6 Things that make your Skin Dry, Irritated & Bumpy
#1 Over exfoliating
Exfoliation, whether it comes in the form of using a cloth, physical scrub or exfoliating acid, can definitely be overdone. Remember that your skin has a natural exfoliating process, as our skin cells renew and shed every 28 days. Exfoliation can speed this process up, especially in the cooler months when we tend to get more build up and the cold air causes our skin to look duller. What’s the magic number? There isn’t one. But what I tell my patients is balance is key! Start by exfoliating once a week, if you have no irritation, it’s ok to do so a few times a week. But if your skin begins to feel tight and dry, you’ve likely gone too far!
#2 Harsh facial scrubs
If you’re a product of the 90s, you’ve likely used some highly irritating apricot scrubs to “scrub your face clean”. I was guilty of this too! The reality is, many physical exfoliating scrubs can be too harsh for our delicate facial skin and even pretty bad for the environment. Some facial scrubs can be so irritating that they actually create tiny micro tears in the skin, worsening inflammation, acne and dryness. Yikes! You know those tiny little beads found in some popular facial scrubs? Those are actually insoluble and end up harming our ocean and its animals. If you do enjoy a facial scrub, look for one with fine-grained crystals and avoid products with nutshells, fruit pits and plastic microbeads if possible.
One of my past Dermy Doc Box favorite facial scrubs is this 2-minute Reveal Masque from Defenage!
#3 Environmental toxins
Did you know the everyday pollution in our environment can impact our skin health? If you live in a bustling city, this reality is ten fold for you. Environmental toxins and pollutants cause reactive free radicals to “attack” our skin, breaking down collagen, contributing to dullness, dryness and irritation. How does one protect against this inescapable phenomenon? By wearing sunscreen, using a Vitamin C serum (antioxidants fight free radicals) and washing your face daily in the evening.
#4 Sun irritation
The rule holds true: sunscreen EVERY DAY. Even in the cooler months. Why? Because UV exposure continues year round, even on cloudy days, even in the coldest of winter. The snow actually causes the sun to reflect back onto our skin and can easily contribute to sun irritation. Ever been outside on a snowy day and returned indoors to a sunburn? Protect your skin by wearing sunscreen and a thick moisturizer before heading outdoors.
#5 Over washing
In the cooler months, I like to switch out my foaming cleanser for a hydrating one. Why? Because foaming cleansers tend to be more drying. Opting for a lotion based cleanser with little to no lather can help avoid that dry, tight feeling after cleansing. If you find that your skin is too dry to handle cleansing twice a day, then skip your morning cleanse. I personally think a nightly cleanse is important, because all the dirt, oil, pollution and debris from the day needs to come off. But a morning cleanse can easily be skipped if your skin cannot tolerate it. Simply splash your face with some water (avoid hot), and move on with the rest of your routine.
#6 Frequent use of actives in skincare products
It’s easy to overdo it with actives in skincare. Oftentimes, when reviewing my patients’ skincare routines in the office, I am removing products rather than adding. That’s because too many actives can wreak havoc on our skin barrier. I love retinols, acids, niacinamide, vitamin C, etc. But doing too many things at once, can cause you to cancel the benefits of each product out and also contribute to irritation.
Who's skin feels dry or rough? Anyone feel roughness around their nose or chin? Let us know below how your skin is doing!