WINTER – Combat Dry or Dehydrated Skin

How to Combat Dry or Dehydrated Skin this Winter

dry-skinWith the winter months upon us and NSW experiencing one of its coldest winters for many years, skin can become drained of its natural protective oils which help maintain our skin barrier. Between the harsh winter weather and indoor heaters, this can lead to the build-up of dry dead skin cells. These skin cells sit on the surface of our skin and can leave our skin appearing dry, lifeless and dull. Not only can this lead to a lifeless dull complexion, but it can also lead to dryness, blocked pores, and congestion and inhibit our skincare actives from penetrating, slowing benefits and results.

This is when the application of resurfacing products comes in, to assist in removing the build-up of dry dead skin cells by exfoliating the outer layers of the skin to reveal a fresher, more radiant look. This will promote skin radiance to brighten your complexion, even skin tone and improve skin texture as well as inhibit dry skin from flaking that the cold weather and low humidity, that winter brings.

Skin dryness and dehydration are common, and although they are separate skin concerns the two are closely linked 2,5.  If the skin is dry, it will inevitably lead to dehydration, and if the skin is dehydrated, it can lead to skin dryness 2,11.

Dehydration refers to a lack of water in the skin, whereas dryness refers to a lack of skin lipids and water due to a poorly functioning skin structure and physiology 4,8,11

Keeping the skin hydrated is essential as all biological processes, even those within the skin, rely on its presence 1,4,11.  Without skin hydration, enzymes required for skin cell production and barrier function maintenance cannot function optimally leading to the formation of dry skin 4,10,11

The ability of the skin to maintain hydration relies mostly on two aspects:

  1. The natural moisturising factor within the skin and its ability to hold water
  2. The barrier function of the skin 1,5,10,11

Skin hydration is also influenced by the amount of sebum present on the surface of the skin, acting as an extra barrier to water loss 1,3.  Within the second layer of the skin, the dermis, is hyaluronic acid which is important for the maintenance of hydration in this region 11.

Causes of skin dehydration and dryness may include:

  • Air-conditioning: these systems reduce environmental humidity when used in both cooling and heating states, which draws water from the skin 1,2,5,10,11
  • Environmental and seasonal changes: low humidity, cold weather, exposure to wind 2,4,5,8,9,10,11
  • Ageing: as we age our skin barrier depletes, physiological function decreases, sebum production slows and natural moisturising factor levels are decreased, hence skin dryness and dehydration may result 1,2,3,5,9,10
  • UV exposure can lead to a decrease in the production of filaggrin, which is an essential structural protein involved in developing our skin barrier lipids. Without these lipids, our barrier function is compromised hence it can become rapidly dehydrated and dry. UV exposure also decreases the levels of natural moisturising factor within the skin 1,5,8,10,11
  • Hormones: during menopause, as oestrogen and progesterone levels decline there is an increase in skin dryness and dehydration 10
  • Mechanical disturbance of the skin barrier: scratching, rubbing of clothes or injury 8,10
  • Frequent skin washing with the use of harsh detergents: can strip skin lipids and moisture via a reduction in the level of natural moisturising factor and skin lipids 2,8,9,11
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate and other detergents can increase water loss 2,8,9
  • Chronic diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and diabetes 1,2,5,8,10
  • Malnutrition inclusive of a low protein diet 10
  • Psychological stress 4,10
  • Medications 10

Symptoms of dry skin may include:

  • Scaly, flaky, rough skin
  • Faint inflammation
  • Dullness
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Tightness
  • Skin cracking
  • Increased incidence of skin tears, infection, dermatitis and pressure ulcers especially in the elderly 2,3,4,5,8,9,10,11

Treatment for dry and dehydrated skin is firstly focussed on prevention and then followed by maintenance 2,3,5.  The optimal strategy involves moisturisation through the application of topical skincare products to rehydrate and nourish the skin, with a focus on repairing the skin barrier to reduce further water loss and subsequent dehydration 1,2,5,9,11.

Moisturisers have multiple actions on the skin and at various depths, depending on their formulation 4.  They contain emollients and humectants, which soften and smooth, and draw water and hold it into the skin respectively 4.  Skin cells can swell up to 50% when they are fully hydrated, such as in a humid environment 6.  When the skin is hydrated, it is more supple due to an improvement in flexibility, strength and elasticity 1,4,6

To manage dry skin it is also important to use mild cleansers and avoid the use of soap due to its alkaline pH further drying out the skin 2,3.  When cleansing or washing the body, it is recommended to shower or bathe with lukewarm water to prevent further dehydration2,3

