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Here’s what you can do to repair your skin for Autumn

As the weather starts cooling down and we get used to shorter days, many parts of South Africa are also experiencing drier climates. The drier climate during autumn typically leads to dehydrated skin, resulting in discomfort and sometimes even flaking.

Why does skin become dehydrated during autumn?

When we talk about ‘humidity’, we refer to the moisture content in the air. The more moisture particles present in the air, the higher the humidity. When humidity drops during autumn, the air is drier (as a result of a lower moisture content), and it draws moisture from anywhere it can, including our skin and hair. This leads to dehydration of the skin, as our skin’s water content is lowered. Dehydration is not to be confused with dryness, which refers to a lack of oil in the skin (not water).

How can one identify dehydrated skin?

Dehydrated skin may have many tell tales. One of the simplest ways to test for dehydration is to do a simple pinch test. Take a small portion of skin around your cheek area and gently pinch it between your thumb and index fingers. If the skin does not bounce back right away after you let go, or you notice wrinkling, then it’s a pretty good indication that your skin may be dehydrated.

  • Dehydrated skin may feel tight and generally uncomfortable. In severe cases it may become itchy and even form scales or flake.
  • Another way to identify possible dehydration is by a lack of radiance. If your complexion looks dull, grey or ashen, it may be because your skin is dehydrated.
  • In some cases, a sudden onset of breakouts may also indicate dehydration. When our skin lacks water, it may overproduce sebum to try and compensate for the dehydration, and this excess oil may clog pores and lead to breakouts.

How to care for dehydrated skin this autumn and winter

If your skin is feeling or looking dehydrated, there are a few things you can do to restore and retain that much-needed moisture.

  • Drinking 8 – 10 glasses of water per day is not only good for your body, but it’s also essential for your skin. While dehydrated skin needs to be treated topically, it’s also important to ensure you drink enough water during this period, as many of us skimp on water when temperatures drop.

In terms of skincare, there are two major factors that come into play when treating dehydration: exfoliation and hydration.

  • Skin tends to get flaky when it’s dehydrated, so it’s important to use a gentle exfoliator once or twice a week to remove the dry and dead cells from the skin’s surface. This will also help brighten the complexion and increase radiance, plus it helps your products penetrate better, allowing you to reap the full benefits of your active ingredients.
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Try SKNLogic Exfoliate Enzymatic (R228.00), a powerful skin polisher that combines natural and chemical exfoliants to remove dead skin cells, refine skin texture and enhance penetration of actives into skin, while papaya extract not only works as an enzyme but works to repair the skin as well.

  • Change your serum and moisturiser to ensure they offer enough hydration. The most effective ingredient in treating dehydration is hyaluronic acid, which is known for being able to hold 1000 times its own weight in water. Layer a hydrating serum and moisturiser twice a day to ensure moisture is restored – and retained.

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