can definitely lead to the other. Inflammation naturally builds on itself, so ignoring the problem or leaving your skin alone is not the solution.
Maybe you are suffering seasonally or constantly or the problem could be severe or mild, arriving at the ultimate regimen that keeps your skin supple, dewy, and comfortable is an achievable goal for most people. It does involve experimentation and tinkering with your routine, however; no one solution works for everyone, especially because the causes of dryness and irritation are so varied.
Behavioural changes can absolutely make a difference—for instance, limiting the time you spend in the shower or bath can help since water, especially hot water, is counterintuitively drying. Dietary changes like consuming more healthy oils can also work wonders. Exercise is amazing for increasing circulation, which can help with skin hydration. The detergents you wash your clothes and bedding in can cause sensitivity and inflammation, and they can contribute to dryness; ditto dishwashing liquids and other cleaners. A switch to clean detergents and cleaning products formulated for sensitive skin might make a difference.
Your Hydration Routine
You can tailor your routine to your particular preferences and sensitivities to a certain degree, but the core elements of your routine should include: cleansing, moisturizing, layering, exfoliating, and taking internal supplements. Here, how to put it all together:
How to cleanse your skin- Your both face and body is an important factor to look at when you are struggling with dry or sensitive skin. Try to avoid pretty much anything that contains foams or lathers as it is your enemy. Lather = detergent, in most cases. Traditional “moisturizing” body washes, for example, they may combine the moisturizing ingredients with the detergents (not to mention perfumes, which can further irritate and dehydrate)—which can spell serious trouble for dry skin. You should consider oil, cream, or balm cleansers (nontoxic, clean ones are much more likely to include only moisturizing ingredients as opposed to fillers and texturizers), and consider cleansing less. Do you know that your skin is not actually dirty in the morning when you wake- so don’t bother disrupting it with cleansing all the time. If you think that you want to clean then finish immediately with an oil or moisturizer. When you are taking shower, cleansing oils or creams are ideal, and a super-gentle (the gentle is important), also a very oily scrub can lightly exfoliate and moisturize all at once.
How thick a lotion or cream can be is often indicates how moisturizing it can be. But do you know that what you see isn’t always what you get? Conventional moisturizers can appear thick, but much of that richness can be added fillers and texturizers. Also, silicones can be particularly deceptive; they add nothing to the actual hydrating power of a moisturizer but are used to make products feel more moisturizing, blendable, and comforting. Another common texture-enhancer, propylene glycol (a.k.a. antifreeze), makes the products feel softer and gentler, but it does nothing to actually nourish or help your skin. Alternatively, there are some ultra-hydrating serums that may feel like practically nothing on the skin. Still, in general, and especially when you are working with clean, nontoxic products, a thicker product is fairly reliable and it gives an indication of more moisturizing power.
Applying moisturizers or any nontoxic products, really when your skin is wet is a good idea for two reasons, the obvious being that it seals in the water that’s on your skin. But the more important aspect is that wet skin is more porous, so treatment ingredients, in this case, hydration can penetrate into deeper layers of the skin, where they can do the most good.
In addition to moisturizers, there is a handful of other classes of products that deliver the same results. Below we outline the philosophy behind using balms, oils, creams, lotions, and serums:
Why use a balm?
The thickest, most skin-coddling, nourishing option in moisturizing. Also, your average balm is not something that you are going to want to put on under makeup: A good one is thick, occlusive, and super-healing. Most balms are nicely multipurpose and great on the skin, but also on lips, and on dry or rough spots all over the body. You can also use balm over sunblock in extreme weather condition like skiing.
Why use oil?
We know that oils are the original moisturizer used by many women in the world for centuries. They can vary in texture, colour and depending on the type of oil, so definitely you should experiment with a few before deciding yea or nay. You should use an oil just like a normal moisturizer, though they normally take a few minutes to sink in before you apply makeup over it. You should apply face and/or body oils regularly. You can use this body oil when you take bath instead of products that are labelled “bath oil,” which, especially in the world of conventional beauty products, mix oil with detergents to make the oil disperse evenly. (Yes, this is as drying as it sounds.) The general rule of thumb is: If it foams then it’s seriously not good for dry skin. Body oil ‘100% oil—will leave your tub a little slippery (and be careful, as the number one place household accidents occur is the bathroom), but will also leave itself on your skin, gloriously if unevenly. Also when you take hot baths; it can be very drying, using body oil in the tub can help you retain moisture.
Another thing oils are amazing for is, oddly, refreshing makeup. You know that 5 p.m. slump when your skin looks faded and tired and you feel like you should redo your makeup? Try to smooth a little face oil onto your fingertips and pat onto your skin over makeup—it will definitely enliven your face as well as fresh your whole look and you won’t need more layers of makeup.
