How to treat dry and very dry skin of the face

The skin of the face can be kept radiant and young-looking by using moisturising and detoxifying treatments.

Water is a key element for skin health. In fact, good hydration levels will keep skin supple and radiant.

Conversely, when skin gets dehydrated, it appears stretched, rough and with a grayish colour. If skin is dry, it means its defence systems are also weakened, hence it is more vulnerable to the multiple environmental agents, as well as being more prone to ageing quicker.   

Skin dryness can affect any part of the body, yet more frequently occurs in skin areas – hands and face – exposed to environmental agents, which greatly impacts on the barrier function of skin.  Sun radiation, wind, heat or extreme cold and harsh cleansers may, in fact, weaken weaken the skin barrier, lowering the protection it offers. Consequently, the water content in skin diminishes and skin becomes dry.

How do we take care of dry and very dry skin?

When dealing with dry and very dry skin, we should follow certain skin care rules that, on the one hand, prevent further dryness and, on the other, support skin’s natural hydration mechanisms.

In addition to a diet rich in water, fruit and vegetables, it is important to use appropriate cosmetics, thus:

  • mild cleansers, because daily cleansing, especially if performed using harsh products, will defat skin further and lower skin lipids too much;
  • moisturisers designed to both rapidly restore optimal water content in the epidermis and to replenish and strengthen skin’s barrier function.

Given these indications, which apply to skin in general, products are developed according to the intended use. Body washes and moisturisers include emollient and soothing ingredients, useful to smooth rough skin and relieve discomfort.

Facial cleansers and makeup removers available are developed to suit our personal habits, the preferred cleansing routine and whether we prefer to rinse it off or not.

Facial moisturisers are designed to meet a number of skin needs. Product texture varies to suit the different skin types, are suitable for use as a makeup base and offer protection against daily oxidative stress.

Cleansers and makeup removers

Skin, especially in subjects that have it dry or very dry, enormously benefits from a skin care routine that respects skin, right from cleansing, the very first gesture we repeat every day.

If skin is cleansed with rinse-off products, skin will have to come in contact with tap water, which may sometimes be hard and scaly. In this case, it is important to choose cleansers that include gentle surfactants, which have a low defatting power and leave skin pleasantly clean.

In the evening, when you usually need a makeup remover, one can opt for "traditional" formulations such as cleansing lotions or the newer micellar waters. The objective is to effectively remove makeup and any impurities it retains, without drying or irritating skin and paying special attention to the delicate eye area, should a multi-purpose cleanser (i.e. used for both the face and the eye area) be used.


Moisturisers include ingredients that promote and increase the water content in the epidermis through a number of mechanisms.

Amino acids like serine and arginine, strengthen the water portion of the hydro-lipid film, sugars like trehalose support water-binding, thus aid skin in holding water in it. Ingredients of a lipid nature, such as ceramides and essential fatty acids, typically found in many vegetable oils, support the moisturising effect by improving the compactness of the stratum corneum.

The commonest moisturising ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a physiological substance that is produced to hydrate and protect tissues, particularly cartilage and skin.

Chemically speaking, hyaluronic acid is a high-molecular-weight polysaccharide which has - like a sponge - the exceptional ability to absorb, retain or release large amounts of water.

Usually, hyaluronic acid in cosmetic formulations has a high molecular weight, which means it has a large size, thus it can’t really penetrate skin. It remains on the surface, forming a lightweight, silky film that strengthens the barrier function and reduces trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL).

More recently, the latest biotechnology research has yielded new forms / fragments of hyaluronic acid with lower molecular weights - medium, low, very low - which allow to hydrate all layers of the epidermis and boost the water reserves of skin.

Hydration is the best "cure" for skin because it rebalances the water content in the different layers of the epidermis, particularly in the more superficial layer (stratum corneum), thus enhancing the barrier function and increasing its protection potential.

Hence, applying moisturising products every day is key, yet we need to bear in mind that our skin is exposed to a number of factors - the hectic pace of urban life, certain bad habits we have, UV radiation, environmental pollutants - in one word, we stress it all the time.

Skin stress is caused by an excess of reactive oxygen species (ROS) not adequately countered by skin's natural defence mechanisms. In dehydrated skin, this self-defence system weakens, which leads to the buildup of "toxins."

With the aim to restore physiological well-being to skin, the most innovative moisturising cosmetics contain specific ingredients to counter free radicals, both by preventing their formation (antioxidant action) and by supporting natural cell detoxification mechanisms. The plant world has plenty of these ingredients to offer. For instance, Cistus incanus is extracted from a Mediterranean plant known as "pink rock rose", a name that recalls its ability to survive in extreme conditions. This plant has one of the highest content in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants.

Since oxidative stress is amongst the main causes for ageing, detoxifying hydration stands today as a most important anti-ageing strategy, ideal especially for skin showing early ageing signs.


Learn more by reading our articles:

What is skin ageing and what causes it?

Cleansing and hydrating sensitive skin 

Dry and very dry skin of the body

Want to learn more?

Ask a question to our experts

All BioNike products of the TRIDERM, DEFENCE and PROXERA ranges are developed to reduce the risks of intolerance and are suitable for sensitive skin. Such products are, in fact nickel-tested, preservatives-free, perfume-free (or having an allergen-free perfume), gluten-free and manufactured ​​with carefully selected and controlled ingredients.

In any case, we recommend that you consult your pharmacist and/or dermatologist, who will be able to recommend what is best for your skin.

Did you know it?

The BioNike laboratories have developed DEFENCE HYDRA5, based on the special DetoxHyal5 complex, which is the combination of vegetable active ingredients and hyaluronic acid in 5 molecular forms to moisturise skin intensely and strengthen its natural defence mechanisms against oxidative stress that daily impacts on our skin (for instance, due to UV radiation, pollutants). Defence Hydra5 is a comprehensive range that meets the needs of all skin types and provides hydration to skin for up to 24 hours.

For dry and very dry skin, the range offers a cream enriched with shea butter and Imperata cilindrica extract, with a rich and nicely-melting texture that gives an instant feeling of well-being and comfort.

Normal skin requires treatments to maintain the right level of hydration and that counter the harsh environmental factors and work on early ageing signs. We offer very lightweight, fast-absorbing cream-gel.

Since combination and oily skin can be prone to dehydration, suitable moisturisers are those that provide hydration and, at the same, keep skin shine at bay. There are certain natural ingredients, like Pistacia lentiscus resin, that have astringent properties, absorb excess sebum and reduce pore swelling. The best option for this type of skin is a light emulsion, such as our moisturising mattifying fluid, which helps to control shine in the T zone, an area of the face usually oilier, to smooth the skin surface and, at the same time, ensure proper hydration levels in skin.

At times, any skin type may require more intense hydration, for instance when skin is particularly stressed, in the case of severe cold or after sun exposure. We recommend to combining or alternate your usual treatment with a concentrated product, such as our intensive moisturising serum formulated with DetoxHyal5 and a special slow-releasing serine system – serine being an amino acid naturally occurring in the NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) of skin - to instantly quench skin’s thirst and increase its water reserves.