How to Choose the Best Moisturiser for Dry Skin
It's that time of year again. As the cold creeps up and the heating comes on, everyone starts the annual change of seasons hunt for the best moisturiser for their dry skin.
If you have naturally dry skin, the change of seasons and winter can be a challenging time. Scaly, flaky, itchy and rough patches can leave you feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. If you have sensitive skin, or, you’re looking for clean low tox skincare, finding the best moisturiser for dry skin can be a challenge.
Dry skin makes you look old before your time. Fine lines, redness and uneven skin tone are all accentuated by the decrease in natural skin oils associated with dry skin. When skin is dry, it’s often dehydrated too. Dehydration causes dull, flaky and crepey skin.
A really good moisturiser can take years off your complexion by plumping up your skin and making it look softer, smoother and more radiant. But what is the best natural moisturiser for dry skin?
What causes dry skin?
Dry skin can be genetic or due to:
- Your environment: Cold or windy weather is notorious for causing dry, red and irritated skin. Indoor heating during the cooler months is just as problematic. In summer, too much time in the sun will also cause dry skin.
- Lifestyle: too many long hot baths or showers, and over exfoliating can make skin dry and itchy. Using soap or harsh cleansers also contributes to skin dryness (keep the soap for your armpits, not your face or body).
- Health problems: Many underlying health problems can cause dry skin, including an underactive thyroid, diabetes and kidney disease.
- Medications: Many medications can make your skin dry and flaky, including those prescribed for blood pressure, allergies, cholesterol and acne.
- Nutrient deficiencies: A diet low in key nutrients, or a genetic/lifestyle induced requirement for extra nutrients can cause or aggravate dry skin. These include zinc, calcium, B complex vitamins and omega 3 essential fatty acids.
- Reactions to ingredients in many skin and personal care products: Preservatives and fragrances are the number 1 ingredients responsible for skin reactions and allergies. A red, itchy rash is the most well-known reaction to skincare ingredients, however, dryness, flakiness and small pimple like bumps are not uncommon reactions.
- Age: This the probably the number one reason for dry skin, especially on the face. Sometime around your 30’s, you’ll start to experience a decrease in the amount of oil produced in skin, especially the face. One of the oils that decreases significantly in mature skin is a lipid called squalene.
The problem with moisturisers
Most moisturisers designed for dry skin are a combination of water and oil based ingredients. Many certified organic moisturisers replace the water (aqua) with organic aloe vera in order to qualify for organic certification (a product must have 60-70% organic derived ingredients and aqua/water doesn’t count).
Water or water soluble ingredients require preservatives or you’ll quickly end up with a fungal and bacterial soup. Preservatives don’t stop working when you apply the moisturiser to your skin and can disrupt your skin microbiome (the garden of bacteria and microbes that call your skin home).
Paraben based preservatives are still used in many skincare products as they are cheap and powerful. There are many red flags around the safety of parabens, especially around their ability to mimic oestrogen and mess with the endocrine (hormonal) system.
Emulsifiers are also essential ingredients in moisturisers that allow the oil and water to mix together and not separate. Like preservatives, emulsifiers don’t stop working on your skin. They bind to the protective lipid (oil) barrier on your skin and when you wash your face, this barrier is washed away (known as the wash out effect). This will contribute to dry and dehydrated skin.
There’s a growing market for safer, healthier and low tox skincare that has seen a huge increase in oil-based serums. These are far safer and healthier as they don’t require either preservatives or emulsifiers. However, if you have very dry skin, oils just sit on the surface of your skin and do little to alleviate the feeling and appearance of dryness. Applying oil serums or plant oils on damp and warm skin as soon as you jump out of the bath or shower can help to make oil serums more effective for dry skin.
The must have hero ingredients for dry skin
If your skin is very dry, look for products that contain a high percentage of an oil called squalane. Make sure that it specifies the squalane is plant based, otherwise assume it comes from shark livers.
Squalane is essentially identical to your skin’s own natural oil, squalene. Squalane is a light & non greasy oil that is absorbed straight into dry skin to moisturise and hydrate at the cellular level. It is the most amazing ingredient for dry skin. It gives your skin a beautiful dewy glow and smoothes out fine lines and rough patches. It also helps to decrease skin redness.
Beeswax is another must have ingredient for very dry skin. It’s a veritable super food for both your skin and skin microbiome. It forms a breathable and protective cocoon over dry skin, helping to bolster the protective barrier and prevent moisture loss.
Nutritionist & naturopath formulated moisturiser for dry skin
Blue Tansy Serum is our best-selling moisturiser for dry skin. Formulated by naturopath and nutritionist, Sarah Luck, it has been designed specifically with the unique needs of dry and mature skin in mind.
Based on a very high percentage of Squalane (over 50%) combined with essential fatty acid rich Blueberry Seed Oil, Beeswax and Blue Tansy Oil. That’s it, there’s no other ingredients in Blue Tansy Serum. Our hero ingredients are our only ingredients. Blue Tansy Serum is minimalist perfection.
Free from preservatives, emulsifiers and artificial fragrances, it’s suitable for sensitive skin including rosacea.
The beeswax comes from our own healthy hives in the Noosa Hinterland. We also use beeswax from other local beekeepers with the same cruelty free philosophy as our own.
Blue Tansy Serum is perfect as a day and night moisturiser for dry and very dry skin.
It’s also safe to use around the eye area (where you’ll really notice the difference squalane makes to plumping out fine lines). It’s super concentrated (not diluted with water or aloe vera) so a little goes a loooong way. And the natural aroma of Blueberry seed and Blue Tansy oil is simply exquisite. It simply is the best moisturiser if you have dry skin (we get great feedback that men love this hardworking, great smelling moisturising serum too!)
Blue Tansy Serum is the natural skin care solution for dry and very dry skin.
Shop Blue Tansy Serum (the best moisturiser for dry skin)
Shop cleansers for dry skin
A unique cleansing experience. Based on raw Australian honey (we use honey from our own Noosa Hinterland hives). Moisturising, hydrating and exfoliating cleanser enriched with probiotics from radish root and coconut.
A hydrating and balancing cleanser suitable for all skin types including dry and sensitive skin. Leaves skin feeling smooth, soft and nourished. Perfect for removing makeup or sunscreen. Doubles as a balancing oil treatment for problem areas (breakouts, dry & scaly patches etc).
Organic Jojoba oil enriched with wild harvested Centella (Gotu kola). Centella is renowned for it's regenerative effect upon skin. Makes the best low tox eye makeup remover. Great cleanser for extra sensitive skin.
Learn more about dry skin