Dry Skin Basics
Guest Contributor: Sarah Ban
December 30, 2020
Ever slather on a cream only to find your skin is still flaking or parched? Ever feel you have to constantly apply moisturizer just to keep it from feeling tight and looking chalky? Dry skin seems like a no-brainer skin issue—apply moisturizer and your skin will be, well, moisturized. But in order to truly optimize your skin’s balance, you need to understand the root cause—and the proper approach to fix it in both the short and long term.
The Real Cause of Dry Skin
We all know factors like winter, winds and excessive dehydration can cause dry skin, but to truly understand what’s going on, it’s time to zoom in with a microscope. A healthy skin barrier contains a specific ratio of equal ceramide, cholesterol and free-fatty acids. These elements essentially act as the “glue” that holds skin cells together, while preventing too much evaporation of water (hydration). With the ideal balance of all three, your skin looks radiant, smooth and healthy. On the flip side, if that ratio is disrupted—by aggressive environmental factors but also individual lifestyle and skincare choices—then, the skin barrier becomes compromised.
Let’s explore the top reasons why the skin barrier becomes weaker, resulting in visibly dry skin:
- Low levels of ceramide, the moisture-holding agent found in the skin’s lipids
- Low sebum (oil), which is vital to lubricating skin layers and acts as a protectant
- Cold, dry weather
- Harsh skincare ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and retinol
- Aging skin
- Hormonal changes
How to Replenish Dry Skin for Good
There are plenty of steps you can take to help restore the moisture in your skin. It all starts with daily healthy habits, notably:
- Avoiding long, too-hot showers that remove moisture from skin
- If your home is extra-day due to indoor heating, use a humidifier
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate from the inside out, and commit to a wholesome, veggie-rich diet
And of course, you can always upgrade your skincare regimen—particularly with one that specifically targets the root physiological causes of dry skin on top of addressing hydration (hydration and moisture are two separate features and you want to address both).
First and foremost, start your regimen with a lotion-like face cleanser that doesn’t strip the natural moisture barrier, like Milky Lotion Cleanser. Next, hydrate and restore! Most traditional moisturizers focus only on hydration, which is only half the battle. The Epionce Renewal products, on the other hand, also contain the ideal ratio of skin barrier lipids necessary to work with the skin’s natural ability to combat dryness. This allows the skin to better hold moisture, resulting in a vibrant luminosity.
If you’re faced with what seems like chronically dry skin, try the Renewal Facial Cream or Intensive Nourishing Cream, both of which provide the lipids in a barrier-reinforcing cholesterol-dominant ratio of 3:1:1 to minimize dry, brittle skin. For the body, try the Enriched Body Cream or Medical Barrier Cream, especially for rough areas like elbows, knees, hands, and feet.