The Skin Nerd: Dry skin products will make you a soft touch

Dry skin often comes down to your genetics but there are ways to stop the tightness and flaking.

My skin is always dry, no matter what I do. I’ve tried treatments, lots of different moisturisers, hydrating masks — you name it — but I’m still left flaky, tight, and dry. Any advice? — Jenny, Douglas

There’s a difference between dryness, as in a genetic predisposition to having skin that produces less sebum, and dehydration, when the skin struggles to stay hydrated. Dryness can be alleviated, but is a life-long struggle, whereas dehydration can be ongoing, if left without the products and nutrients that help, or it can crop up willy-nilly.

From your description, I am guessing that you have a genetic predisposition to dryness, especially if nothing seems to have helped. You may not adore my answer, because it involves many steps, but, if you’re at your wit’s end, you might try it.

We can’t encourage your skin to make more sebum, as that is defined by your hormones and how you’re built. There are some things about dry skin that we can’t change: for example, it tends to be thinner, due to a lack of the lipids that help to hold layers together, which can mean it is more sensitive, too.

The approach is internal and external.