Let's take a look at what we've learned about dry skin and about formulating products for dry skin! There are links o' plenty and I really recommend that you click on them to find out more about each topic. This is intended as a quick summary of the last month, and if you want to learn more, click on the first post in the list below (look at related posts), and hit "newer post" at the end of each post.
What is dry skin and what might cause it?
When the equilibrium of the stratum corneum is out of whack, the skin's ability to maintain hydration is decreased, and skin is more susceptible to environmental factors because the skin barrier is impaired. Trans-epidermal water loss increases. Desquamation is abnormal, with skin coming off in sheets instead of cell by cell, so your skin looks rough and dry, and you get that white or ashy look.
We know that dry skin probably has an impaired skin barrier, lower natural moisturizing factor, and lower hydration levels in our stratum corneum. You're probably experiencing an increase in transepidermal water loss.
What ingredients could we include in dry skin products?
We will ideally include occlusives, emollients, and humectants in every product we make. We want to choose oils with lots of linoleic acid, gamma-linoleic acid, or conjugated linoleic acid because these fatty acids help speed up skin's barrier mechanisms. We want to use one of the lovely occlusive ingredients - dimethicone, cocoa butter, or allantoin - to help trap reduce transepidermal water loss. And we want to use one of the most excellent humectants - glycerin, sodium lactate, sodium PCA, honey, honeyquat, and so on - to help draw water from the atmosphere to our skin. There are a few other ingredients we could use - those that help reduce TEWL, those that help increase exfoliation, those that film form, and those that increase water being drawn to the skin - and we can put those in the appropriate products!
What products can we make for dry skin?
We can adapt any product for dry skin - just make sure we have good emollients, good occlusives, and good humectants! (See the list below for the various products we made!)
All the posts I've written on dry skin in this series...
Formulating for dry skin: What is dry skin?
Formulating for dry skin: Impaired skin barrier repair mechanisms
Formulating for dry skin: Impaired hydration levels
What ingredients could we include for dry skin? (part 1)
What ingredients could we include for dry skin? (part 2)
Formulating for dry skin: Creating a basic lotion
Formulating for dry skin: Adapting the basic lotion recipe (version 2)
Formulating for dry skin: Creating skin cleansers - overview
Formulating for dry skin: Creating a body wash from scratch
Formulating for dry skin: What else can we include in our body wash?
Formulating for dry skin: Creating a basic recipe for a body wash
Formulating for dry skin: Creating a facial cleanser for a foamer bottle
Formulating for dry skin: More facial cleansers
Formulating for dry skin: Toners
Formulating for dry skin: Toners continued
Formulating for dry skin: Moisturizers
Formulating for dry skin: Moisturizers continued