How to treat dry and dehydrated skin
Dehydration is quite a complex topic because it’s not just about how much water your client is consuming, although of course that’s a factor. Firstly, we need to know how to identify dehydration in the skin, and then how to solve it.
Lines can happen in the skin through dehydration alone. The collagen and muscle tone might be healthy but the client might still get dehydration lines. These are the sharp lines you generally see across the forehead and around the eyes and this can happen at any age.
So, of course we want to encourage our clients to drink plenty of water, but that’s not the only reason the skin will be dehydrated.
Hyaluronic acid for skin hydration
Hyaluronic acid lives in our dermal layer and that is our water reserve. It’s a glycosaminoglycan, or GAG, cell and these cells hold water within them. I always teach about hyaluronic acid being like jelly. Think of adding water to jelly cubes – the cubes will absorb the water and it becomes a bigger jelly-like substance. It’s exactly the same for hyaluronic acid; water doesn’t slosh around in the skin, it’s held there by the hyaluronic acid absorbing it.
So, it’s very important that we have hyularonic acid in the skin as well as water – they go hand in hand. If you had one without the other then your skin would still be dehydrated. So, if we are putting a client on a hyaluronic acid product or treatment, we’d team that with water sprays or get them to drink more water.
What is transepidermal water loss?
Even if the client is drinking lots of water and using hyaluronic acid, the skin might not be able to hold on to that water, and that might be because they’ve got transepidermal water loss.
This means that the water is leaking through the epidermal layers because they’ve got an impairment in their natural moisture factor. This is the lipid layer that lives on the surface of the skin and protects it from nasty pathogens but also keeps the water in.
So, it’s really important that we either identify the reason that someone’s dehydrated or tick all boxes: get them to drink more water, hydrate with hyaluronic acid, and repair the natural moisture factor.
To do this, we would use things like ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterols to repair that lipid layer, and then of course, hydronic acid, water sprays, and even getting them to change their diet. Vitamin C can help prevent transepidermal water loss.
We can use fruit and vegetables to contribute to our water intake so if you have customers that really don’t like drinking water then encouraging them to increase their raw fruit and veg can help, as can things like herbal teas.
Hollie Simpson is an experienced therapist and founder of Our Skin Academy, which specialises in non-invasive skin techniques.