Your skin’s outer layer, the stratum corneum, acts as a protective barrier helping to keep water in and harmful irritants out. If this barrier becomes weak or damaged, it lets water out which may result in dryness. Dry skin is more vulnerable to irritants and prone to sensitivity. Here, our Dermatologist, Dr Justine Kluk, provides her top tips on caring for dry, sensitive skin.




Dry Skin

Your skin can show that it’s lacking moisture in many different ways. You may notice it has become tight, rough, cracked, red and itchy. The severity of these signs will depend to what extent the moisture barrier has been compromised. 

There are several signs that you may have dry skin:

1. Follow a regular skin care routine

Cleanse, tone, moisturise and use a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen on your face and exposed areas of your body every day. This will help maintain the integrity of your skin’s natural moisture barrier and keep skin healthy and nourished.

2. Wash with tepid water

Hot water can make the blood rush to the skins surface, making the skin appear red and feel tighter. After washing gently, pat the skin dry – don’t rub as this can further aggravate dry, sensitive skin.

3. Moisturise regularly

After a bath or shower in the morning, ensure you apply generous amounts of moisturising cream or lotion which absorbs easily into your skin. At night, apply a more intensive cream to really hydrate dry, sensitive skin.

4.  Avoid fragranced or foaming products

If you suffer from dry, sensitive skin avoid using fragranced products – if you want to wear perfume avoid spraying it directly on the skin and spray it on your clothes instead. Avoid foaming products too; anything that lathers can strip the skin of moisture and ultimately irritate the skin.

5.  Test new products

If you buy a new product, apply a small amount to your wrist so that you can test your skin’s reaction. If this area feels tight, or appears red after a few days it is best to avoid that product.