Common skincare ingredients incorporated into emollient and humectant moisturisers include glycerine, ceramides, macadamia oil, hyaluronic acid, dimethicones, triglycerides, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, squalene, niacinamide, allantoin, urea, essential fatty acids, alpha hydroxyl acids, sodium PCA and vitamin E 2,3,4,8,9

And let’s not forget simple body hydration. It is suggested that drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day will influence skin hydration positively 1. There is minimal high-quality research that has been performed in this specific area, however, a common theme is that if you increase your water intake when previously it was low, it may lead to a small increase in skin hydration 1,7

Pump up the hydration and deliver a deluge of superior moisturising ingredients with the ultimate dry skin heroes from AST brands

Aspect Probiotic MaskAspect-Probiotic-Mask

For dry, dehydrated skin concerns, our go-to is the nourishing Aspect Probiotic Mask.  

Formulated with a blend of vitamins, antioxidants and shea butter, this luxurious mask:

  • Delivers nutrients to the skin
  • Protects skin from external free radicals
  • Soothes and hydrates

Learn more


  Aspect Extreme B17


A powerhouse serum formulated with B vitamins to help prevent dehydration, even out skin tone and balance excess oil. Skin appears plump and more youthful.

Key Ingredients

  • Vitamin B3 | to nurture stressed skin and aid in skin recovery.
  • Vitamin E | a skin conditioning antioxidant.
  • Homeo-Shield™ (Fucus Serratus Extract) | supports the skin barrier function for optimal protection against environmental influences and prevention of transepidermal water loss.
  • Homeo-Soothe™(Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract) | known for its calming and soothing properties.

For more than just hydration for all skin types.

Learn more


 Aspect Dr Hyaluronic Serum

Aspect Dr Hyaluronic Serum

A hydration-boosting serum formulated with two forms of Hyaluronic Acid

Key Ingredients

  • Cristalhyal (Sodium Hyaluronate) and PrimalHyal 50 (Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid) | A blend of high molecular and low molecular weight (hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid) forms of hyaluronic acid that help to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Niacinamide | Vitamin B3 to help maintain hydration and nurture skin.
  • Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate | An oil-soluble form of Vitamin C that is pH neutral and helps to illuminate and protect the skin.
For those wanting to boost hydration levels and protect from external free radical damage

1Akdeniz, M., Tomova_Simitchieva, T., Dobos, G., Blume_Peytavi, U., & Kottner, J. (2018). Does dietary fluid intake affect skin hydration in healthy humans? A systematic literature review. Skin Research and technology, 24(3), 459-465. doi: 10.1111/srt.12454

2Berardesca, E., Mortillo, S., Camelli, N., Ardigo, M., & Mariano, M. (2018). Efficacy of a shower cream and a lotion with skin-identical lipids in healthy subjects with atopic dry skin. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 17(3), 477-483. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12668

3Lichterfeld-Kottner, A., Lahmann, N., Blume-Peytavi, U., Mueller-Werdan, U., & Kottner, J. (2018). Dry skin in home care: a representative prevalence study. Journal of Tissue Viability, (2018), 1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jtv.2018.07.001

4Loden, M. (2003). Role of topical emollients and moisturizers in the treatment of dry skin barrier disorders. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 4(11), 771-788.

5Masaki, H., Yamashita, Y., Kuotani, D., Honda, T., Takano, K., Tamura, T., Mizutani, T,m & Okano, Y. (2018). Correlations between skin hydration parameters and corneocyte-derived parameters to characterize skin conditions. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, (2018), 1-7. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12502

6Mojumdar, E. H., Pham, Q. D., Topgaard, D., & Sparr, E. (2017). Skin hydration: interplay between molecular dynamics, structure and water uptake in the stratum corneum. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1-13. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-15921-5

7Palma, L., Marques, L. T., Bujan, J., & Rodrigues, L. M. (2015). Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, 8(), 413-421. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S86822

8Proksch, E., & Lachapelle, J.-M. (2005). The management of dry skin with topical emollients – recent perspectives.  Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, 3(10), 768-774. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2005.05068.x

9Shim, J. H., Park, J. H., Lee, J. H., Lee, D. Y., Lee, J. H., & Yang, J. M. (2016). Moisturizers are effective in the treatment of xerosis irrespectively from their particular formulation: results from a prospective, randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 30(2), 276-281. doi: 10.1111/jdv.13472

10Toncic, R. J., Kezic, S., Hadzavdic, S. L., & Marinovic, B. (2018). Skin barrier and dry skin in the mature patient. Clinics in Dermatology, 36(2), 109-115. doi: 10.1016/j.clindermatol.2017.10.002

11Verdier-Sevrain, S., & Bonte, F. (2007). Skin hydration: a review on its molecular mechanisms. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 6(2), 75-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2007.00300.x

Call Now Button