Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Winter Skincare Tip: Use Glycerine November 20, 2016

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Lately my skin has been feeling very dry and even tight even though I use facial oils on a twice daily basis and moisturizer both morning and evening.  I believe that the weather where I live is pretty much to blame for this skin issue.  Currently, it is cool first thing in the morning and after sundown, but during the day it can still be quite hot (low 80s).  Some days it also windy with poor air quality.  For my skin this has been very drying.  I started trying to think of a way I could easily add moisture back to my skin.  My skincare routine, no surprise, already involves multiple steps, but since my skin was crying out for hydration I decided that I needed to add yet another product to the mix.

I remembered that I had a bottle of vegetable glycerine that I hadn’t really figured out how to use yet (not in my personal skincare routine and not on my clients during facials).   When I bought the glycerine I had this idea that it would be a good way to hydrate dehydrated skin.  Why?  Glycerine is a great humectant which means it attracts water to the skin and also seals that moisture into the skin. Then I recalled that I had pinned a link to a DIY recipe for a glycerine moisturizer.  The recipe is super easy:  1/4 cup glycerine to 1 cup distilled water.  You can add a little essential oil if you want.  Everything goes into a spray bottle.  Viola!  I just eyeballed the amounts when I made my own spray, and instead of essential oil I added some rose water.

The first time I used it I sprayed it directly on my face.  Take it from me – do not do this! Glycerine feels very heavy on the skin.  Instead of my skin feeling hydrated and refreshed after spraying this homemade product on my face, my skin actually felt gross and sticky.  I suggest spraying some of this product into your hands and pat it onto your face, pressing it gently into your skin.  Do this right after washing your face and before applying any other products in your routine.  I can definitely say that my skin feels much better since I added my glycerine spray to my routine.  My skin is much softer and doesn’t feel tight anymore. I’ve also started spraying it on my hair since my hair is always super dry.  I don’t recommend putting glycerine directly from the bottle onto your skin since it can feel heavy, thick, and sticky.  It is best to dilute it with distilled water or rose water (or another liquid product).  Be sure the shake your spray bottle before each use.

If you give this a try be sure to comment below and let me know if it worked for you.  If you are already a fan of glycerine for skincare let us know how you use it on your skin.

 

Photo from Amazon.com

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Dehydrated Skin Or Debunking the Myth that You Can Drink Your Way to Perfect Skin August 19, 2010

One thing I’ve noticed again and again when doing a skin analysis on my clients during facials is that almost everyone has dehydrated skin.  Dry skin and dehydrated skin are two very different issues in skincare.  Dry skin lacks oil; dehydrated skin lacks water.  So even if your skin is oily it can be dehydrated, and surprisingly restoring the water balance to your skin actually has nothing to do with drinking enough water.

 

Why Doesn’t Drinking Water Treat Dehydrated Skin?

Or

I Drink Enough Water – Why Isn’t My Skin Perfect?

 

Simply put your skin is dehydrated when your skin barrier is damaged or compromised and no amount of water that you drink will repair that damage.  The water that we drink first goes to our hearts, brain, liver, and kidneys before it ever reaches our skin.  So all those celebrities who credit their flawless skin to drinking water?  Chalk that up to yet another Hollywood PR myth.

Dr. Leslie Baumann explains in her book The Skin Type Solution that (pages 313-314):

Poor hydration is due to damage to the skin barrier, and drinking water makes no difference.  Cells on the surface of the skin line up to form what is called the skin barrier.  These cells look something like a row of bricks in a wall held together by mortar.  When the mortar breaks down and weakens, the wall cannot hold, and the skin cells (acting like bricks) move and leave gaps.  As a result, skin cannot hold water in the skin to maintain the skin’s cellular integrity.

Furthermore, Dr. Ellen Marmur points out in her book Simple Skin Beauty (pages 41-42):

Water has always been thought to provide benefits for the skin, but drinking huge amounts of it isn’t going to make you look even better.  The body will simply eliminate the excess through urination.  …  Water is essential to the skin’s metabolism and regeneration (actions such as producing new skin cells and growing new hair in follicles).  The highways bringing nutrients to your skin and taking metabolic debris away are the blood vessels.  Water moves blood flow along smoothly and washes away toxic by-products (enzymes, amino acids, salts) from chemical reactions.  The visible brightening effect that you see on your skin has to do with the that robust circulation.  It also increases the extracellular water in your facial tissues, so you may get a slight plumping effect.  But refuting these facts, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently found no clinical evidence that water consumption is essential to helping the kidneys filer toxins more efficiently.  Their findings also included this: drinking water can’t actually hydrate the skin from the inside out.  With all this contradictory information, how much water do you need to benefit the skin?  Since the liquid you drink won’t reach the stratum corneum, you’re better off alleviating dry skin topically with a moisturizer that prevents water loss from the surface.  Even though there may be no direct correlation between drinking water and plumping or moisturizing your skin, sufficient hydration is essential to keeping the body – and the skin – healthy.  Ultimately, adequate water consumption (this means not drinking to excess but avoiding dehydration) is like eating a balanced diet: it’s good for your body as a whole, your complexion included.

Too Much Water Can Hurt Your Skin

 

Ever notice how the skin on your fingers will pucker and prune if you take a long bath?  It turns out that prolonged water exposure either via long baths, swimming, or snorkeling/scuba diving can actually harm your skin.  Hot water, hard water (tap water with a high level of calcium), and chlorinated water all dehydrate the skin if you spend a long time in the water since soaking or spending a long time in water will actually harm your skin’s ability to retain water.  So as wonderful as soaking in a hot bath can feel keep those kinds of baths brief.

How Your Skin Became Dehydrated and How to Treat It

 

One of the main reasons so many people have dehydrated skin is the shifts in the weather and drying effects of going from either a cold environment to a warm one (in the winter) or from a hot, humid environment to an air conditioned one (in the summer).  This constant change in temperature doesn’t help our skin hold onto moisture.  Furthermore, if you are exposed to harsh chemicals, too strong skincare products (from your cleanser and/or exfoliant for example), or prolonged sun exposure without proper protection you can suck the moisture out of your skin.  Low humidity environments like airplanes can dehydrate your skin as well.

So how do you get that moisture back into your skin?  You need to restore your skin barrier so that it can help retain moisture again.  Look for moisturizers with ingredients like ceramides, fatty acids, and glycerin.  Consider spritzing your face with a facial water (see my earlier post for more information about facial waters and for product recommendations) and immediately applying a moisturizer in order to lock in more moisture for your skin.

 Sources and Further Reading

 

For more information on staying proper hydrated read:

 

 

 
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