Your skincare choices matter ft. DR. DINA STRACHAN
Summer is the minimal makeup and oily skin season. But Fall is here, which means a new skincare routine for dryer skin. When it comes to picking the right skincare, we browse through reviews and recommendations, but at the end, we are overwhelmed with information on one product. It is why we sat down with Dr. Dina Strachan to share with you her skincare insights.
As a Board-Certified Dermatologist educated and trained at world-class institutions, Dr. Strachan knows the importance of knowing your skincare type and simple practices for a better complexion. Here's what she has to say on skincare. Enjoy!
PHYTO PARIS: What is the difference between dry & dehydrated skin?
DS: Healthy skin is well hydrated with water, and maintains this hydration with a lipid barrier seal that prevents the water from evaporating. Dry skin is an intrinsic characteristic of skin, such as in the case of people with eczema who don’t make enough oil and need to apply lotion frequently. Dehydrated skin, however, refers to the state of skin at a particular point in time when there is not enough hydration. Anyone’s skin can become dehydrated. Skin hydration is influenced by many factors such environment, diet, and personal care habits.
PHYTO PARIS: What ingredients should I look for in a moisturizer?
DS: Moisturizers are usually made of a combination of ingredient types including humectants that provide and attract water, emollients that facilitate spreading of the product, provide some sealing in of water, and fill in spaces between skin cells creating a smoother texture, and occlusive ingredients which seal water in. Common humectants include hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, urea, glycerin, collagen. Humectants address skin dehydration. Emollients include oils such as jojoba, sesame, almond, coconut, and butters such as cocoa and shea, and vitamin E. Occlusive include petrolatum, lanolin and mineral oil. Occlusive products should only be applied to well hydrated skin as when applied to dry skin they seal the water out. Emollients and occlusive address dryness. Which moisturizer is best will depend on whether one is trying to address dehydration, dryness, or both.
PHYTO PARIS: What are 4 common mistakes people make with their skin?
DS: The most common mistakes people practice are:
- Applying occlusive products to dehydrated skin, which seals water out.
- Thinking that they should only use moisturizer once a day. If your skin becomes dehydrated later in the day, moisturizer may need to be used multiple times.
- Not understanding the difference between dry skin and a rash. Sometimes dry skin is seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disease. It won’t respond to just moisturizer. Sometimes seborrheic skin will burn when moisturizer is applied.
- Taking long, hot baths or showers to alleviate the itch of dry skin. This just makes the skin drier. The key is to apply a moisturizer with some occlusive properties to wet skin.
PHYTO PARIS: How can I prepare my skin for cooler days?
DS: Colder weather usually causes the skin to become dry and dehydrated because hot baths or showers with soap strips the oil from the skin allowing to water to evaporate. To combat dry and dehydrated skin, practice gentle skin care. Try to keep the baths or showers down once daily. Be mindful that hot water strips oil out of the skin. Use gentle cleansers. It is not usually necessary to soap the whole body daily. Apply a moisturizer after bathing to seal moisture in. One may need to use a different, heavier product than what is used in warmer weather. A humidifier may also help.