There are many signs you aren't moisturizing enough besides the obvious — if you've ever called into question your moisturizer OR your moisturizing skills, then you are not alone. Dry skin occurs in all skin types, at all ages, and most of us are quick to point the finger at our moisturizing method or product. While many of us are concerned with over-moisturizing to avoid breakouts, clogged pores, and oily skin, the answer may be a smarter moisturizer instead of skipping out on moisturizing after cleansing.
Since there are many signs of dehydrated skin, I sat down to chat with Alan M. Dattner, MD who provides holistic dermatology in Manhattan and New Rochelle, NY. Alan is the author of Radiant Skin from the Inside Out and dropped a world of knowledge of the subject of dry skin. His working theory is supported by many of his colleagues that moisturizing your bod on the inside is just as important as moisturizing on the outside. Alan believes that having the right components are key to avoiding dry skin: cutting down on inflammation, drinking sufficient fluids, and taking in the right oils are all components to hydrated skin. Basically, just like there are foods and habits we can do to avoid acne, there are also things we can do internally to avoid dry skin.
These common signs indicate you may not be moisturizing enough and could even be on your way to a more serious condition than dry skin — read on and make sure your moisturizing game stays A+ no matter what!
1. You Aren't Moisturizing On Damp Skin
If you already aren't doing this, than you may find dry skin
to be an uphill battle. According to Alan, creams have many components to
them and often include water, but applying on damp skin can help retain
moisture although, using OTC creams has more risk for allergic reactions or
skin irritation. If you use oils like myself that do not contain any water at
all, you must put them on top of wet skin to seal in the moisture. Alan
explains that after cleansing, we've washed off some of our natural humectants,
so applying a moisturizing ASAP is super important.
2. You Have A Dull Complexion
Sure, a dull complexion can be a sign of a lot of things,
particularly dry skin, but what exactly does it mean when your complexion is
dull? According to Alan, when the skin looks dull, the light is being
reflected on the very uppermost layers of the skin and you are unable to see
the same depth as when those layers are hydrated. Moisturizing regularly will
definitely satisfy cravings for glowing skin.
3. Your Makeup Looks Cracked
One of my least fave things about lipstick in the winter is
that my lips are already dry and my lipstick becomes caked and cracked, well
just like applying lipstick on dry skin, applying concealers or powders on dry
skin can give you a cracked look instead of a runway look. According to sources
at News Health, cracked
makeup is a sign you need you aren't moisturizing enough. Alan agrees
by stating "If your makeup looks cracked, I would be suspicious that the
skin [underneath] is too dry." This can lead you to be sucking the
moisture out in both directions, your skin can dry out from air and absorption of
water from the products.
4. Your Skin Feels Tight
Yes, we all know that if your skin feels tight, it's likely
dry. Alan compares this sign to that of a pair of leather shoes, if the
skin isn't hydrated enough, the surface will become tight and eventually begin
to crack. That sounds like a dry skin warning sign you should never ignore! If
you think your fave pair of leather shoes looked better before they cracked,
imagine how you'd feel about your face.
5. You Suffer From Acne
Typically, we've come to think of acne as a condition
specific to those with oily skin, but according to Alan, you can have both
dry skin and acne. For some people, drying out the skin actually tightens the
pores and makes them less efficient. "There is constriction of the sebaceous material which causes acne
and provides hydration of the skin and prevents water loss. If you have oily
skin it can still be dry, because there isn't enough oil or humectants," Alan says.
6. You Have Dark Spots Or Redness
Random dark spots? Redness in the skin? These are both signs
you aren't moisturizing enough and according to Alan, it could be leading
you down a more serious skin condition. "If your skin is too dry, it can
slide over into the spectrum of an eczematous dermatitis, where your skin becomes so dry that it
starts to have an inflammatory reaction. Mild forms of eczema exist and in darker
skin types, [they can result in] hyperpigmentation. This form of dry skin is
low grade eczema; there is a narrow line between low grade eczema and just
plain old dry skin. If you irritate your skin from being too dry, you could
wind up with eczema which has defects that causes excessive dry skin."
7. Your Skin Becomes Irritated Outdoors
If you find your skin becomes dry when you leave the house,
chances are you aren't leaving the house with your skin fully protected. Alan explains that there is a biological protection that our skin has to keep
it from drying out. "When you are outside, [there are] various things
challenging that [natural] barrier." When we go outside, sweating, the
sun, and wind can make our skin more vulnerable than we were in the comfort of
our homes and it's even more important to make sure you've moisturized enough
to avoid dry, irritated skin.
Your skin problems could be fixed as easily as adding some more moisturizer to your routine, so it's important to evaluate your habits to find the best solution for you — it might be more simple than you think.