Whether it’s a dry scalp in the salon chair, a flaky face waiting for a makeup application or skin yearning for a bright glow, dry skin is a hassle for salon professional and client alike.
Other than dreaded winter weather, there are other factors that lead to dry, dehydrated skin.
“Age and skin type can play a huge factor in drying out skin,” says Alana Mitchell, licensed esthetician, salon owner, and founder and owner of Alana Mitchell SkinCare and SkinCare by Alana. “Many people are naturally dry, or can become dry as they age due to hormone shifts. Also, neglecting to hydrate and moisturize skin properly can easily result in skin that is dry, tight, itchy and uncomfortable”
Aside from being unsightly and uncomfortable, dried out skin can lead to premature aging.
“A lack of moisture will result in fine lines and wrinkles making a loud and proud appearance,” Mitchell says. “Many of the superficial lines clients see on their face are actually the result of dehydration, which is the perfect example of just how crucial moisture is. When clients don’t keep skin hydrated, fine lines and dullness are noticeable in the short term, and can eventually lead to wrinkles and sallow-looking skin in the long run.”
This is why maintaining moisture is important, especially as an adult. We’ve all heard anecdotes and seen clients with oily skin having fewer wrinkles and signs of aging. That’s because moisture is what keeps skin healthy and youthful.
Hydration keeps skin plump and supple, smoothing out fine lines.
“As an adult, your body needs to be in prime, working shape,” Mitchell says. “If you’re like me, you’re running on not enough sleep (two young boys) and drinking coffee. When we don’t drink enough water, it can have some not-so-fun side effects like headaches, low energy, dry crepey skin, and more noticeable fine lines, just to name a few.”
Preventing and Treating Dry Skin
Mitchell offers eight tips how you can help clients fight dry skin and achieve a youthful glow.
1. Drink water! “Remember to keep skin hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water,” she says. “Clients can use an online hydration calculator to find out how much they should be drinking for their body and lifestyle. I’ve even used a hydration app on my phone that sends me reminders to make sure I’m meeting my daily guzzling goals!”
2. Moisturize! “Age and skin type can play a huge factor in drying out skin; DO NOT skimp on the moisturizer, my friends!”
3. Make facials part of their routine. “The one thing I recommend to clients to maintain healthy moisture levels and beautiful skin would be to keep up with regular facial treatments at their day spa. This is the best way to help skin maintain balance and healthy moisture.”
4. Exfoliate! “It may seem counterintuitive a client has dryness, but I’ve seen clients attempting to apply more and more moisturizers and serums, but they still have dry flaky skin,” Mitchell says. “How in the world is this possible? It’s because skin can’t properly absorb moisture until you slough off all those dead skin cells that are parked on the surface.
“Many people aren’t exfoliating as much as they should (especially in winter when skin really dries out)! I recommend exfoliating two to three times per week to maintain a healthy, glowing complexion.
“There are two types of professional exfoliation services available: physical exfoliation, such as microdermabrasion, which uses small granules or beads to actually buff away dead cells to reveal new, glowing skin; and chemical exfoliation, which uses ingredients, like enzymes, to gently dissolve and carry away dead skin. This is a great time of year to have a Vitamin C chemical peel infused with Hyaluronic Acid. Both keep your skin wonderfully hydrated and looking beautiful, and they work together to deliver a firming, anti-aging result.”
5. Switch up products (and teach clients how to use new ones correctly). “If clients notice dry skin after adding a new retail product to their skincare rotation, a drying ingredient is likely the culprit,” Mitchell says. “Surfactants and alcohol famously have a drying effect on skin, and certain beloved ingredients (such as salicylic acid, willow bark, glycolic acid, and more) can also cause dryness if clients don’t ease into them correctly.
6. Hyaluronic acid+facial oil. “I am a firm believer in Hyaluronic Acid serums and facial oils. If a client has an oily or combo skin type, a Hyaluronic Acid-based serum is a safe go-to for lightweight, balanced moisture. For those that are 35 and older with combo skin, it may be time to try a facial oil on dry skin areas.”
7. Shower mindfully. “Don’t take long, hot showers! I know, they feel wonderful, but hot water zaps skin’s moisture. Warm water is a better way to go. Then, follow up with a moisturizer while skin is still a little damp to really lock in moisture.”
8. Visit a dermatologist. “If clients notice their skin drying out, take a step back to determine just what could be the cause. And, when in doubt, never be afraid to tell them to contact a skincare professional! We want to help them achieve their best, most beautiful, and healthy skin.”