The Skin We Live In

A woman ponders dry skin.

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Angela C. Strother, PhD.

Weekly Column: Skin Sense

Does your skin ever feel dry or flaky?  Sometimes you can see light flakes or it may look dehydrated. Dehydration occurs when the skin lacks water.  This often results in tight, dry, flaky skin and can contribute to fine lines and dullness.  Dehydration can be affected by genetics or can be a symptom of a larger issue, an undiagnosed condition, or even a side effect of medication.  As our skin matures and we enter the 30’s and 40’s, varying levels of dehydration can be a common problem.  By the time we are in our 50’s, dehydration can be chronic and potentially life altering.

Dehydrated skin needs to retain moisture.  This requires maintaining a healthy diet and drinking the appropriate amount of water combined with topical ingredients that draw moisture to the skin, such as plant and marine based moisturizers and serums.

The Pinch Test: A quick way to check for dehydration is to gently pinch the skin on the back of your hand.  If the skin releases slowly, dehydration is a likely cause.  If you’re still not clear on whether you are dehydrated, try the pinch test with a young child and then compare how quickly their skin releases to your skin.  The results will be clearly evident.

Dry skin occurs when the skin is lacking oil (sebum).  This can lead to skin sensitivities, redness, and inflammation.  Dry skin may look like patches and it can be flaky.  There can be a number of factors that contribute to dry skin and this includes genetics, over-cleansing, excessive exfoliation, weather, too much caffeine or alcohol, and even showers that are too hot.

Dry skin benefits from hydrating moisturizers, serums, and pH balanced cleansers and toners. Products such as Shea butters, light body oils, or dry oils can help to calm irritated skin.  A key factor for compromised skin, is to be aware that these conditions affect the entire body.  Contact your local wellness spa to inquire about topical products that prevent moisture loss and improve hydration.  Your skin will thank you!

Angela Strother, PhD is co-owner of Jon’Ric International Massage & Wellness Spa in Matthews, offering authentic salt rooms, massage, facials, threading, Henna body art, and body treatments.  She is certified in aesthetics and oncology skin care. You can reach the Jon’Ric team at 704-708-4165 or email at  At Jon’Ric Matthews, come join us for a cup of tea and a chat about your skin!

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