Is Your Skin Top Dry?



Are You ‘Top Dry’?

This time of year I see more of this condition than any other time of year, though it can occur any time. I came across this term ‘top dry’ while having a conversation with a make-up artist about dry skin and ways to combat it. His descriptive term was so perfect I basically stole it from him..I do wish I could remember his name to give him due credit!!

Top dry is a condition wherein a person’s skin is oily (and often acneic and/or very clogged) beneath a layer of dry dead skin on top. The client with this mild skin issue often feels like their skin is dry yet they are shiny and oily in appearance. They also feel unable to get any penetration from their moisturizers or hydrating serums to relieve the dryness. Indeed this is the case as products are unable to pass this very dense layered  stratum corneum, or as it is often called “the brick and mortar” layer. Hence these people’s skin is literally oily underneath and dry on the top. The medical term for this condition is retention hyperkeratatosis

This works for regular dry skin and ‘top dry’ skin

There are a few things you can do to combat this but here is my all-time favorite and it is SO affordable. At most chain pharmacy stores as well as Target you will find what we used to call the ‘Buff Puff’. Now adays it will say exfoliating sponge typically. It is an exfoliating, moderately rough sponge that is capable of gently scraping away dead skin. After you have applied cleanser and water to your face and rubbed it around and just before you rinse, leaving your cleanser on, take one of these puffs and give your face a good scrub. You should not do circles. This is because we don’t want to push makeup or other clogging skin care ingredients up into the follicles. Instead you want to rub back and forth, (for example from ear to mouth), and basically rub or scrape off the top layer of dead dry skin. You should rub back and forth no more than two times in one area. After your pat skin dry apply your moisturizer and it will penetrate considerbly better.

Clean your buff with hot soapy water and leave to dry. You can spray it with alcohol if you like. You can use the buff for about one month before you need to be concerned with bacterial colonization. So we recommend a new buff every thirty days!


This buffing sponge from Target is on the soft side. You can find the rougher ones at CVS and Walmart that I recommend more. 


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Please notice our New Hours
Monday 10-5 by appointment
Tuesday 10-5
Wednesday 12-7
Thursday 10-5
Friday 12-7
Saturday 9-3
We hope to see you soon,


Affordable Skin Care Salon

2005 Frankford Ave Philadelphia, Pa 19125