Updated: Jan 10
If you live in Colorado you probably know what dry skin feels like. It is not very fun. Sometimes the skin gets really itchy and red, or can even crack.
WHY DOES THE SKIN GET DEHYDRATED IN A DRY CLIMATE?
When the humidity is low, your body doesn’t sweat as much as in a more humid environment. On top of that, water evaporation from your body is faster than in a humid climate. Under such conditions, your body is not able to replenish the water content quickly. As a result, your skin becomes dehydrated, irritated, rough, and itchy.
The condition is called TEWL- transepidermal water loss. It refers to the loss of water that passes through the epidermis ( the top layer of the skin) and evaporates into the air. Even though TEWL is a natural process, it can be exacerbated by low-humidity climate, harsh skin care products, and skin damage.
Dehydrated skin is prone to fine lines and wrinkles. It typically looks dull and lifeless. People who suffer from dry skin experience early signs of aging.
HOW TO LOCK THE MOISTURE IN THE SKIN AND PREVENT TEWL (transepidermal water loss)?
1. Change your cleanser!
Let me clarify. Using a harsh, foaming cleanser that gives you that squeaky clean feeling on the face can cause a lot of damage in the long run. Moreover, it can exacerbate the TWL (transepidermal water loss) of the skin. If you struggle with an oily skin type and, at the same time, dry on the surface (crazy, right?!), you can quickly get into this trap. It makes sense that you want to wash that oil off your skin. However, scrubbing your skin off with a product will only make it worse.
For nearly all skin types (dry, combination, and oily) I recommend using a gentle cleanser which will keep your skin clean without compromising the protective barrier. Ideally to use gel, non-foaming cleanser.
2. Consider using humectants!
They are known for their ability to retain moisture in the skin. Some of the great skincare ingredients to use would be Hyaluronic acid serum, Aloe vera, Urea, Allantoin, Sorbitol, etc.
My absolute favorite Aloe vera gel is skin healing gel from REJUVI.
It is essential to understand that using a humectant in a dry climate can be tricky!
Humectants help to keep the moisture in the skin. However, when there is not enough moisture in the environment, the humectant can pull the skin’s water out to the air. That’s why merely applying aloe vera gel or hyaluronic acid serum alone is not enough and can even be harmful to your skin.
The right way to use a humectant is to apply it after skin cleansing and then seal it with a good moisturizer containing both water and oil-based ingredients.
3. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen!!!
Applying sunscreen is an essential step in the home care regimen. Regardless of what part of the world you live in, you MUST wear sun protection all year round. The reason is that UV (ultraviolet) rays, whether it is UVA or UVB, both are damaging to your skin. They participate in premature aging, wrinkle formation, damaged DNA in skin cells, and even skin cancer.
Colorado is particularly tricky when it comes to wearing sunscreen. First of all, in Colorado, we are about 6,800 ft above sea level. It means we are closer to the sun. Also, the atmospheric layer is thinner at a higher altitude, meaning more UV rays pass through it. During wintertime, mainly, the sun rays get reflected from the snow, and we have to be particularly careful and diligent when it comes to the protection of our skin.
The sunblock has to be no less than SPF 30. If you are struggling with any kind of pigmentation on your skin (melasma, brown spots, freckles), I would recommend SPF 50. I prefer using ZINC Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients in the sunscreen.
If you spend most of the day outside, it is recommended that you reapply your sunscreen every 3 hours. The best and easiest Sunblock I found is Zinc it over by Seriously Fab. It can be applied over your makeup. You don’t have to touch your face. Just spray it on, and you good to go. Also, this sunscreen has a great ingredient list. Check it out!
4. Water, water, water!!!
Everybody knows that it is essential to keep your body hydrated. However, little do people think water has to be adequately digested to keep all the organs and cells hydrated.
I recommend adding lemon juice or a little bit of Apple cider vinegar into your water. As we all know, our stomach needs acid to digest food properly. The same thing happens with water. Moreover, both lemon juice and ACV are very alkalizing for the body.
If your stomach is susceptible, it would be good to start slow and add a tiny amount of lemon juice or ACV, like half of a teaspoon per 32oz of water.
Eating lots of hydrating fruits and vegetables (cucumbers, watermelon, apples, celery, etc.) is essential to keep your whole body and skin healthy and hydrated.
5. Increase humidity level at home and your workplace!!!
Investing in a good humidifier can be a game-changer when it comes to the health of your skin.
A humidifier can help to increase the humidity level in the air and prevent TEWL.