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  • Writer's picturetheskincareaddict

6 Ways to Magic Away Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Most of you will agree that one of the most common skin problems in Dubai is dry skin! If dry patches or skin that feels too tightly stretched across your face sound like familiar issues for you, then you need to:

  • Find the cause of your problem.

  • Determine the ingredients suited for your problem.

  • Choose moisturisers formulated to deal with your problem.

  • Curate a skincare routine designed for your problem.

  • Invest in a good mask that targets your problem.

  • Visit Essa Beauty periodically for a facial!

If you're still confused, then worry not, just keep reading! We are going to be talking about some frequently asked questions, so stay tuned to find out all about:

  • Why your skin is dry

  • What the best moisturiser is for dry skin in Dubai

  • How to fix dry skin problems in the long term


Dry Skin and Dubai

Having dry patches on my skin was never a problem I had faced before in my life. I normally have regular skin, so that means— fundamentally— that it is neither oily nor dry, so seeing the crusty flakes that had taken up residence on my face was daunting if not outright horrifying. I was lucky enough however, to have a facial at Essa Beauty which solved that issue before it evolved into a real problem.

To most people around the world, Dubai is rightfully synonymous with luxury and opulence; to those of us who live here, it’s definitely the ideal place to build the dream life. There are very few drawbacks to living in the City of Gold, but I’d say a big one is the toll the desert dryness takes on our skin in the winter months.

If you’re like me, then a flaky crust is probably ideal if your weekend plan is to make some apple pie, but not so much if the goal is to glow. The brief yet sweet respite from the heat of the summer months is welcome, but skin dryness in Dubai is fairly common.

Sometimes drinking your eight glasses is just not enough to remedy that taut, parched feeling. While winter in Dubai is not long drawn, combating dryness can certainly be a daunting task that persists beyond winter for some— and especially so for those of us who can’t make out the difference between day cream and night cream!

Don’t fret too much though, there’s a solution for any problem and the 3D (Dry Dubai Dermis) Syndrome, as those with an affinity to alliteration may like to call it, definitely has a fix: this skincare checklist that’s been recommended and approved by the licensed and highly qualified skin therapists at JLT’s very own Essa Beauty.

So without further ado, here it is!

1. Narrow down what is causing your skin to feel tight and flaky

People can lack hydration and have dry skin even with an oily skin type. If that sounds crazy to you, then you’re not alone. My mind was blown too when Natalie, one of Essa’s awesome skin therapists, told me this juicy (juice-less?) little fact.

Dryness can actually be attributed to two major factors: your skin type itself, or an externally attributed skin condition. Problems like dryness that arise from skin type can be helped and nurtured, but it is not something that one can change in the long run. This is because there are factors such as genetics at play that influence how dry your skin is in its natural state.

Skin conditions like dehydration however, are definitely reversible with the proper attention and care. If your skin is dry because of dehydration, it means that there is a lack of the oils and water that is necessary for the skin to be at its best. To fix this, you need to pay attention to any habits that may be affecting your skin’s level of moisture, such as over-cleansing— a very common mistake that has gotten the better of many of us.

While it is definitely essential to wash your face daily in order to remove any impurities that may be plugging up your pores, over-cleansing is a rookie mistake that many of us make, which strips the skin of its natural oils and results in that parched feeling which is common in winter. You can tell if over-cleansing is the issue if post-cleanse you feel like your skin is dry and too tightly stretched across your face.

So then, what do you do to fix that? It’s actually a pretty easy fix! If you feel that over-cleansing might be the culprit behind those pesky dry patches on your skin, then try washing your face with just water (you can also go in with a cleansing oil if you feel like that’s too little) for your AM routine. Then just clear out the impurities that have probably collected on your skin during the day with a double cleansing method in the evening.

Double cleansing? Surely when you over-cleanse, the solution can’t be to double cleanse, can it? Well, while it may sound absurd, it is in fact what is recommended as the best way to wash your face to keep it clean and fresh, but also dewy and glowing.

  • Double cleansing works by using an oil-based cleanser first which removes the surface level dirt and any makeup as well that you may be wearing.

  • After that, you go in with a water based cleanser, typically one with moisturising ingredients (we’ll go more into those soon!), to really get in there and clean out any makeup residue that’s left behind, sweat and pollutants, while also restoring the skin’s moisture barrier.

Et voilà! Your skin’s back to being fresh and dewy. Dehydration who?

2. Determine what ingredients are best suited for dry skin

While you can’t change your skin type you can definitely help it along with certain products and ingredients that can replenish the moisture barrier in your skin and lock that goodness in so you can benefit from it.

As Natalie says, it’s like going to the gym, but for your skin! Like any good fitness plan, dry skin too can be nourished both externally and internally. Ingredients in your food like Omega 3 and 6 which are fatty acids can help introduce moisture to the skin from within.

  • Try adding more fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel into your diet for Omega 3 and 6. Nuts, seeds and vegetable oils are also a great source of these nutrients.

