Dry or very dry skin - that's the question

Trockene oder sehr trockene Haut – das ist hier die Frage

Today it's once again time for a rehash of a 48grams customer question. After we have explained rare ingredients here, for example - mastic oil and edelweiss extract are among the absolute favorites of the blog's editorial team - we are now dealing with a specific inquiry from Simone G. from Cologne: "What exactly is the difference between dry and very dry skin? And how can I recognize it in myself?" An important distinction indeed.


No, we are not dermatologists

First, a note on our own behalf. This isn't the first time we've written this, but it's important: reading this blog is in no way a substitute for seeing a dermatologist. We compile the latest scientific findings here, provide in-depth information on ingredients and modes of action, or report on the experiences made with a successful skincare label - but in the end, the following always applies: Anyone who is unsure and/or has acute problems should make an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible. So after this disclaimer, here are our research results on Simone G.'s inquiry.


From martini to creepy light

Dry or very dry - that is the question here. In fact, it's easier to answer with a Martini. The bartender should know his stuff and be able to mix the desired variant. While the taste differs considerably in the drink variants, the facial skin forms quite similar identifying features in both cases. A little tip: Ideally, the so-called sight test should take place in front of a mirror in a room flooded with light - and under no circumstances with underlighting. Everyone is probably familiar with this problem from scary movies. This only increases the optical depth of possible wrinkles. But now to the facts: Very dry skin is recognizable by the fact that it is lackluster, recognizably fine-pored, slightly cracked and rough-scaly. It is also not very elastic - so if you try to move it over the cheekbones with two fingertips, very little happens. The symptoms of dry skin are only conditionally better: fine pores and cracks are also visible here, but to a lesser extent. The scaling is limited to a few areas and the flexibility is somewhat greater. The test - i.e. a test with more significance - looks as follows: The face is carefully cleaned and then NOT treated with care products. After one hour, place a paper towel on the bridge of the nose and press it gently. If afterwards a fine - sorry for the word - grease spot is visible on the cloth, then the skin is "merely" dry.


A hydrolipid film as a rescue shield

Before we get to the rescue measures, it is important to understand why the tissues of the face in particular tend to dry out. After all, the mantle of skin surrounds us all over the body. On average (yes, this was once scientifically calculated), this is 1.8 square meters of surface area - with a weight of 3.5 to 10 kilos. So why does the skin of the face "tick" differently. The reason is quickly given: It is exposed to the elements at all times and thus more susceptible to damage. UV radiation always affects it, as does cold and dry air. In addition, the tissue under the eyes is much thinner. This rather complex system is therefore protected by an interplay of sebum production (the glands produce 1 to 2 g of fat per day) and moisture. These are only the two most important aspects to form a protective hydrolipid film and thus to maintain the resistance against external influences. However, if one factor is now absent or available in a significantly reduced form, the problems mentioned at the beginning will arise.


The triggers for dry tissue

As indicated before, these were only two triggers out of many. Here is a brief outline of other factors - without claiming to be exhaustive (otherwise this blog entry would reach the length of an entire encyclopedia): Diseases such as gastritis (inflammation of the gastric mucosa), Crohn's disease (and other intestinal diseases), hypothyroidism, numerous allergic phenomena or forms of diabetes. External influences also have an impact on skin health: mental and/or stress loads, too much contact with water and/or sweat (this mainly affects athletes), heat and cold (or the alternation of both) as well as chemical substances such as detergents and cleaning agents, paints or solvents. Whew, what a tapeworm sentence. But now, dear readers, you have a better insight. Let's take a brief look at the classics of the so-called "internal influences": Those who indulge in a glass more often not only damage their liver and nerves, they also deplete their skin (alcohol is also broken down via the sweat glands). Smokers inhale not only nicotine, but also carbon monoxide - which in turn constricts the blood vessels. The result in the face: wrinkles appear earlier and more often; in addition, the risk of psoriasis increases. The following also applies in principle: Drinking more water hydrates the entire body, including the skin. At the end of the enumeration still the following reference: Everything can be enjoyed in moderation - also animal proteins, sweet foods and sodas. The important thing is to create a counterbalance. For example, by eating vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables. If you were expecting the triggers for dry and very dry skin to be different, we inevitably had to disappoint you with this brief list.


The best tips against dry skin

So basically, "very dry skin" is the next level of escalation. Instead of 5 to 12 ... it's already one minute to noon. Nevertheless, dermatologists group both conditions under the term xerosis. Treatment is always based on an assessment by a physician. After all, the trigger can also be a pathological one - as described above. But ultimately, the tissue always needs moisture. And that from the inside as well as from the outside. Drinking 2 liters of water daily is obligatory. And ideally a low-salt diet - thus the dehydration of the body is clearly limited. The situation is different with the fluid from the outside. Dermatologists advise against daily showers. Two to three times a week should be the maximum. In addition, the water should only be lukewarm - but never hot. The subsequent rubbing with a towel should also be avoided - both ensure that the important lipid film on the skin is worn away. Logical, but always worth a mention: cleansing foams with fragrances and alcohol are just as taboo as harsh soaps - ideally, moisturizing washing products should be used. Immediately after the shower, the tissue all over the body - but especially on the face - needs products with shea butter or argan oil. Vitamin E or allantoin have a moisturizing effect here. When it comes to lip care, Vaseline is a good choice - but beeswax is also ideally suited - due to its anti-inflammatory effect.


The good news

Basically, dry to very dry skin is treatable. That is the good news. In most cases, it is even enough to stop making the mistakes described above. However, there is always the risk that the tissue has already suffered irreparable damage. In this case, it is a matter of maintaining the status quo. But this is hardly feasible without a dermatologist. If you were expecting the triggers for dry and very dry skin to be different, we inevitably had to disappoint you with this brief list.  A therapy plan is needed. So that in the consequence the skin becomes again supple(er) and better moisturized. Maybe the implementation of a daily care is annoying and exhausting and time-consuming. But if the result is a radiant complexion again, the effort was certainly worth it.