Top causes behind dry skin

Dry skin is more than dehydration. Here’s everything you need to know!

  • People with dry skin naturally lack a strong lipid barrier, which leads to water loss and dehydration.
  • Knowing what causes truly dry skin will give you more than relief – it will allow you to treat dry skin at the source.

If you have dry skin, you likely seek out ultra-moisturizing products for quick relief. But did you know that dry skin needs more than just hydration?

The latest scientific research shows that healthy skin starts with the right balance of a strong lipid barrier, hydration, and an optimal microbiome (aka microbial environment). If any of these factors are imbalanced, skin can look and feel compromised. People with truly dry (alipoid) skin naturally lack a strong lipid barrier; they don’t have enough lipids to maintain optimal skin health.

Let’s take a closer look at the lipid barrier – and how you can help strengthen yours for healthy, hydrated skin.

What is the lipid barrier?
Think of lipids as the “mortar” between your skin’s “bricks”, or corneocytes. This lipid barrier is found in the stratum corneum (your outermost layer of skin), and it’s our first line of defense against internal and external factors that can affect skin dryness. A strong lipid barrier helps prevent excess water loss and keeps out external forms of assault like UV radiation, heat and cold, and environmental irritants.

what is a chemical peel?

What happens when skin’s lipid barrier is compromised?
When skin’s lipid barrier is weakened, the first thing that happens is water loss, a.k.a. dehydration. This results in flakiness, dryness, dullness and fine dehydration lines. At this point, skin is more susceptible to environmental assault and signs of premature ageing.

What else causes a weak lipid barrier?
If you have dry skin, your skin naturally lacks a strong lipid barrier – but there are other contributing factors that can influence barrier performance, too. Paying attention to them can help you better manage dry skin.

  1. Ageing depletes skin’s natural lipids over time.
  2. Seasonal changes like low temperature and low humidity can result in decreased lipids and increased sensitivity.
  3. Cleansing, over-exfoliating and certain skin care ingredients – including alcohol, acetone, and harsh surfactants – can damage the skin barrier.
  4. Dietary changes, including reduced fat consumption, can result in lipid deficiency.
  5. Stress, UV exposure and some diseases can also damage the skin barrier or delay recovery.

What does dry skin need?
For all the complex factors that can influence dry skin and lipid barrier recovery, the solution is relatively simple: focus your skin care regimen around products that nourish your lipid barrier. Look for products that are rich in plant oils and contain ingredients like ceramides, fatty acids (e.g., Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid), and sterols.

Dermalogica’s Intensive Moisture Balance nourishes 10 layers deep to restore the skin’s lipid barrier while Intensive Moisture Cleanser removes even long-wear make-up while nourishing skin. Plus, they’re both formulated with a state-of-the-art BioReplenish Complex™, which works on a molecular level to deliver a proven combination of key barrier lipids that help enhance skin’s natural resilience and support barrier recovery.

Need help choosing the right products for your dry skin? Book in for a complimentary skin consultation with one of our Skin Therapists.


Behind the brown spot

Dark marks, brown spots & more: hyperpigmentation, demystified.

Brown spots have a major influence on how old people think we are. In fact, one study showed that unbalanced skin tone can make a person look more than 12 years older! The big questions: where do they come from, and what can you do about them?

It helps to understand the science behind brown spots. The official term for brown spots and other forms of skin discolouration is hyperpigmentation. Unlike freckles, hyperpigmentation doesn’t fade in winter and, unfortunately, it becomes more visible as we age.

But what causes it? Irregular production of melanin (the brown or reddish pigment in skin). Certain triggers – unprotected sun exposure in particular – causes this irregular production, which leads to surface color-clumping. Other causes include hormonal factors (birth control pills and pregnancy), and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) caused by past trauma or scarring (think a popped pimple or a deep cut). Hormonal hyperpigmentation and PIH are both intensified by sun exposure.

30 minutes unprotected in the sun can undo a month’s worth of effort in fighting hyperpigmentation

So, what to do about it? Here’s how to figure out what’s causing your brown spots – and take action.

Call in the experts

Despite Ask a Dermalogica skin therapist for a free Face Mapping® skin analysis and consultation to get to the root of your brown spots. Knowing your personal triggers will reveal the best treatment. They can even recommend professional treatments that can help you banish dark spots faster!

Apply SPF daily

Sunscreen helps prevent UV light from bringing new spots to the surface – and it also helps control the colour intensity of the spots you can see. Wear it daily to make the most of the treatments you try – spending just 30 minutes unprotected in the sun can undo a month’s worth of effort in fighting hyperpigmentation!

Know your ingredients

There are a number of ingredients that can help address hyperpigmentation, but Vitamin C stands out as one of the most powerful. As one of the most potent antioxidants available, it’s highly effective at scavenging free radicals. New research shows that it can also enhance skin’s natural defence system, helping it defend itself against future oxidative stress – effectively brightening skin from inside and out. Just make sure to choose a Vitamin C formula that’s both ultra-stable and highly bioavailable.

Be patient

There’s no quick fix for hyperpigmentation: it can take at least 30 days of skin care treatment (with sunscreen use) before you see any progress. Additionally, some spots may look darker before they lighten; this is because they gradually rise to the skin’s surface as you continue to exfoliate. But stick with it, and you’ll eventually see brighter, firmer, more radiant skin!



How to store skin care products

Home storage habits can affect how well your skin care products work on your skin. High-quality skin care in airless pumps and tubes can remain highly-effective for several years when stored away from heat. But every product becomes vulnerable to air, temperature and bacteria as soon as it is opened.

To get the maximum benefit and life out of your Dermalogica products, follow these storage tips from our professional skin therapists:

  • keep daily microfoliant® out of the shower

If water gets inside the container of this popular powder-to-emulsion formula, it can cause clumping and activate ingredients too early, reducing effectiveness on the skin.

  • SPF products should be in the shade

Hot temperatures can shorten product life and decrease the effectiveness of active ingredients such as those in sunscreens.

  • take lip treatments out of the car

Hot cars are bad for all products, but they can completely melt (aka ruin) lip products. Once melted, a product should not be used, even if cooled and solidified.

  • steer clear of the window sill

Store products in cool, dark places to preserve the integrity of their ingredients. The refrigerator is great for toners and masques because it adds a more refreshing, cooling effect!