Treating Dehydration

Treating Dehydration

In my previous post, I discussed that the most common reason for dehydration was a compromised barrier function. So initially this is what we want to focus on and restore. Once the barrier has been restored the skin will be able to hold the moisture within the skin and prevent trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).

Most people will go straight to products containing Hyaluronic acid to solve dehydration but this alone will not be enough.

The first thing to look at is your cleanser. These can be the main culprits, especially in clients with oily or acne skins. I find these clients tend to be after that squeaky clean feeling, but this tight, clean feeling we get after cleansing can be a sign of dehydration. Our cleansers need to be gentle but effective, not stripping, and maintain the skins natural PH. If your cleanser is giving you the tight feeling then its time to change!

Exfoliation is also a biggy. How often, what type, and the strength of your exfoliant is important to get right. Exfoliation and acids are a big thing at the minute with some skincare brands focusing on just that. However, if we go back to the barrier function we don’t want to overdo it and take off those layers that are part of that lipid bilayer within the stratum corneum. Exfoliation advice is as individual as you are so speak to your skincare professional who will advise you on how much your skin needs.

Hyaluronic acid is usually the go-to for dehydrated skin. However, don’t rely solely on this products to solve all your problems. In fact, in some cases, it can make those problems worse. Don’t get me wrong I love HA but under some circumstances, it’s not my immediate go-to active. HA is a humectant, which means it draws moisture in from where it can. This is great if you’re living in a humid environment, but if you’re sat at home or in an office with central heating or air-con, these create a dry environment. In these conditions what HA will do is draw up the moisture from the dermis into the epidermis, and that then maybe evaporated out of the surface with the rest of the moisture.

If we get our barrier function nice and strong and our environment isn’t too dry (turn down that thermostat) Then this active will definitely be on the list as a hydrator. HA can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water,  so get the above right and your skin will not only thank you but look dewy, fresh and plump all at the same time.

Avoiding occlusive products. Our skin needs a certain level of trans epidermal water loss (but not too much) to allow for more to be produced in the lower layers. If we use creams that are too occlusive this creates a barrier for that TEWL and our skin stop producing its own levels of moisture.

Diet. We can get extra moisture within our diet but this may not necessarily reach your skin. So up your water intake, it’s not the most effective way to hydrate your skin but what it will do is help drain out those toxins from the body and create healthier skin. It is also important to include the essential fatty acids within the diet, oily fish, avocado, nuts etc. all contain these or get extra through supplements. These EFA are components of our lipid bilayer, which makes up our barrier function.

Avoid any foods that will cause inflammation, and this may vary from person to person. But higher levels of inflammation can have an impact on how our body and skin functions. It can impact on barrier function, the natural production of hyaluronic acid, and how each and every cell in the skin functions.

So as you can see automatically reaching for the Hyaluronic acid will not solve all your problems when it comes to dehydration, it’s a case of combining all of the above to get you results.

Are you feeling dehydrated? or not sure what’s happening with your skin, and need help? I am offering FREE online consultations during lockdown so click here to book and we can get you on the track to hydrated, healthy, happy skin

Are you Dehydrated?

Are you Dehydrated?

Dehydration is one of the most common conditions I see in my clinic. I would say 95% of new clients that come in to see me display varying degrees of dehydrated skin.

This condition can sometimes be confused with dry skin, but it is very different. Dry skin, I normally refer to as Lipid Dry skin, is a skin ‘type’ rather than a condition. So you would have been born with dry skin and it is usually genetic. A lipid dry skin is a skin lacking in the right levels of lipids and secretions (sebum). Dehydrated skin is a skin lacking in moisture. You can be both lipid dry and dehydrated or in fact any skin type, for example, oily skin can be dehydrated. Dehydration is a condition, which, the good news is it can be resolved

How does a dehydrated skin look?

The appearance of dehydrated skin is normally a dull, lacklustre complexion that can feel rough to touch. It is also common to get a tight feeling once you have cleansed like you need to apply your moisturiser to relieve it. So dehydrated skins can have an issue with closed comedones, small spots that lie under the skin. This can be due to the fact that the skins natural desquamation (shedding) process has become sluggish due to the low levels of moisture. The chemical reaction that happens within the skin to allow those top layers of skin cells to shed and become house dust needs moisture to happen.