Why use a cream?
Do you know that one of the most serious advantages of a nice, good quality, rich face or body cream is the texture? A cream can distribute its moisture more evenly than any other products and it can last longer on the skin than any of your average oil or even balm. Creams are also very fantastic for sealing in an oil or a serum.
Why use a lotion?
Some of us actually don’t like the feeling of a heavy cream on our faces; lotions are generally lighter. This lotion can be a little less moisturizing, but not necessarily. The important thing is if you love a lighter texture, pick a lotion and use it often. If you enjoy the experience, you’ll stick to it and consistency is key.
Why use a serum?
When you see a serum that is a light texture that means they’re less moisturizing. While there are exceptions to that rule, think of most serums as the best way to deliver active ingredients (brighteners or firming or anti-wrinkle ingredients). Most of the women who have any kind of dry skin issue; they are going to prefer a moisturizer or oil over a serum.
People with dry skin or irritable skin try to avoid exfoliating because they think that it can worsen their problem. If you are exfoliating too much then it will absolutely dry your skin and it can seriously disrupt the protective mantle of your skin and compromise its barrier function. But the right amount of exfoliation makes skin function better all over, plus it allows treatment ingredients to sink in further.
Scrubs made with lots of oils and emollients feel especially good if your skin is dry; you have to watch your step in the shower, but you’ll emerge fully moisturized, without having to apply lotion or cream after. At the very least, they give you a head start in terms of layering on the product and sealing in moisture.
Chemical exfoliants, for example, AHAs, BHAs or plant enzymes like papaya—can be the best solution for dry or irritation-prone skin, but use them extremely cautiously, because their strength varies widely. AHAs were actually initially developed to treat an extremely dry skin condition called ichthyosis; their exfoliating qualities allow treatment to penetrate and smooth the surface in a way that can help treat irritation, too. But a too-harsh AHA on the dry or irritated skin can compound the problem; so again, proceed with caution and consult a dermatologist if need be.
A Dermatologist’s Perspective: How to TREAT SENSITIVE SKIN
One of only a small handful of physicians in the country who is board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, Dr Amy Wechsler adds another dimension to her practice. When using the latest technologies or techniques, she has treats a big range of dermatologic conditions—beginning with a careful evaluation of the patient’s psychological stressors and skincare concerns. Here, she weighs in on sensitive-skin issues.
How much chronic skin sensitivity do you find is caused by purely environmental factors?
A great deal—there is a lot of over-scrubbing and cleansing that can cause skin sensitivity, in addition to dry winters, not enough humidity, not using humidifiers, and other factors. Americans tend to overly cleanse their skin—I think we’re ingrained with the thought that if one’s skin isn’t squeaky clean, then it’s not clean enough, but squeaky-clean skin means that the natural oils were stripped away. Also, unprotected sun exposure dries the skin and can cause sensitivity. Pollution is another cause of chronic skin sensitivity, and pollution worsens, so does skin sensitivity.
We also use too many products. Fragrance often causes sensitivity; other ingredients can do it as well.
Exfoliation can help dry skin—to an extent, and then it quickly becomes a negative. How should people modulate their exfoliation use?
Anyone with dry or sensitive skin should be really careful with exfoliating. Do it infrequently, and use something gentle that doesn’t sting, burn, or hurt in any way. Someone with sensitive, dry skin can exfoliate just once or twice a week. Toners or exfoliants with a low concentration of salicylic acid (0.5%) or brown sugar are typically gentle enough for sensitive skin. I like my patients to wash their faces with their clean hands instead of a washcloth or device since the latter can often be too harsh.
How do stress and other psychological factors play a role in the sensitive skin?
Does stress play a role in the dry skin as well? The brain and the skin have myriad interconnections. Stress and sleep deprivation can induce temporary sensitivity in someone who is typically not sensitive, and they can also worsen sensitivity in someone who is constitutionally sensitive. Stress causes an increase in cortisol, and cortisol does many bad things: It causes inflammation, collagen breakdown, and also an increase in trans-epidermal water loss, which makes the skin’s barrier function less healthy, leading to both dryness and sensitivity. A product that someone usually tolerates well can all of a sudden cause an itchy rash in someone experiencing temporarily sensitive skin.
What are the best at-home steps a person can take to control dry skin?
Take short showers only once a day, and use a mild cleanser or soap—and no washcloths. Moisturize right after showering, and at least one other time during the day. Use a humidifier during winter, and you can try whole-milk compresses if you have eczema.