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We all have experience with dry skin. For some, it can be situational or seasonal. For others, it can be a chronic condition. Regardless, knowing the best ingredients to prevent dry skin is always good.
You'll find these specific ingredients specifically formulated for dry skin prevention, from serums to moisturizers and more. But it's not just marketing!
Numerous studies support the positive effects of ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, shea butter, squalane, and glycerin on dry skin. So if you want to learn how to prevent dry skin, these are the top 5 ingredients you need to know about.
Dry skin is characterized by rough, flaky, and/or scaly skin. It can be caused by numerous factors such as genetics, age, lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors. However, at the cellular level, dry skin is mainly attributed to moisture loss and a damaged or impaired skin barrier.
The primary function of the skin barrier is to fight off water loss. When the skin is dehydrated or deprived of water, it becomes dry and prone to damage.
So when it comes to dry skin prevention, the main objective is to keep the skin's stratum corneum or outer layer as healthy and hydrated as possible. This adds thickness and structure, which helps keep the skin barrier intact and impermeable.
These five ingredients are tried and tested when it comes to dry skin prevention. Here's why.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the best ingredients for dry skin prevention. This is due to the crucial role that hyaluronic acid plays when it comes to increasing skin moisture.
As a humectant, hyaluronic acid can bind to water molecules up to 1000 times its weight. More water content can make the skin look more hydrated, smoother, and plumper.
According to studies, hyaluronic acid can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles — resulting in younger-looking and rejuvenated skin. When combined with an emollient like collagen, hyaluronic acid has been found to reduce itchiness and improve barrier function in dry and eczema-prone skin.
In addition, researchers also discovered that hyaluronic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and plays an essential role in the wound healing process. When hyaluronic acid was combined with an amnion membrane, results showed accelerated wound closure and thicker regenerated skin. Skin healing is also important when dealing with dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Ceramides are long-chain fatty acids found in the intercellular spaces of the stratum corneum. They comprise about 50% of all skin lipids, which means that ceramides play a crucial role in maintaining skin barrier function. It helps prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which can lead to dry and dehydrated skin.
Studies have found that dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis have lower ceramide levels than healthy skin. Aging and environmental factors can also cause changes in your skin barrier function.
This is why ceramides are an excellent ingredient for dry skin prevention. By repairing or improving barrier function, the skin can lock in moisture. In addition, optimal barrier function prevents water loss and keeps harmful substances from entering the skin. This helps prevent dry, flaky, and irritated skin.
Squalane and its precursor squalene are excellent hydrators — making skin soft, smooth, and supple. Even though squalane is naturally found in skin lipids and human sebum, levels tend to decrease as we age. This can lead to dry, itchy, and aged skin.
Squalane has both emollient and occlusive properties. It can hydrate and moisturize skin, creating a protective barrier that prevents water loss. Both functions are essential for dry skin prevention.
By replenishing moisture levels, squalane can also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, squalane has antioxidant properties that protect against oxidative stress due to UV free radicals.
The molecular structure of squalane also means that it is suitable for dry skin. It can help manage dry skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis without irritating the skin.
Shea butter is fat extracted from shea tree nuts commonly found in West Africa. It has a high concentration of fatty acids and vitamins, which can help address dry skin.
Like ceramides, essential fatty acids (EFAs) like linoleic acid also play an important role in maintaining the skin's barrier function. By increasing moisture, decreasing TEWL, and restoring barrier function, skin can become less dry and scaly.
As an emollient, shea butter also helps make skin softer and reduces redness and swelling. Despite being an oil, shea butter absorbs quickly and does not feel greasy on the skin.
Furthermore, shea butter is also rich in vitamins A and E. These are known for their antioxidant properties, promoting healthy skin growth. Antioxidants also help fight against oxidative stress, which can lead to dry, wrinkled, and aged skin.
Glycerin is touted as one of the most effective humectants. Similar to hyaluronic acid, glycerin draws water to the skin to keep it hydrated. In addition, glycerin coats the skin to prevent dehydration and damage from external sources.
What makes glycerin a fantastic ingredient for dry skin prevention? According to scientific findings, glycerin is naturally present in the stratum corneum. Using glycerin adds to the reservoir without disrupting the content or structure of skin lipids. This results in a thickening or bulking effect, which makes skin more resilient to damage.
Given its odorless, colorless, humectant, and non-irritant properties, glycerin is commonly used as a base ingredient in most skincare products. In one study, the combination of glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and centella asiatica saw significant improvements in skin hydration and barrier function.
Dry skin can be uncomfortable or even painful. But even if you have chronically dry skin, know that there are ingredients that can relieve and improve your condition.
Hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalane, shea butter, and glycerin have all been scientifically proven to help target dry skin. These ingredients will help bring back moisture to your skin and promote optimal barrier function to prevent water loss.
Best of all, since these ingredients are naturally found in the skin, they are easily and quickly absorbed with minimal irritation or side effects.
With SKIN by XND, we put these five powerhouse ingredients at the forefront. Our skincare products are formulated to boost hydration levels and help repair dry skin. In addition, we also harness their antioxidant properties to help fight against free radical skin damage, leaving you with smooth and healthy skin.