After addressing the issues of acne, oily skin and hyperpigmentation in my first three installments of this beauty series, the only common skin conditions left to talk about is dry and dehydrated skin.
Contrary to popular beliefs, the terms “dry” and “dehydrated” cannot be used interchangeably, at least not in the dermatology world, because they refer to a different kind of deficiency of the skin. According to The International Dermal Institute, dry skin is generally known to be lacking in oil whereas dehydrated skin is characterised by lack of moisture in the outermost layer of the skin. Even so, both skin types often share the same symptoms (hence the confusion) such as irritation, roughness and the development of fine lines. Therefore, skincare companies hardly draw a clear distinction between products for dry skin and those for dehydrated skin because most products these days – like those by Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF) – are capable of relieving both problems.
In this final installment of my 4-part skin care feature, I will be taking you through the products that are essential for dry and dehydrated skin, courtesy of TDF, before ending the post with my suggested product sequence for day and night.
Cleansers are the most important element of maintaining healthy skin but it can also cause serious damage to your skin if the wrong one is used instead. As dryness and dehydration are precursors to sensitised skin, it is essential to pick a cleanser that is not overly harsh on the skin lest it aggravate the condition further by rubbing off its natural protective layer. As a rule of thumb, people with dry and dehydrated skin should stay away from foaming cleansers and those that contain alcohol. If your current cleanser makes your skin feel tight after every wash, it’s time to toss it.
Specially formulated for delicate sensitive skin, the Non-Drying Cleansing Lotion provides a gentle but thorough cleanse without irritating the skin and at the same time ensures that it is not stripped further of its moisture by protecting its natural moisture barrier. When massaged into the face, it helps to soften and remove dirt and other impurities. Humectant, being one of its functional ingredients, hydrates the skin by locking in moisture while acting like a magnet to attract water.
What set this cleansing lotion apart from regular cleansers are the absence of scent as well as its inability to lather when massaged all over the face (due to the same reason stated above). Although admittedly the lack of foam makes the face-washing process a lot less enjoyable (and it doesn’t really provide that squeaky clean feeling after wash), it is a necessary measure because the lather actually does more harm than good to the skin. Little known to many, sodium lauryl sulfate – a common ingredient added to face and hair wash to make them foam – robs the skin of natural oils that are essential in keeping it moisturised.
Since the texture of the cleansing lotion isn’t creamy enough to be lathered across the face, I had to apply a liberal amount to ensure that all areas of the skin surface are covered. It leaves a subtle layer of oil (but doesn’t appear greasy under strong lighting) after the product is rinsed off the skin.
As mentioned in my first installment of this beauty series, tones are available in several kinds to cater to different skin types. Skin refreshers are more hydrating and hence are typically used for dry skin types.
Understanding that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to combating skin woes, TDF has come up with a toner catered for dry and dehydrated skin. Named the Skin Freshener, it contains a soothing formula that double-cleanses and conditions the skin in preparation for proper moisture absorption. Its other functions include adjusting the skin to its balanced pH level, minimising visible pores and removing excess debris or oil. This toner is also ideal for those who are allergic to acetone or alcohol.
Adding to the sensory experience of using the toner, Skin Freshener has a sweet citrus fragrance that is pleasant to the nose. To use, I soaked my cotton pad with a few drops of the toner and applied it to my blemishes and areas with obvious signs of flaking. I have been using Skin Freshener in my beauty regimen (for oily skin) ever since I emptied Mild Astringent many weeks back and it seems to complement very well with my combination skin because the results have so far been fantastic!
Moisturisers are as important as cleansers because it helps to bring the moisture from the inner layer of the skin to the outer, and then seal it in. They should also be emollient enough to soften the skin.
This fragrance-free moisturiser provides immediate and long-lasting hydration by locking in moisture and preventing further moisture loss, thereby improving skin texture and overall clarity. It is not only suitable for dry skin types, but also for normal. What’s more, it also makes an excellent makeup base due to its sheer and lightweight texture!
It is instructed on the packaging that this moisturiser should be applied on damp skin after thorough cleansing but I prefer to use it after toning my skin, as per my usual beauty regimen. It creates a veil of moisture upon application (just a small amount would do the trick) and, as a result, makes the skin appears dewier and more radiant than before. When used regularly, the protective barrier of the dry stressed skin is repaired and strengthened, leaving the skin incomparably soft.
