For years, I thought I knew unequivocally what my skin type was: extremely oily. I tried every trick in the book to mattify my skin and keep the oil under control, using product after product designed to completely strip my skin of all excess oil and tame the slick. But my skin was never happy, and despite thinking I was doing the right thing it continued to play up becoming flaky and crepe-papery too. That’s when I learnt that it was possible to have both oily and dehydrated skin at the same time, which described the problems I was having exactly.
As soon as I realised what was really going on with my skin I was able to care for it much more efficiently, so I thought I’d share with you the products I’m using – especially now as the weather becomes colder and harsher – to keep everything balanced. I’ve also popped in some information about dehydrated skin and how you can tell if it is happening to you.
Firstly, your skin can be dehydrated whatever ‘type’ it is: oily skin is just as likely to become dehydrated as dry skin. It’s almost like a secondary classification; whilst your skin ‘type’ (dry / oily / combination etc) is a permanent fixture, the dehydrated aspect is usually a more temporary state but you can be more prone to it than others.
Drinking water to hydrate the skin turns out to be kind of a myth. Dehydrated skin – which can be worse in the winter due to cold air, harsh winds and low humidity, and then bad in the summer due to UVAs – is an external problem so needs to be treated from the outside. If the skin on your face is dehydrated, then the rest of your body will follow suit, so pick up a decent body moisturiser too (I’ve recommended my favourite below).
Pinch a small area of your cheek and if it looks a little ‘crepe-papery’ your skin is likely dehydrated rather than just dry. Also, if the skin on your face feels tight alongside some roughness to the surface, and is becoming slightly dull or sensitive, you’re most likely in the dehydrated club too.
If you’re not sure whether your skin is dehydrated then consult with a professional (I am not one!), but these are the surefire ways I can tell if my skin is becoming dehydrated and it usually flares up on the change over of the seasons.
The product in this round up that I’ve been using for the longest time is the brightening sleeping mask by the Korean brand Mizon [affiliate link]. It’s relatively cheap, just £12.50 for an amount that lasts over 6 months, and was one of my first forays into products that contain hyaluronic acid.
Whatever else I use on my skin that day I’ll pop this on before jumping into bed around 5 nights a week, but it’s gentle enough to use every day. It targets three of the main problems my skin gives me: the glycerin, hyaluronic acid, trehalose and panthenine hydrate my skin, then the niacinamide brightens my dulled complexion and helps to fade my acne scarring.
Next up are the Skin Republic sheet masks, in particular the gold hydrogel [affiliate link / gifted] and the hyaluronic acid / collagen [affiliate link / gifted] ones. I go through sheet masks like it’s going out of fashion when the cold weather first comes round as my skin instantly seems to shrivel up and need all the moisture it can get. I previously used the TonyMoly sheet masks, but I was sent these Skin Republic ones to try and I’ve been really impressed with just how properly hydrating they are plus the hydrogel one is really fun to use!
Is there any such thing as too much hyaluronic acid? Before writing this post I had no idea just how much of the stuff was in all the products I use during the winter months and, to be honest, I got a bit worried. I did some research and found that a daily serum alongside a moisturiser where the acid isn’t listed in the first 5 or 6 ingredients, and an occasional use mask with a higher concentration is perfectly safe. Phew.
I currently use the hyaluronic acid serum with B5 from The Ordinary [affiliate link] after my holy grail OZ Naturals favourite shot up from £8 to £24.50 on Amazon (it’s since dropped to £12.50 so I’ll be switching back when this bottle from The Ordinary runs out). I use it after cleansing and toning but before everything else. If in doubt, a general rule of thumb with the order of serums is from thinnest to thickest consistency, and I tend to stick to that if I’m ever introducing something new.
I don’t use a ‘proper’ moisturiser on my face in the summer, the Iconic Youth Serum from Merumaya is enough for me, but in winter I do find that need something more to get some moisture back into my skin so this year I’m using the Youth Preservation Moisturiser from the same brand. I’m finding it wickedly hydrating, but also pretty damn good at controlling shine so I’m a very happy camper.
Shop Winter Treats for Dehydrated Oily Skin [affiliate links]
As I mentioned earlier on: don’t forget about the rest of your bod! Admittedly, the elements can be harsher on your face because it’s exposed all the time, but a richer body moisturiser during bouts of dehydration really can make a big difference. My go-to is the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter with Vitamin E [affiliate link] moisturiser, which was recommended to me many moons ago by one of my favourite tattoo artists as the ultimate lotion for keeping my skin moisturised, which in turn keeps my tattoos looking their best.
Last but not least is a product that slips most people’s minds in the colder months: sun block. Yeah, really! Get a good sun block on your face all winter long as UVA rays dry out your skin even if you can’t see the sun and the SPF you find in make up products usually isn’t so effective. For your face, an SPF of at least 30 is recommended but I won’t use anything less than 50. Now, most sun creams make me break out in all kinds of weird and wonderful zits so I use the La Roche-Posay Anthelios [affiliate link] ultra light ones.