Dry skin is common. If you experience dry skin on your face, you might find that it’s seasonal or you might suffer all year round. When your skin loses moisture, it might crack or peel and then become inflamed or irritated. Your skin might become slightly rough and itchy.
Once your skin starts to become inflamed or cracked you are experiencing signs of dermatitis. Cracks in the skin can lead to germs getting in which can cause infections in the form of red, sore spots.
If this sounds like you, then your skin may not produce as many natural oils as other people’s, and will be less able to retain water. The protective barrier is therefore not as good as it should be.
Gaps open up between the skin cells because they are not sufficiently plumped up with water. Moisture is then lost from the deeper layers of the skin, allowing bacteria or irritants to pass through more easily.
The first step to managing dry skin is to keep it properly moisturised. If you’ve never considered using a facial oil for dry skin, here are my top three reasons for doing so:
1. Facial oils offer great moisturising properties. Oils are emollients, ingredients which soften or soothe the skin, and which help to keep the skin moist and flexible. When you have dry skin, oils produce a layer over the skin’s surface which traps water beneath it.
2. Facial oils can soothe the inflammation and irritation normally associated with dry skin. The protective layer they create prevents the penetration of irritants, allergens and bacteria thereby reducing or preventing the development of dermatitis.
3. Dry skin can look more wrinkly because it has less inbuilt moisturiser (i.e. naturally occurring oils) but when you apply a facial oil it makes the skin look more hydrated and less wrinkled. Facial oils derived from plants contain lovely compounds such as polyphenols, phytosterols and carotenoids which are metabolised by the skin and provide antioxidant properties which might also go some way to keeping wrinkles at bay.
When you’re looking to choose the right facial oil for dry skin, try to look for any of the following:
- Oils that are denser and have a high viscosity – they typically penetrate a bit slower into the top layers of the skin. Examples include avocado oil, meadowfoam oil or macadamia nut oil.
- Oils that offer natural anti-inflammatory properties – look for jojoba oil, pomegranate seed oil or hemp seed oil.
- Oils that have been infused with anti-inflammatory herbs – these properties will help to treat inflammation of the skin. When oils have been infused with botanical matter, they are generally called ‘macerated’ oils. Look for Calendula oil, carrot oil or chamomile oil.
When you’re blending your own facial oil, it’s a good idea to experiment with different oil blends until you find one that works best for your skin. Use a few drops and massage them into your delicate facial skin after your normal evening cleansing and moisturising routine. Your skin will thank you for it.
Please note – It goes without saying that if you intend to experiment with any of these oils, you should always do a skin patch test first. Although all of these carrier oils are safe to use on the skin, some people can be allergic to nuts & seeds or sensitive to certain oils which can cause dermatitis or allergic reactions. Be sensible and always test new ingredients out before incorporating them into any kind of skincare regime.