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Image by Susan Wilkinson

Dry & Sensitive Skin

What causes dry skin?

The skin feels dry and cracked when the outer layer of your skin called the stratum corneum has abnormalities in its barrier function. This lack in barrier function causing a reduction in lipids (fats) and a reduction in water-holding ability. There are many causes for this related to your environment and also your general health and wellbeing and diet. Some people are more prone to dryness including people with eczema, but also the skin will become drier with age and in postmenopausal women. 

Super sensitive or intolerant skin

It is estimated around 50% of us have ‘sensitive skin’ and 10% have ‘super sensitive skin’. With the large number of beauty products (not just makeup but also shower gels and toothpastes!) used on a daily basis we are exposed to large numbers of chemical constituents and preservatives. If you are one of these sufferers it can make applying any product very nerve wracking. 

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Comfortable balanced skin can be achieved by supporting a healthy skin barrier 

Cleansing skin
All soap based products strip the skin of natural oils and can be extremely drying. Try swapping your soap or shower gel for a soap free cleanser. You will notice the difference and may find you do not need to use as many moisturisers. If you have skin problems such as acne or eczema there are soothing multi-tasking products that cleanse and calm skin.

Try to avoid common allergens such as fragrances and use products suitable for sensitive skins. Remember that ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ products still contain chemicals commonly aromatic fragrances.

It is estimated around 50% of us have 'sensitive skin' and 10% have 'super sensitive skin'

Seasonal and environmental challenges to skin

Skin care needs to change with the seasons as the weather changes dramatically in the UK. 

Image by Bernard Hermant

"The winter months can be hard on our skin. It is just as important to take care of it during this season"

Studies have shown that skin moisture levels will generally increase during the summer months, and fall during winter months. This is suspected to be related to lower lipid production and reduced skin barrier function during the winter. Key skin lipids including ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids that are important in maintaining the water barrier of the skin have been shown in studies to be dramatically depleted during the winter months compared with the spring and summer months. This is likely to explain the dryness that we all feel in our skin during winter.

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