Surface dryness is when the skin is lacking in moisture, which is very common and any type of skin can have it from time to time. It is caused by multiple factors but is most often due to the lack of protective moisture, wrong choice of products, an extra cold climate or too much sun without the right protection. To tell if your skin is dry, press the tip of your nose in an upwards direction, or gently pinch the skin on your chin. If you see small fine lines straight away then you most likely have surface dryness. Your skin will also feel noticeably tight.
A common mistake especially among those suffering from oily skin or acne is to use products that overly dry out the skin. This then causes the skin to feel dry and tight as well as becoming shiny during the day. The moistureless outer layer creates a barrier which does not allow sebum to smear over the skin the way it normally does. The pores then become blocked which causes pimples which can then create the need for further drying products. Even white heads are common on surface dry skin because they are caused when old skin cells (keratin) build up and cause a blockage.
The dry surface needs to be removed in order for moisture to penetrate and nourish the skin.
- Exfoliate regularly with a product that removes old skin cells which in turn will aid in the absorption of nutrients and moisturising products.
Tip : Make sure to use an exfoliant that is suitable for your skin type. AHA acids suit most skin types because it dissolves the bonds between the skin cells and allows you to wash away the dry skin layer. This results in a more even, soft and clear skin surface. AHA acids can also improve the moisture levels in the skin.
- Apply a moisturising serum underneath your day or night cream to give a much needed boost deeper within the skin, and be sure to use a moisturising face mask every once in a while, preferably at night. Make sure to protect your skin against the cold and wind with a softening cream.
It is also important that your skincare routine is tailored to your skin type.
- Try a cleansing milk, which both moisturises and softens without interfering with the skins’ own pH balance. Even greasy skin, shiny skin and acne prone skin can also become dry on the surface and require moisture. A good alternative when you do not want to use a heavy cream is to use a light gel cream and complement it with a moisturising serum underneath.