Your skin produces oil. Sebum, an oily or waxy substance, moisturizes and protects your skin and hair. In the case of dry skin, sebum production is unusually low creating a fragile natural barrier. Usually dry skin doesn’t have a shiny or glossy look. The pores are small, practically invisible. Dry skin is not prone to acne, at any age. However, dry skin is subject to irritation, scaling, and even more, sun damage. Since the barrier that protects skin is more fragile in dry skin, irritation, which could be severe, is more common.
What is Scaly Skin?
What is scaly skin? A very common condition in dry skin is flakes and scales. Sebum is the binder that keeps cells together. When they die and they become detach from the rest, the result is flakes.
Tips and Pitfalls to Avoid
Although skin type is determined by the skin’s own ability to produce oil to contribute to skin’s barrier, dry skin is more prone to dehydration as water loss is more common when the barrier to contain it is not so sturdy.
Because skin cells are lost at a faster pace than for any other skin type, it is always recommended to use actives that can promote activity of the skin biome and in turn, regeneration of cells that can produce skin’s treasures such as collagen, elastin, and sebum. Look for bacillus or other fermentation products on the label.
Careful with abusing sebaceous derivatives, you may end up clogging your pores and have dry skin with signs of acne, not a pretty picture. It is also very tempting to exfoliate to eliminate the flakes that can be common in dry to very dry skin. If that is your case, stay clear from mechanical (either physical like bead-containing products or water activated powders or chemical exfoliants) and choose a non-mechanical like bromelain or papain, which gently “chew” those dead cells, promoting proliferation and well-being of healthy ones.
Chamomile and Nettle: which haves the ability to calm and soothe sensitive skin. It They also has have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and blemishes. Thanks to its abundance of flavonoids and phytochemicals, is is known to they can also fight against harmful free radicals and speed up cell regeneration, thereby improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.
Lactic and Malic Acid: As fermentation by-products (or postbiotics), they help skin’s regeneration. These wonderful mildly acidic actives may function as skin brighteners, by gently exfoliating thicker areas (which are the consequence of degradation of cells followed by darkening), promoting the health of the microbiome, and inhibiting the growth of melanin. They promote the health of the skin from within, while clearing out signs of skin damage.
Sea Buckthorn Oil: Albeit having amazing protective and restorative properties, it is not very widely present in formulations today. Himalayan natives use it to prevent windburn, chaffing and other effects of exposure to arguably one of the harshest environments in the planet. You may think of it as the oil version of Aloe Vera, which is another great ingredient for dry skin.