When you’re suffering from dehydration and sensitivity, it can really affect your skin in more ways that one. Not only will you be prone to redness and discomfort, you skin may look dull, dry, wrinkled, and taut. It will also be more susceptible to acne and heal slower. If you need a reminder on how bad dehydrated skin can end up, check out the worst my skin has ever looked. If you’re not sure whether dehydration and sensitivity are what’s causing your issues, find out here.
To start on the road to healing, it’s imperative to treat the root causes of dehydration and sensitivity: irritation and improper care.
Start using a more gentle cleanser
The first line of treatment for dehydration and sensitivity entails removing the strong foaming cleansers from your routine and instead using a gentle, fragrance free, non-foaming cleanser (I’d recommend something creamy like Neutrogena Ultra Gentle or gentle like Garnier Micellar Water)
Switch out your moisturiser
You should be using a moisturiser that contains water-binding humectant ingredients. These pull water from the deeper layers of your skin to the outer skin cells. Two popular ones are hyaluronic acid and glycerin. I personally use Hada Labo Premium Lotion, a watery gel-serum that sinks in fast and makes your skin feel super plump.
Lose the irritating ingredients
Plant extracts, essential oils and drying alcohols are a no-go. They offer little to no benefit to the skin, are proven to be irritating, can be dangerous, and further compromise the skin barrier and encourage precious water to evaporate faster.
Occlusives are a category of ingredients that keep water from evaporating from the skin. You should trap in all the good hydration from your humectant moisturiser whenever possible with an occlusive layer, like Vaseline. This will prevent trans-epidermal water loss ruining all your hard work and drying your skin right back out again. Don’t worry, the fear of mineral oil and petroleum products is a myth.
You didn’t irritate your skin in a day, and you won’t heal it in a day either. Focus on being consistent with your routine and you’ll see results in the long term.