The most common reason our skin can get dehydrated is due to a compromised barrier function. When our barrier is compromised it is incapable of doing one of its main functions; keeping the moisture within our skin. This moisture loss is referred to as trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) and even though we need a certain amount of TEWL to keep the cycle of the skin producing moisture going when we lose too much the skin can’t keep up in making enough to replace what is lost.

Reasons we may get a compromised barrier function

  • Harsh/unsuitable cleanser
  • Over exfoliation
  • Environment e.g. central heating
  • Inflammation
  • Medication/illness
  • Menopause
  • Using occlusive products

It is important to correct dehydration as left to prolong can go on to cause further issues, such as sensitive, reactive skin, further inflammation, congestion and even premature ageing. In my next blog, I am going to discuss how we can treat dehydration, but in the meantime, if you are reading this and it sounds familiar you may be suffering from dehydrated skin, a consultation with myself would confirm this. My online consultations are free of charge whilst on lockdown so click here to book yours today!

Treating Photodamage

Treating Photodamage

My last couple of blogs I have discussed the impact the sun can have on our skin and how important protecting with sunscreen really is. Today I am going to talk about how we can treat Photodamaged skin.

The treatments that we are looking at when treating this condition are treatments that are going to cause the skin to rejuvenate. So when I talk about rejuvenating treatments, you may be thinking, what are these?

A rejuvenating treatment is a procedure that is going to encourage your skin to increase its cellular turnover, increase the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid etc. So we are encouraging the normal functioning of your skin to work more to increase the health, structure, and support of the skin to keep it looking, acting and feeling younger and healthier. All these functions will have been impaired or slowed down by the damage from the sun.

My favourite treatments to achieve this are both Chemical Peels and Microneedling.  I would usually opt for Chemical Peels initially if I am working with a skin that has a high level of pigmentation from sun damage or the skin has begun to thicken. This can happen as a protective response to the sun. This will help with any surface pigmentation and encourage that epidermal cell renewal, bringing it back to a normal thickness.

Microneedling offers a deeper rejuvenation, so targeting the dermal layer of the skin that holds your structural elements like collagen and elastin. This treatment causes a controlled wounding to the skin. When the skin has been injured it will go into repair mode where all our functions will kick into action. So the fibroblasts will produce more collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, our epidermal cell renewal will speed up, our blood flow to the skin cells will be increased. All those functions that have slowed and aged due to the sun damage will be speeded up and act younger again. With regular treatments of microneedling or Chemical Peels, our skin will start to look and feel younger. We should also see improvements in those ageing signs of sun damage too.


The photo here shows an example of results from treating photodamaged skin. Here (top pic) you can see how the skin has thickened and those deep lines that have formed as the structural collagen within the dermis has depleted. These results were achieved with a combination course of Chemical Peels (my level 3 bespoke treatments) and Microneedling (my level 4 bespoke). We are still working on this skin and continue to achieve great results.

So when I am presented with a skin showing signs of photodamage it is really important that I don’t go straight in with the heavy rejuvenating treatments at the beginning.  A skin that has been damaged by the sun will most probably be experiencing a high level of free radical activity. This could mean that the skin is not in the right place or health to then be put under the added pressure of trying to rejuvenate itself.

For our skin to do this effectively it needs to be in its best possible state to achieve good results, and if there is lots of free radical activity going on the skin is going to be fighting against this. Your results just won’t be as good.

So prepping the skin for rejuvenation is vital. This may be done in the form of a good homecare regime. Including a high level of antioxidants, like Vitamin C for example, this is a great active as the vitamin C, not only a powerful antioxidant, but its also needed for collagen synthesis and controlling the production of melanin.

Once the skin is prepped and your ready to go ahead with your treatments it is then important to feed your skin with the right actives whilst on a rejuvenation programme. This will give your skin help along the way as it heals and rejuvenates between treatments. The results from these treatments aren’t necessarily based on the treatment itself, it is based on how well your skin responds and repairs post-treatment, and feeding it with topical actives will help achieve the best results. And don’t forget we need to protect those results from further sun damage by protecting with sunscreen. Click here to read all about sunscreen, how it works and which sunscreens are best to maintain those precious results.

If you want to know any more about treating Photodamaged skin or any other treatments I offer at the clinic please get in touch. During lockdown I am offering my online consultations free of charge (normally £50), you can book appointments here, and we can get you on the road to healthier skin ready for when the clinic is open again and we can get you straight onto your rejuvenation programme.