If you had a skin checklist in front of you that said ‘flakiness, increased appearance of lines, dullness tightness, itchiness’, how many would you have checked off?
My bets are the majority of them, as everyone is going through skin dehydration right now, alongside random breakouts and flare-ups of conditions such as eczema. In a recent column, I covered day-to-day hydration, including investing in a humidifier, upping the fatty acids in your diet and keeping water intake up.
However, some are already doing this and still seeing the signs of skin dehydration. Never fear, because I am here with a step-by-step home treatment that will help to boost hydration instantly and you can do it just once, or once a week, depending on your skin’s needs.
The first step is a thorough cleanse. Cleanse with a cleanse oil or balm or the Cleanse Off Mitt to remove any makeup, SPF, residue, sebum: anything that the day may have left on your skin. Then, you’re going to follow it up with a traditional cleanser.
If your skin is dehydrated bordering on irritated, ‘mild’ and ‘nourishing’ are our key words. A creamy or non-stripping cleanser with ingredients like a small amount of lactic acid, prebiotics, probiotics and lipids are what we want. Some of my favourites for this are the Skin- gredients PreProbiotic Cleanse (€25); the Image Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser (€37); and the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser (€9.99).
Your second step of this hydration treatment is going to be Spritz O’Clock, meaning dousing yourself in a hydrating mist. The classic that I reach for is Lotion Yon-Ka PS (€32) as it is velvety on the skin, hydrating and healing, but I also love the Avene Thermal Water Spray (€15).
Step 3 is your exfoliating step. Since we’re going for hydration, I recommend something that contains lactic acid like the REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask (€32) or the Yon-Ka Gommage (€47), which although free from exfoliating acids contains hydrating and purifying ingredients and is ultra-gentle.
Follow the instructions on your exfoliating product of choice and don’t lose the run of yourself and leave them on for longer than you’re supposed to. Spritz again, because there is absolutely no reason not to.
After exfoliating, we’re going to introduce a gush of hydration. You’ve two options: a hydrating gel masque or a sheet mask. We’re going to apply a hydrating serum prior to our sheet mask, or mixing in a few drops of our hydrating serum to our hydrating gel masque. Leave this on for about 30 minutes (or overnight, if you’re using an overnight masque).
Remove your masque, follow with another spritz and the hydrating serum. I highly rate a serum with a combination of hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to soothe the skin. Then you’re going to apply a thicker cream or facial oil to help lock it all in. My go-to ‘locker’ at the moment is Skingredients Skin Good Fats (€42) as it’s full of fatty goodness like ceramide NP, but any more luxurious, creamy moisturiser or night cream will help your skin to soak up moisture.
If you have some extra product on the surface of your skin, pat it in with your fingers and should see some relief of the flakes and any ‘drinkles’ or dehydration wrinkles. Brownie points if you do it all while eating fatty-acid rich avocado and drinking a big pint of water!
Yon-Ka Sensitive Masque
Those with sensitive skin don’t have to miss out on masks. Yon-Ka Sensitive Masque is designed to soothe and strengthen reactive skin with ingredients such as arnica, chamomile, horse chestnut and St John’s Wort.
It’s particularly great for any itchiness and redness, especially in the summer when skin may be irritated by a higher pollen count! Apply after cleansing or using your serums, leave to sit for 10 minutes and massage in any residue, or use it as an overnight masque by applying a thinner layer and allowing it to sit.
Yon-Ka Sensitive Masque, €38, theskinnerd.com and selected online retailers.