Dehydrated Skin: My Skin is Oily. So Why is it Flaking?

Skin care advice from the experts at UW Health Transformations Jeune Skin Care:


glass of waterMany individuals who have oily skin or combination type skin (T-zone oily across the forehead, nose and chin) opt not to use a daily moisturizer because they already feel greasy. They often wonder why they may see flaking on their skin, especially around the nose and mouth.


"How can I be oily and still be flaking?"


Even individuals who lack oil due to genetically dry skin can also feel tight, dry and experience flakiness with daily moisturizer use.


The answer is the skin is most likely dehydrated, meaning the skin is lacking water. Anyone can have dehydrated skin as a result of environmental assault, lifestyle choices, improper skin care product usage for their skin type, etc. You may say, "But I drink a lot of water."  You most likely have heard the recommendation of drinking at least eight-8 ounce glasses of water a day (64 ounces). Some studies suggest drinking at least half your body weight - so if you weigh 150 lbs., you should consume 75 ounces of water daily.


"But for all the water I drink, why is my skin still flaking? Why does it feel tight and dry in some areas?"


Environmental assault from a variety of sources can all cause our skin to become dehydrated:

  • The sun
  • Wind and climate changes
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Caffeinated beverages
  • Hot tubs and whirlpools
  • High intensity aerobic exercise
  • Over-exfoliation
  • Incorrect skin care product usage
  • Use of certain medications

There are reports that for every 8 ounces of caffeinated beverages we consume, we need 16-24 ounces of water to replenish the moisture we have lost! That is how dehydrating certain beverages can be. Many people think that the water in coffee, soda, tea, juice and the like count toward their daily H2O intake, but that is not the case.


Our skin is the largest organ in our body and its primary function is to provide protection. The above-mentioned list can break down our topical barrier to our skin. Adding in a topical moisturizer is crucial to help repair our diminished barrier function, even if we have oily or combination skin types. The key is in choosing the right one for your skin type.


Choosing the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin Type


A great choice no matter your skin type is a topical product with hyaluronic acid. Our body naturally produces this key ingredient, but it diminishes as we age. As a key water-binding agent, it has the ability to hold 1,000 times its weight in water. Think of a wet sponge.


Our SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel (available at UW Health Transformations) has this key ingredient, along with the healing and nourishing properties of vitamin B5. Just a few drops a day of this lightweight, fast-absorbing gel morning and night before your chosen moisturizer can aid in replenishing lost moisture due to dehydration. It is a great place to start for those with excess oil production. This will also help in  restoring your skin's barrier function.


So, drink up! Water, that is - and continue to be mindful of your daily choices that can lead to dehydration. In the meantime, keep moisturizing to maintain your natural barrier function and help banish that flaking, dry, tight feeling.


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