Whenever you’ve spoken to a beauty therapist about having dehydrated skin how often have you been asked how many glasses of water you drink a day? Did you know that the water we drink only amounts to around 13% of hydration in the skin? Most of our issues with dehydration comes from underlying problems that effect our skin’s Acid Mantle.
Our Acid Mantle is a layer of water and oil that sits just below our outermost layer of the epidermis. It has 3 main roles:
- It is responsible for protecting against Trans Epidermal Water Loss. This means the layer of oil present in the Acid Mantle helps to keep all the cells beneath it nice and plump and full of moisture thus preventing the water from evaporating/escaping faster than it should.
- It slows down the absorption of products.
- It provides the skin with a pH balance between 4.5-6.5 pH which helps to shield against bacteria and pathogens.
When our acid mantle becomes impaired you begin to experience Trans Epidermal Water Loss causing crepey skin, an increase of skin sensitivity as active ingredients are absorbing too rapidly and also a higher chance of skin infection due to unbalanced pH levels. In order to have a strong and healthy acid mantle we must look at how the acid mantle is created.
Down in what is called our Basal Cell Layer of our epidermis sits stem cells. These stem cells redivide to create exact copies of themselves to create plump skin. These cells should have a nice, strong outer layer called a cell membrane which is comprised of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and inside this layer is cytoplasm which is a gel-like substance primarily made up of water. As these plump, juicy cells move to the upper layers of our epidermis the cell membrane begins to deteriorate and form holes meaning water is excreted and Essential Fatty Acids from the cell membrane begin to flatten alongside the water eventually creating our Acid Mantle.
It is important to understand that Essential Fatty Acids are not naturally occurring in the body. They need to be consumed and an Australian diet is typically deficient in Essential Fatty Acids so it is no wonder that a staggering 97% of us have dehydrated skin! On top of this I’d like to mention that if you are someone that eats lots of avocado, nuts, oily fish, etc, this still often isn’t enough. And keep in mind that nearly all Australian Salmon is farmed meaning it is full of chemicals and pretty much strips away the nutritional value we were intending to add into our diet (see link at bottom of page for more info!). This is why one of the first steps in treating a dehydrated skin is the introduction of a good quality Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) supplement. At Sheer Elegance we recommend using DMK’s EFA Tablets taking one in the morning and one at night. If your skin is quite severely damaged we may recommend 2 in the morning and 2 at night until your skin is looking healthier. By taking an EFA supplement you will be feeding Essential Fatty Acids to our stem cells to ensure the replica cells they are producing are nice and juicy and plump to help move those healthier cells to the skins surface thus helping to restore our Acid Mantle.
To help in repairing our acid mantle we must also look at what cleansers and exfoliants you are using on your skin. If your skin is feeling tight and flaky after using certain products they may be too harsh! Introducing a gentle, creamy cleanser and replacing a granular or acid exfoliation with a light enzyme treatment mask may be all your skin needs to get it back on track. These products work by treating those outermost flaky skin cells without stripping away our important Acid Mantle.
So as you can see, with a combination of dietary changes and skincare improvements we can treat a dehydrated skin relatively easily. Sheer Elegance has some light enzyme treatments using pumpkin and papaya enzymes where we can gently exfoliate leaving your skin super soft. If you have any questions regarding your skin please don’t hesitate in phoning our salon today on 49422089 to speak with one of our therapists.