Is your skin dry, dehydrated or both?

Dry skin is caused by a lack of skin’s natural lipids in the form of triglycerides, wax esters, free fatty acids, and squalene. These levels also decrease as we age. Your skin will feel rough and fine lines will form. The skin care solution is to apply oils with similar chemistry, which only comes from natural sources such as nut, seed, and fruit oils. Silicones and mineral oils do not have this advantage and feel like a thin sheet of plastic on the face. Sure they act as occlusives retaining moisture but they often feel like they are suffocating the skin and provide no real nourishment. Your skin can not absorb them as well as natural oils.


Dehydrated skin is caused by a lack of water and hyaluronic acid, which also decreases as we age. To add to that, arid climates and indoor heating with humidity levels well below a healthy 60% can suck the moisture out of your skin. A typical heated house will be as low as 13% (the Sahara desert is 25%). Dehydrated skin will get flakey and this is where I see some bad habits form. Some people exfoliate the flakes off with alpha hydroxy acids which does not target the actual problem of dehydration and can degrade the skin’s natural barrier that is trying to keep water in. It makes the problem worse and can cause low grade inflammation that leads to premature aging. What you should be doing is putting polysaccharides such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, rose water, and or our special moss, fern, and lichen blend in Nordic Boost because they are water-binding agents that maintain water levels in the skin. Another step is to use a cream because it contains an emulsion of water with wax and oil that will retain water as well as create a barrier to prevent a decrease in moisture from evaporation.


Most people we see are both dry and dehydrated during the winter months so Nordic Boost Hydrating Serum and Rosey Cheeks Facial Cream are our most typical recommendations. A gentle facial cleanser that won’t strip the skin’s barrier like Petal Purity Milk Cleanser is also imperative.


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