If you have dry skin, then you'll already know that it can feel tight, itchy and uncomfortable – and even more so in winter, when the harsh cold and wind only make things worse. Dry skin is often misunderstood and confused with dehydrated skin. It tends to lack radiance, and may be prone to flaking. But there are things you can do and products you can use that will make it feel and look much better!
How do you recognize dry skin?
The skin is our first line of defense against environmental aggressors (pollution, UV rays, wind, cold, etc.). It naturally produces a protective film, called the hydrolipidic film, composed of two substances that are essential for its health: water and sebum.
This natural layer of protection is much less effective in some people than in others, and this is usually due to genetic reasons. Just like oily or combination skin, dry skin is a skin type – and your skin type is not something that you choose or that you can change. Dryness is also a consequence of skin aging. As we get older, sebum production slows down, plus the hormones that play a role in skin hydration decline with menopause. So even oily skin becomes drier with the passing years. Some medications can also cause skin dryness, but in this case, the dryness is only temporary, and by using the right skincare products, you can restore comfort and suppleness.
When the skin shows signs of dryness, this is often due to a drop in the production of lipids, which are among the key components of the hydrolipidic film. As a result, the skin can no longer fully perform its protective role. It becomes more sensitive, reacts more easily to harsh environmental factors, and loses its elasticity. Moreover, it no longer produces enough sebum – a key element that usually keeps skin soft and beautiful. The complexion looks dull, and the signs of time (wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, etc.) may appear earlier – even from as young as 30 – in areas where the skin lacks suppleness, but also where it is finer, such as around the eyes. As for the body, if you have dry skin, it tends to flake easily. The skin of both the face and body may feel tight, uncomfortable, and perhaps even itchy.
However, beyond all the disadvantages of dry skin, there are a few positives! Dry skin looks fine textured and pores are barely visible. It is rarely shiny during the day, and makeup usually stays on well.
Dry skin tends to feel rough to the touch, especially after cleansing, which can be tough on the skin if the water is too hard or the cleanser too harsh. This feeling of roughness is due to the fact that the stratum corneum is too fine or not sufficiently watertight. The skin becomes drier, and more prone to redness and tightness.
Dry skin or dehydrated skin?
Because the "lipid cement" of dry skin is defective, the water in skin cells evaporates faster. While there are similarities between dry and dehydrated skin, it's important not to confuse them. Any skin type can be dehydrated – this is not something that is specific to dry skin. Dehydration refers to a skin condition that is temporary. Plus, it can be resolved by using appropriate skincare products, rich in water-based active ingredients that help to maintain moisture levels.
Dehydrated skin feels uncomfortable but, contrary to dry skin, the T-zone may still remain shiny, and it's usually the cheeks that are affected. The skin may also feel tight after a very hot shower or after cleaning it with tap water.
As we've already mentioned, it's important to remember that this state of dehydration is not permanent. You simply have to rehydrate the skin with moisture-rich, natural, certified-organic skincare products so that it can feel comfortable again.
Dry skin, in the meantime, needs a beauty routine rich in "oily" active ingredients in order to deeply nourish the skin, and leave it feeling soothed and comfortable.
What does dry skin need?
Dry and very dry skin essentially need oils to compensate for the lack of lipids. If the skin of your face is dehydrated as well (when dry skin is dehydrated, it looks dull), the best thing to do is to adopt a skincare routine that will hold in moisture, so the skin will be better protected and can get its glow back.
Cleanse without drying
In general, due to the characteristics of dry skin, it's essential to pay close attention to the ingredients in any skincare products used, and especially in cleansing products. Many conventional cleansers contain active ingredients that can make the skin even more sensitive. One example of these is sulfates – harsh surfactants that can strip the skin of the natural oils on its surface. Look for natural and certified-organic formulas that don't contain any controversial ingredients, so you can give your skin all the comfort and care it deserves.
Cleansing is a vital step for beautiful skin, as it removes impurities that have built up during the day. Dry skin – just like all other skin types – needs to be cleansed daily, but ever so gently!
If you're not sure which cleanser to use, let us give you a little help!