  • Another way to moisturise your skin is by, of course, externally applying hydrating skin care products. It’s recommended to pay attention to the active ingredients in these products, look out for moisturising ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and peptides and see if they suit your needs. I’ll go into more depth on this one in the next step, so strap yourselves in, because this one’s a doozy.

3. Flip over your moisturiser and check what's in it

The most obvious fix for dry skin is to moisturise. At a glance, moisturising seems simple; you just slap it on and rub it in, it can’t be that complicated, right? To which the experts would say no, not exactly. Moisturisers too, are something you need to think a bit about before buying.

You need to consider that there are different groups of ingredients within moisturisers that target different functions. Mainly, they can be broken down into three main types: humectants, occlusives and emollients.

Humectants, like urea and glycerin, work to attract water into the skin. In a dry climate like ours, this works by redirecting water from the deeper dermis towards the topmost layer of skin, the epidermis. But water that sits on top of the skin can evaporate, right? In order to combat this, a good moisturiser would also include occlusives in its list of ingredients.

Occlusives, like lanolin and squalane, operate in order to keep that moisture the humectants just collected locked into the skin by forming a protective barrier on top of the skin. You can think of humectants and occlusives as a tag team, so always look out for moisturisers that have both. The last type of ingredient, i.e., emollients, fill up gaps between skin cells that are caused by the shedding of dead skin cells.

Emollients, like ceramides and fatty acids, apply a smoothing effect on the skin— almost like a filter— and are usually formulated in moisturisers along with either humectants or occlusives in order to be fully effective.

4. Consider incorporating exfoliants, serums and oils into your routine to combat dry skin

Choosing what ingredients work for your concern and picking out products with those ingredients listed is an important step, but many of us face a roadblock when it comes to these ingredients actually penetrating the skin to work their magic.

The skin is thick, not just in the metaphorical sense, and we have to help these painstakingly researched ingredients to actually sink into the skin to see their effects. Exfoliating is a very important step that removes the layer of dead skin cells which sit on top of the skin. This dead skin can act as a barrier for active ingredients and stops them from being as effective as they can be.

Be careful with this step though! You don’t want to end up rubbing your skin raw and ending off worse than how you started. Less is more with exfoliation, so twice a week should do the trick. Another great way to ensure you’re making the most out of these ingredients is to look at how you introduce them to your skin.

Moisturiser would be the obvious answer here—it’s literally in the name! Or so you would think. While moisturising is absolutely vital, it’s actually a better idea to also use active ingredients in the form of serums and oils.

These products are formulated to be able to penetrate the skin more effectively than a moisturiser will, and are better suited for people with dry skin. But that’s not to say you should forgo moisturiser altogether! The key is in layering. After cleansing, apply your serum, let it sink in and then seal that in with your favourite moisturiser. Go in with a good facial oil, after letting your skin soak that up, for good measure. This will help to maximise the effect of these ingredients on your skin. Hydrating serums and face oils are a skincare staple for those of us with dry skin, so get onto that as soon as you can.

5. Masking is essential!

We are currently in the age of masking up, and no, not in reference to the kind of masks that come in the disposable and cloth varieties. Although those are indispensable too, the masks referred to here belong to the skin treatment category.

Masks are an add-on treatment recommended to be done at least once a week in order to give extra replenishment to the skin’s moisture barrier. This barrier is important because it not only locks in hydration and electrolytes, which are essential for healthy glowing skin, but also works to stop external irritants from entering the body through the skin.

This is also why a lot of people with dry skin can experience sensitivity and redness in different areas of the skin along with dryness. Using masks regularly can help to effectively combat this problem.

6. Last but not least, book an appointment with one of Essa Beauty’s talented skin therapists!

The facials team at Essa is made up of extremely qualified and DHA licensed professionals. The facials here are award winning, and you will definitely be luxuriously pampered and polished in their capable hands, in true Dubai fashion.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure what to do about your skin, because they’ve got it completely sorted for you!

  • The minute you step in for your appointment, you’ll be handed a consultation form to fill out.

  • Make sure you read all the questions carefully and answer them to the best of your knowledge, because this really helps the therapists to plan the right facial for dry skin.

  • When it comes to dry skin issues in Dubai, Natalie recommends the Elemis Biotec Sensitive Skin Soother to make the most of your visit. While it can be a bit on the pricey side, it’s entirely worth it when you see the results on your skin post-treatment.

  • There are many benefits to this facial, which includes the restoration of moisture levels in the skin, along with strengthening the structure of the skin itself. This enables the skin to better protect itself from both internal and external irritants.

Throw in a massage that will have you positively melting, and you’ve got a pretty reasonable deal for being treated like royalty. Post-treatment, just ask the therapists at Essa Beauty, and they will happily recommend the products and ingredients you should probably look to stock up on for your skin needs.

I was able to solve my skin issues in a flash because my skin was dehydrated, not dry. For those of you who have dry skin though, don't worry too much because dry skin can definitely be nourished and cared for if you follow the right steps. It can be difficult in a desert environment, but it's definitely possible and if you need help on your skincare journey you only need to drop by JLT for a visit to Essa Beauty!


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