4. Night Treatment
Often, creams that are supposed to be used only in the day are formulated solely to protect the skin against the sun, hence most of the time it does not have the necessary nourishing ingredients that aid in the repairing process of the skin. For this reason, night creams are definitely needed in the beauty regimen.
The RSE Cream derives its name from its three main active ingredients namely Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Squalane (a natural emollient that facilitates absorption of vitamins) and Vitamin E (Topopheryl Acetate) which are added to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, prevent free radical damage and calm irritated skin. Suitable for sensitive skin, this ultra-hydrating, antioxidant-rich moisturiser fights chronically dry and prematurely ageing skin conditions. Even though this cream is recommended to be used as a night treatment, it can, in fact, be used in the day too.
Squeezing a tiny amount onto the finger, I dotted some of the cream on my nose, cheeks, forehead and chin and gently massaged the product all over the face. The cream was thin and smooth enough to spread across the face evenly and it took merely seconds to absorb into the skin without leaving an unsightly and tacky white film. For maximum absorption, apply the cream twice a day (morning and night) about 5 minutes (or 10, if you can afford to wait) before moisturising your face. It works better at night as it helps to regenerate, repair and replenish skin for firmer, smoother, younger-looking skin when you sleep.
Give your skin its much needed pampering by adding a facial mask to your weekly beauty regimen. The mask should similarly be able to add moisture and plump up the skin, giving it a more supple appearance.
Loaded with calming botanicals and antioxidant vitamins to replenish moisture at the critical dehydrated areas and reduce skin irritation, the Hydrating Treatment Mask aids the skin in recovering from damage and promotes healthy tissue regeneration. It contains natural earth clays kaolin (the gentlest of clay available which is not only commended for its excellent absorbent qualities, but also for its ability to gently exfoliate the skin as you rinse it off with warm water) and bentonite (another form of clay that draws out toxins and prevents breakouts among many benefits) to give the face a clearer and more refined complexion.
I’ve got to admit, though, that the strange chemical smell of the mask put me off initially (I don’t know if the clays are supposed to smell like that) but fortunately it wore off mostly about 5 minutes into wear. It does not dry down completely to the extent that it becomes an entirely matte layer nor does it crack or crumble with any slight movement as there moisture is still present in the clay mask. It has such perfect consistency between solid and liquid that it stays in place wherever you position it on your face and neck, so you can practically apply the mask whilst lying on your bed with a mirror in one hand without worrying that it will cause a mess!
The mask should be left on for 15 to 20 minutes and rinsed off with lukewarm water. It removes rather effortlessly with no stubborn white specks left behind on the face. I usually mask once a week (because lazy).
The recommended order of use
for dry and dehydrated skin
Day¹: Cleanse → Tone → Moisturise
Day²: Cleanse → Tone → Sun Protection (Age Defense PA+++ Sunscreen) → Moisturise
Night¹: Cleanse → Tone → Night Treatment → Moisturise
Night²: Cleanse → Mask → Tone → Moisturise
TDF is undoubtedly a very reputable and well-respected brand not just to professional dermatologists, but also patients with skin conditions like acne and dry skin because if used diligently and correctly, it does show some degree of results (especially with the right diet and sleeping habits – I can bet my bottom dollar that it will improve your complexion tremendously). I have been using what TDF sent me faithfully and am intending to make a trip down to the nearest polyclinic to purchase backups some time this month because I am very satisfied with the products in their Oily & Acne-Prone range. (And you can be assured that I’m not saying this just because this post is sponsored. I’m not, and I wouldn’t risk tarnishing my credibility by making such a deceitful statement!)
However, I must say that the prices are definitely not cheap as some of their products can go into the nineties, or even hundreds. But thankfully, the products in the acne range are still quite affordable to me as they are mostly below S$30. While I cannot reveal the exact price for every product here, a simple Google search should be able to give you a rough estimate. If you cannot afford them, you may want to consider joining my giveaway to stand a chance to win a TDF 3-Step Skincare Trial Kit (for acne) worth S$158, courtesy of TDF! You can read my in-depth (as always!) here.
To join this giveaway:
- Share this post (or Facebook update) on Facebook and tag #tdfskincare. Your privacy settings must be set to “public”
- Like my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram
- Comment here (or on my Facebook update) with your e-mail address that is linked to your Facebook account as well as your Instagram handle
The contest is open to all Singapore residents. Contest ends 7 March 2016 and the winner will be notified via e-mail by 13 March 2016.
Thanks for reading the final installment of this beauty series and best of luck to you!