Q: I’m unsure if this is possible, but can I dry my skin out by applying too much moisturizer?
Charmine Cooper: Balanced skin is the correct combination of water and oil. The skin naturally produces this on its own, however, due to diet insufficiencies, changes in the weather, lifestyle habits or even genetics, this delicate balance can be thrown off. The state of dry skin has everything to do with a lack of oil in the skin. Many people mistaken dehydrate skin for dry skin but where dry skin deals with the lack of oil in the skin, dehydrated skin deals with a lack of water.
Often, when the skin lacks oil, it will eventually also lack water so the two always go hand in hand. Moisturizers, therefore, address both elements: providing water properties and oil properties.
So, by moisturizing (or over-moisturizing) the skin, one cannot cause the skin to become more dry. Skin knows when it has received an adequate amount of nourishment it needs. On the other hand, if one does not moisturize their skin, it is spun into a perpetual state of self-repair. If it does not get the water it needs, it will produce more oil. This is indicative to people with oily skin, who cringe at the thought of adding a moisturizer. If they avoid moisturizing, their skin will actually produce more oil and make matters worse. If your skin does not get the oil it needs, as in the case of a person with dry skin, the skin will continue to be dull, tight and even age rapidly.
The key to being effective with moisturizers is to choose one that is skin type specific for you. Always tone the skin with an alcohol free hydrating mist first, then apply a dime size of the moisturizer. Blend evenly and on the neck as well. This will help the skin to receive the moisturizer more readily.
Charmaine Cooper is a passionate, knowledgeable and inspiring skin health expert. Her well-informed advice and recommendations appropriate to your lifestyle and habits make her a sought after guide in the world of skin care. Read Charmaine’s other Q&A’s.