Why Your Skin Can Still Feel Dry After Using Moisturiser
No one’s skin is the same. A moisturiser that quenches your mum’s skin thirst might not quench yours at all. And with so many variables out there, searching for the best moisturiser for dry skin can be more difficult than holding a plank for more than two minutes. But, if you arm yourself with the right information, you’ll find it in a heartbeat.
Difference Between Dry Skin And Dehydrated Skin
First, you need to understand if your skin is dehydrated or dry. “Dry skin has a lack of oil, or lipids. With dehydrated skin, there’s a lack of water in the stratum corneum, which is the top layer of the skin,” says Dr Ariel Haus, Dermatologist for La Roche Posay. “You don’t need to have dry skin to have dehydrated skin. Oily and combination skin can be dehydrated as well”.
Dry skin appears rough and flaky, while dehydrated skin will look dull, feel tight and may be sensitive. If you can’t work out the difference, try the snapback test. Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and then let go. If it immediately returns flat, your skin’s hydration levels are sufficient. If it stays ‘tented’ before slowly returning to normal, it’s most likely your skin is dehydrated.
Difference Between Moisturising Skin And Hydrating Skin
Moisturising your skin is very different to hydrating your skin. Moisturisers are formulated to seal existing moisture in the skin and prevent transepidermal water loss by forming a barrier over your skin. On the other hand, hydrators are designed to increase the water content of your skin. This is generally achieved with ingredients, like glycerin, that attract moisture from your environment, so it can be absorbed by your skin.
You might be using the best moisturiser for dry skin, but still feel the need to reapply during the day. This is why hydrating products should be used prior to moisturiser, or your daily cream should include ingredients that do both.
Instead of just giving you a list of the best moisturisers for dry skin, we’re breaking the ingredients down so you can make an informed decision on all products out there.
1. Pestle and Mortar Pure Hyaluronic Serum, £36
Humectants draw water from the air into your skin’s outer layer to rehydrate your skin. Consider hyaluronic acid the gold standard of hydrators. This glycosaminoglycan is found naturally in the human body and it can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water. Other hydrators include alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), which work to bind water to your skin, and glycerin, which attracts water.
2. Lixir Night Switch BHA/AHA 10% Serum, £20
3. Mario Badescu AHA and Ceramide Moisturiser, £19.50
Ceramides are found in the top layer of your skin, where their primary function is to hold skin cells together to form a protective layer that retains moisture, making them one of the best moistuirsers for dry skin. When applied topically, ceramides replenish natural lipids that are lost due to environmental factors like pollution, as well as ageing.
4. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Plump Perfect Lift And Firm Night Cream, £59
5. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser, £19.50
Emollients soften and condition your skin by filling in the gaps between skin cells, improving the appearance of dry patches, while making your skin more flexible. Look for ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, borage oil, cocoa butter and fatty acids (omegas 3 and 6).
6. Sukin Moisture Restoring Night cream, £44.70
7. Cerave Moisturising Cream, £XX
Similar to emollients, occlusives don't increase hydration of your skin, but can help prevent water reserves from being drained by external stressors like air conditioning, pollution and sun damage, which is why they're considered one of the best moisturisers for dry skin. The most popular occlusive ingredients are petroleum, mineral oil, Lanolin, Jojoba Oil, sunflower oil and evening primrose oil.
8. Neal’s Yard Rose & Mallow Moisturiser, £22