Skinstitut Hydrating Q+A with Zoe Devine, Skinstitut Expert

January 2017 sees Skinstitut Expert, Zoe Devine (pictured), answer everything and anything you need to know about skin hydration.

How can you tell if your skin dry or dehydrated? 

Dry skin and dehydrated skin is not the same thing. Despite these two terms being used interchangeably there is a difference between the two and the way in which they are managed will differ also.


Dehydrated skin results due to moisture loss, whereas dry skin is caused by a lack of oil. In most cases dehydrated skin is caused by lifestyle factors, however dry skin lacking oil could be due to lifestyle factors but could also be attributed to internal factors such as hormones or genetics.

Signs of dehydrated skin:

  • Taut skin
  • Scaly looking skin
  • Superficial lines
  • Premature aging
  • Shiny skin
  • Minor blemishes or breakouts
  • Signs of dry skin:
  • Itchy skin
  • Rough skin
  • Flaky or peeling skin
  • Cracking skin
  • Redness
  • Tight feeling skin, especially after showers
  • Lines and premature aging

Can the weather and season’s effect skin’s hydration? 

Yes – the weather can play a big role in you skins hydration levels, so to can artificial temperature control (air conditioning and heating).

In summer there is more moisture in the atmosphere, this is a big plus for our skin. Whereas in winter when there is less moisture in the atmosphere this can negatively affect our skin, leaving it more dehydrated. Couple this with harsh, cool winds common in winter, this can contribute to stripping our skins natural barrier function exacerbating dry and dehydrated skin conditions. If wind

exposure is prolonged this can impair our skins protective barrier (especially common around the nose) resulting in dry, red, flaky or irritated skin

Keep in mind that even though the summer climate is less likely to dehydrate our skin, the activities we do in summer can often lead to skin dehydration such as swimming in chlorinated pools, spending hours on end in cold air-conditioning or prolonged sun and wind exposure.

What can be the causes of dry skin? 

  • Aging – oil production diminishes slowly with advancing age
  • Genetic predisposition (naturally produce less oil – more common in fairer skin)
  • Medications
  • Illnesses
  • Nutrient deficiencies

What can be the causes of dehydrated skin? 

  • Hot showers
  • Air conditioning or climate
  • Poor cleansing (using soap or cleansers that strip the skin leaving it feeling ‘squeaky’ clean)
  • Inadequate moisturisers
  • Over exfoliating using abrasive scrubs
  • Astringents (alcohol based wipes or toners)
  • Diet (high in sodium or caffeine)
  • Cigarette smoking

How can you best combat the causes of dry skin? 

  • Be sure to use the correct moisturiser for your skin – you will need a higher proportion of fatty acids, particularly richer ingredients like shea butter.
  • Avoid really lightweight, watery moisturisers
  • Have a suitable cleanser and exfoliant prescribed for your skin – you may benefit from lower intensity cleaners and exfoliants
  • In winter invest in a humidifier to add moisture into the dry air
  • Increase intake of good fats in the diet (omega 3 and 6) from fish, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut etc.

Examples of Monounsaturated fats to eat:

  •  Avocado
  •  Olives
  •  Nuts (almonds, macadamias, hazelnuts, pecans)

Examples of Polyunsaturated fats to eat:

  •  Walnuts
  •  Seeds –sunflower, sesame, pumpkin
  •  Chia seeds
  •  Flaxseeds
  •  Fish – salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, herring, sardines

How can you best combat the causes of dehydrated skin? 

  • Always use lukewarm water when cleansing the face
  • Invest in the correct moisturiser for your skin (and use the correct amount) – applying a spritz of Multi-Active Mist under your moisturiser will assist deeper absorption into your skin meaning you’ll need less moisturiser
  • Avoid over doing the exfoliation step in your regime
  • Avoid the use of make-up wipes – Gentle Cleanser if the preferred make-up remover as it hydrates and nourishes in the process
  • If considering a 3rd or 4th coffee for the day swap for a caffeine free herbal tea
  • For every cup of coffee drink a large glass of water (this is on top of your 8 glasses per day)
  • Be sure to use the correct amount of cleansers and exfoliants – a pea size amount is all you need for Skinstitut products

What top tips do you have to beautiful hydrated skin? 

The two best things you can do for your skin is to focus on both the inside and the outside:

1) Follow a results-driven regime that has been customised specifically for your skin (and stick to it) – that way we have the outside /topical angle covered

2) Put the right things into your body – this means limiting processed, high salt and sugar foods instead focusing on rich sources essential fatty acids (salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, coconut oil, avocado, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, macadamias etc) plus foods with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (vegetables and fruits).

Should your whole skincare regime be focussed on hydration or do you just need one really good moisturiser? 

This would depend on the individuals’ skin and the severity. Usually a dry skin will need a lower intensity approach for both cleanser and exfoliants as dry skin is often more easily irritated or sensitised. When using lower intensity cleansers and exfoliants these products usually incorporate additional hydrating properties, good examples of these include Gentle Cleanser and Enzymatic Micro Peel.

To correct substantial dehydration you will want to take a more proactive approach than simply using a moisturiser. Our solutions for correcting dry and dehydrated skin include our Multi-Active range – Multi-Active Mist & Multi-Active oil. These two products replicate your skins natural barrier (sweat and sebum) to quickly repair skin damage and restore optimal hydration levels.

If you’re unsure on what products are suitable for your skin or how to address signs of dry, dehydrated skin it’s always a great idea to visit a qualified skin expert who can prescribe a customised regime. Alternatively, you can use our digital online consultation – www.skinstitut.com/5aday which will prescribe your ideal 5 step regime.

Do you have hero product to help with this issue? 

Hydrating Mask is an intensive treatment mask for both dry and dehydrated skin. It works to purify and soothe stressed, dull skin. It’s multitude of actions include:

  • Intense moisturisation and hydration to repair skin barrier function
  • Nourishes and repairs damage caused by dehydration
  • Improves luminosity
  • Reduces the appearance of fine lines due to dehydration
  • Alleviates tightness
  • Restores flexibility back to skin
  • Provides inflammatory and anti-bacterial support for sensitised skin
  • High antioxidant protection and repair from free radical damage

Hydrating Mask uses a unique hydrating ingredient known as trehalose. This is a sugar found in plants and fungi. It works on stabilizing the cell structure by wrapping and capturing water molecules to allow the skin to maintain constant hydration, even in really dry conditions.

Are there any things we can do with diet and lifestyle to combat dehydration and dryness? 

  • Eat plenty of foods that are rich in essential fatty acids (such as oily fish, nuts & seeds, avocado)
  • Avoid excessively hot showers and try not to let the water in the shower run directly over your face for long periods of time
  • Rely on fresh air ventilation and minimise your use of artificial heating or cooling where possible
  • If living in a dry climate, invest in a humidifier to add moisture back into the air
  • Avoid high consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, energy drinks and soft drinks. Try to alternate intake with caffeine free herbal teas that won’t be as dehydrating to the body
  • Try to limit prepared meals and take away foods as these can be very high in sodium
  • Drink plenty of water ; this is vital for internal hydration

Article courtesy of Skinstitut. All Skinstitut products RRP $45.00, available from select clinics and online 

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