Dry and/or dehydrated skin is certainly the pits! Lucky for me, it was a temporary concern that took me a month to get under control. Genetically, I am not predisposed to having dry skin. In fact, my skin type is an oily one. But as I understand it, oily skin can experience dehydration – a stressful lifestyle, certain ingredients in skin care products and environmental factors can very well lead to your skin losing precious moisture and becoming uncomfortably tight, dehydrated and flaky.
In my Bad Skin Habits blog post, I made short mention of my dehydrated skin and how the cleanser I was using was actually making the issue so much worse. It was actually further stripping my skin of its natural and desperately needed oils. Eventually I had my cleanser changed as well as my moisturiser and serum to help restore moisture and hydration and combat the itchiness, flakiness and few red patches I had on my skin.
I began to use the Yves Rocher Cleansing Milk for sensitive skin (see picture to the left). This made such a great difference not only in the way my skin looked; but also how it felt. When I was still using my gel cleanser, my face, quite literally, two to three minutes after cleansing it, would be so tight.
I don’t know if you have ever made an egg white face mask at home – but when you’ve had that on your face for about ten to fifteen minutes and the egg whites have dried, that is how my skin felt using the gel cleanser.
The reason why I had been using the gel cleanser is because normally, as mentioned, I have oily skin. My forehead being the oiliest place on my face. I had been using the gel cleanser for over a year and it had been great for me. Up until the point my skin changed – it became drier as winter began to approach. My moisturiser wasn’t doing any good for me.
I wasn’t using any type of oils (Argan – except as an eye serum, Rosehip, Jojoba etc.) to help my skin. And as my skin became drier, the gel simply began to strip whatever oils I had left on my skin.
Moreover, to make matters worse, the moisturiser I had been using at the time had 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide in it to help with breakouts. So that also had a contribution to the dehydration and flakiness of my skin. That also needed to change
The first step was to recognise and realise that I had dehydrated skin and not necessarily dry skin. Dehydrated skin is where there is lack of moisture/water in the Stratum Corneum while dry skin generally refers to skin that is lacking in oil (The International Dermal Institute). So that means that even oily skin (as I have) can experience dehydration (which I did). Dehydration is lack of water, not oil.
Both dehydrated and dry skin experience the same issues
• Irritation, inflammation, itchiness and sensitivity.
• A feeling of tightness or tautness.
• A look or feel of roughness.
• Slight to severe flaking and scaling.
• Fine lines, severe redness and cracks that can sometimes bleed.
My issues with my dehydrated skin were the irritation, the itchiness, sensitivity, roughness, flaking, redness and tight/tautness. I was very lucky it didn’t get to the point were my the dehydrated and flaking patches were seeping – i.e. cracked and/or bleeding.
BioNike Proxera Intensive Face Serum
This serum from BioNike, which is applied day and night, proved to be a saviour for my dehydrated skin. It is marketed as something for dry and very dry skin and was recommended to me (along with the Proxera Keratoff 10% Urea Cream) to help ease the itching, flaking, redness, tight/tautness, irritation and roughness. But more importantly, to restore moisture and hydrate my thirsty skin.
The serum exploits the properties of hyaluronic acid, combining it in different forms (free and carried) and molecular weights (high, medium, low and very low). The result is a highly moisturizing (prevents water loss), regenerating (normalizes the cell renewal process), protective (prevents damage caused by external agents, such as UV rays), firming (improves elasticity and skin tone) product.” – Medica.de
It’s a 40ml tube with gel-like contents. Although the consistency of the serum is not as thick as a gel or cream. It’s somewhere in between where it won’t blob out of the tube and stay put. But it won’t run down your hand either. It has no smell (although as we know, as far as the user is concerned, this could vary from review to review).
It is recommended for people who suffer from fragile skin (atopic dermatitis) and xerotic skin caused by external factors (weather, chemicals).
This has been such a wonderful product for me. From the moment I put it onto my skin for the first time, I immediately felt no more tight/tautness. My skin felt soothed – like it had finally been given a break. I have been using the product for two weeks now and my skin is looking so good. It feels soft, supple and moisturised.
Bionike Proxera Keratoff 10% Urea Cream
This cream, again used day and night, is applied on top of the Intensive Face Serum. According to BioNike, it is “a cream that performs a progressive keratomodulating action and favours restoration of natural moisturisation levels. Can be used as a complementary aid to dermatological therapies, also those for conditions involving chronic desquamation with plaques (psoriasis)”.
The cream contains an oily external phase emulsion which calms any stinging sensation. The Urea is the ingredient that performs a keratomodulating action as it “induces keratinocyte differentiation and reduces their proliferation“. Urea also helps to replenish the skin’s hydrolipid film and increase intracellular water content in the stratum corneum. It also reduces skin itching. Sodium Lactate stimulates the natural cell turnover and at the same time provides strong moisturisation. Glucono – Lactone modulates keratinisation, favouring skin renewal. It helps to prevents oxidative damage thanks to its anti-oxidant properties and softens skin. – BioNike Proxera
The cream is white (of a creamy consistency) which also has no particular smell. BioNike recommends it for people who suffer from desquamation, plaque formation and hyperkeratosis. And can be applied a few times throughout the day. Again, as I have said about the Intensive Face Serum, this has been a real saviour for my skin. Coupled with fortnightly facials at Decloer, my skin is finally on the right track to recovery and I am feeling good about it.
BioNike Proxera Intensive Face Serum: R139.99 at Dischem
BioNike Proxera Keratoff 10% Urea Cream: R74.99 at Dischem
Yves Rocher Cleansing Milk For Sensitive Skin (Face and Eyes): R95 at Woolworths
Having to deal with my dehydrated skin meant that I had to lay off the makeup for a while. Many might freak out at this news (okay, I did. A little bit). But I was happy to go bare-faced for a while. Even though I wear such minimal makeup anyway. But it was great to have a month off makeup where my skin could just be. Of course that meant I had to take extra great care when out in the sun and make sure my skin was protected with a good sunscreen. And also being so obsessed with clean and healthy eating, drinking plenty of water and consuming foods that contain loads of water (cucumbers, zucchini etc.) as well as loading up on skin friendly foods such as mixed berries, citrus fruits, apples, avocados and vegetables, my skin has made a remarkable effort in getting back to it’s normal state.
Next challenge is to try out the Khiel’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (MRC). I have been following the 28-day challenge they have been running here in South Africa, and the trialists have been raving (on blogs, Twitter and Facebook) about how great this product is. I am going to go ahead and try it for myself. I have decided to go the rest of the month with my current routine and begin my own MRC challenge at the end of July going right through August 2013. I am actually very excited for that. I hope I will have a great experience with the product as so many others have had.
Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate: R550 for 30ml at Edgars Sandton City
Until next post…take care! 🙂