One of Australia's Top Skin Experts Just Told Us How to Fix Dry Skin for Good
Having had oily/combination skin for most of my life, I've never understood the perils of a tight, flaky complexion. But as a beauty journalist, I can attest that one of the most commonly asked questions I get is, "How do I fix my dry skin?" To help me provide answers, I enlisted the expertise of one of Australia's top skin experts, James Vivian. Originally only found in Melbourne, Vivian's clinic, James Vivian Dermal Therapies, recently opened up shop in Sydney's Double Bay, and having had a treatment a few weeks back, I can confirm the team really knows their stuff. So, if you're fighting a losing battle with dryness or dehydration, Vivian's simple but effective advice will be a massive help. Baby-smooth skin is only a scroll away, I promise.
What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?
Keeping it simple, dry skin refers to a lack of the skin’s natural oils, whilst dehydrated skin refers to a lack of water within the skin.
What are some ingredients to look for if you're dry?
Ingredients rich in essential fatty acids, such as sea buckthorn, argan, and rosehip oils are great. These ingredients mimic the skins natural barrier and help protect the skin against dehydration, irritation and flaking.
When applied topically, ingredients, such as lactic acid and vitamin B3 (niacinamide), help to stimulate natural oils (ceramides) within the skin to help protect barrier function. This in turn leads to a more hydrated complexion.
Hyaluronic acid is the best ingredient for dehydrated skins as it holds 1000 times its weight in water, therefore drawing moisture into the skin. Other humectants (ingredients which draw water into the skin) include glycerine, sodium PCA, seaweed and algae-based ingredients.
Again, lactic acid can stimulate the skin's natural production of hyaluronic acid, making it a winner for both dry and dehydrated skins.
What do you think about facial oils? Are some better than others?
I love oils! They're great for so many reasons. Oils allow you to continue to use your preferred moisturiser all year around by adding a few drops to enhance hydration. Oils can leave a beautiful dewy finish to the skin and help to heal and soothe irritated and sensitive skins.
My preferences are sea buckthorn, argan, rosehip and neem oils. I am personally not a fan of coconut oil on the skin as it has been confirmed as a comedogenic ingredient, thereby congesting the skin and leading to potential skin irritations. Good for cooking, not so good for the skin!
What are the top masks you recommend for those dealing with dry or dehydrated skin?
Face mists: Do they work? What are some other ways to combat office heating and air-conditioning?
They certainly do work by way of restoring hydration to the skin, but seriously how many people carry around mists with them? I personally don’t recommend them, however, I do advocate that clients are using their morning routine to suitably prepare their skin for the day ahead. This includes the application of targeted serums, moisturisers, oils, and mineral makeup.
What about exfoliation for drier skin types? Do you prefer chemical, or physical?
Exfoliation, especially in winter, is so important. In winter, our natural cell turnover cycle slows down leading to a build up of dead skin that impedes the penetration of skincare ingredients. Basically, you'll find yourself with a sallow, flaky complexion.
The correct exfoliation method needs to be selected for the right skin:
- Chemical e.g. lactic acid: Suitable for normal to dry skin types, aged 30 and above.
- Enzymatic e.g. fruit enzymes: Suitable for sensitive skins, all ages.
- Physical e.g. scrub: Suitable for normal to dry skins, all ages.
Is it always necessary to swap out lotions for heavier creams in winter?
It is important to review your skincare seasonally as you may need to make some alterations depending on how your skin is travelling. As discussed earlier, oils allow you to continue to use your preferred moisturiser all year around by adding a few drops to enhance hydration.
Every skin is different so will need a different approach. It’s advisable to have your skin checked by a professional every season.
What about treatments? Any go-to’s for skin that’s tight, dull, and flaky?
Any treatments which help to stimulate the skins natural cell turnover cycle, boost the skin's natural production of ceramides and hyaluronic acid whilst also flooding the skin with these ingredients artificially will significantly assist the skin during the cooler months.
Our Signature Dermal Therapy Treatment does all this plus introduces some Laser Genesis into the skin which helps to reduce redness and plump up the skin.