La Crème Douce Démaquillante is an effective dual-action solution that both removes makeup and cleanses the skin. It contains St John's Wort extract and Neroli hydrosol, which work to soothe and soften the skin, while Cocoa Butter deeply nourishes.
If you prefer ultra-nourishing, oily textures, opt for Le Baume Céleste. It contains Chaulmoogra Oil, to help correct skin concerns, and is also rich in Blue Tansy, which helps to calm reactive skin.
Both of these cleansers dissolve impurities and makeup, without disrupting the balance of delicate skin.
Exfoliate – but gently !
If you're already suffering from dry skin, you may not be too keen on the idea of using a face scrub! Yet it's still important to exfoliate. Once every two weeks is often enough. Over time, dead skin cells build up on the skin's surface – and this applies to dry skin too. By exfoliating, you'll remove these dead cells and leave the skin more receptive to any products applied afterwards.
However, it is important to take into account the size of the granules in your face scrub. If they're too big (e.g. salt or sugar), you risk causing tiny lesions that will damage the skin further. Look for enzymatic exfoliants (which don't contain granules) or a mechanical exfoliant made with exfoliating powders, which are more gentle on the skin.
La Crème Gommante is formulated with granules derived from the fossil shells of diatom microalgae. These rid the skin of dead cells and stimulate cell renewal. This exfoliating cream can be used in two ways.
As an enzymatic exfoliant: apply to dry skin, leave on for 15 minutes so that the fruit acids in the formula eat away dead cells, then rinse off.
As a mechanical exfoliant: massage over damp skin with circular movements, to gently exfoliate.
It can be used on both dry and very dry skin; simply choose the method that works best for your skin!
Nourish and repair
Morning and evening, make sure you use formulas designed for dry skin types, rich in botanical oils and nourishing active ingredients. To boost their effectiveness, start by misting your face with La Brume Systémique – a bi-phase formula that works to protect, soothe and nourish the skin.
Next, nourish your skin with a certified-organic skincare product.
La Crème Riche delivers instant comfort, even for the most sensitive areas of the face, thanks to Calendula extract (Calendula is renowned for its softening benefits). It also contains Argan Oil – a powerful ingredient that helps to restore the hydrolipidic film, and replenishes the skin with nutrients while helping to slow down the effects of skin aging. It's ideal for extra-sensitive dry skin that's easily damaged.
La Crème du Jour contains antioxidant ingredients, so it's perfect for helping to prevent the signs of skin aging. Formulated with Green Tea extract, Calcium and Centella Asiatica, it works to protect, energize, and regenerate the skin, and provides all the nutrients your skin needs to function properly and be beautiful.
And why shouldn't men enjoy soft skin too? La Crème de l’Homme contains cold-pressed Baobab Oil, rich in fatty acids, and Hyaluronic Acid, to protect your skin while improving suppleness and firmness.
All these creams can be combined with a facial oil. Contrary to popular belief, oils do not make the skin more oily, as long as you choose the right ones! Our multi-action face oil, Addiction, is a nourishing blend of 27 botanical oils that repairs, restores balance, illuminates, and more! It's perfect if you want to help your dry skin get its glow back!
Give an extra dose of hydration
To give dry skin a moisturizing boost, treat it to Le Masque Velours Repulpant. This intense moisturizing mask can be left on for 10 minutes or overnight. Ideal for skin that lacks radiance and comfort, its replenishing formula leaves your face looking beautifully smooth.
Le Sérum Anti-Soif is the ultimate product for skin suffering from dehydration. This thirst-quenching serum replenishes your skin with moisture for up to eight hours, to give a feeling of absolute comfort.
Choose targeted skincare products
If you're looking for a product for the fragile eye area, to reduce the appearance of fine lines, apply a few drops of La Crème Réparatrice Regard.
Finally, don't forget your lips, which are also prone to dryness. Le Baume is perfect for rescuing chapped lips, but can also be used on other, very dry areas of the face (cheeks, nose, etc.).
Now you know exactly which Absolution products to use to care for your dry skin!