Monday, January 24, 2011

Is Your Skin Truly Dry or Just Thirsty?

Many people think they have dry skin (because it feels dry), when really they are simply dehydrated. Although true-dry skin and dehydrated skin feel the same, their causes are totally different, and the treatment of each, separate condition is also very different.

BACKGROUND: Dehydrated skin feels dry, but this is actually just an indication of a large build-up of dead cells on the surface of your skin. It is the job of these cells to retain moisture in the form of oil and water. If there are too many dead cells on the surface, more water is needed to keep all the cells moist.

True-dry skin is a condition where your sebaceous (oil) glands are not producing enough oil to lubricate your outer skin. The outer skin is kept moisturized from both water at the surface (and from the air) as well as sebum being excreted from your oil glands. Simply put, true-dry skin does not produce enough oil to keep the outer skin moist. 

TREATMENT: With true-dry skin, the treatment is fairly basic. The skin needs to be kept moisturized at all times. Because the sebaceous glands are not producing enough oil, you want to provide a sufficient amount of oil through product application.

Dehydration means there is an excessive dead cell buildup on the surface of your skin, and you need to exfoliate. No amount of moisturizing will truly fix the problem, but through regular and thorough exfoliation, you can greatly reduce or eliminate dehydration.

Understanding this simple difference between these two separate conditions can keep you from experiencing a skin care catastrophe when purchasing your skin care products. 

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