What Causes Dry Skin?
The first step to deal with your dry skin is to understand the causes. Although some people are able to spot exactly the conditions that make their skin dry, others are a bit lost when it comes to figuring out the root causes of it. It’s also important to note that for most people, dry skin arises as a result of the combination of several factors. Here are a few common reasons why you may be experiencing dry skin.
Skin is generally classified in four main categories: dry skin, normal skin, combination skin, and oily skin. The type of skin you have will generally depend on your age, your skincare and other external factors, but it is also largely due to genetics. Some families suffer from dry skin for generations, and entire ethnic groups may be more likely to have dry skin. This is because our genes affects the way that our skin retains moisture. Some people will maintain normal skin in the cold and wind, while other people’s moisture barrier will start to get damaged after just a few minutes in harsh weather. Do people in your family generally get dry skin? If so, it might be a sign that the source of your problem is genetic.
Have you ever noticed that your skin starts to get dry in the winter, or when you are in dry air conditions, like in the mountains? This happens because those natural elements harm your skin’s moisture barrier. When exposed to wind, cold and dry air even the sun, the skin begins to lose its outer layer of moisture, which can make it dry in the long run. If your dry skin appears to be mainly seasonal, then you might be sensitive to weather conditions, and have to adjust your skincare regimen for certain months of the year.
Harsh Skincare Products
Skincare products are supposed to care your skin, nourish it, make it healthier and better looking. But many women unknowingly use skincare products that do more harm than good. These include harsh cleansers which contain ingredients like sodium, lauryl, sulfate and harsh exfoliators. If you have recently switched your cleanser, or started using a new sunscreen or foundation that contains chemicals, check the ingredient list—they may be too harsh and cause your skin to be dry.
Certain Skin Conditions
Finally, certain skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis or psoriasis can cause dry skin on the face and body. If you find your skin is dry with other worrying signs like irritation or red patches, you’d better see a doctor or dermatologist. Having dry skin is generally a normal and harmless condition, but in some cases, it may indicate that you are suffering from a skin condition that requires targeted or even medical treatment.
How To Take Care of Dry Skin
In order to care your dry skin, you need to make sure that every single step in your skincare regimen contributes to restoring your skin’s moisture barrier. That barrier is what prevents your skin from getting dry, and protects it from external factors.
The first step in your skincare routine is to clean your face. However, many cleansers are too harsh to be used on the face, and can make your skin drier. As a general rule, go for a product that presents itself as ‘mild’ or ‘hypoallergenic’ and contains little to no harsh ingredients like fragrances, alcohols, sulfates or parabens. If you are committed to choosing products that really targets your dry skin, then we recommend learning to read the ingredient list of the products which you can find harmful ingredients.
Before you moisturize your skin, you should also exfoliate it. Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells, which may be causing dry patches on your skin when they begin to accumulate. When exfoliating the face, gentleness is key. Choose a mild exfoliator, in the form of a soft face brush or cloth, or a gentle scrub. Remember: Don’t exfoliate your skin every day, and you should always be gentle.
Finally, moisturize your skin. Moisturizing should be the most important part of your skincare routine, and the thing which you need to do every day. Depending on your skin type, you have to find the moisturizer that works for you. Some of the best ones generally contain hyaluronic acid, which penetrates deep into the skin to restore its moisture barrier, and natural ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter or coco butter. Once again, pay careful attention to the ingredients list: it should not contain artificial fragrances or alcohols. And remember: moisturizing is not a one time thing. Once you have found moisturizers that work for you, keep applying them once or twice daily. It’s recommended to choose a heavier cream at night, and a lighter moisturizer during the day.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dry Skin
Still wondering about the causes and solutions of having dry skin? Here are a few answers to the most common questions on the topic.
Q: Does being dehydrated cause dry skin?
A: Yes! Moisture also comes from inside, so make sure to drink plenty of water.
Q: How to tell whether the skincare products cause skin dry?
A: First, read the ingredient list of every single product you are using. It should not contain any harsh chemicals. Second, try swapping out certain products, especially cleansers and toners to something more gentle and moisturizing.
Q: Is alcohol in products always bad?
A: This is hard to say. Generally speaking, it is better to avoid products which contain alcohol. Nevertheless, some of the best skincare products will contain certain alcohols like cetearyl alcohol which won’t make skin dry. Do some research on different types of skincare alcohols when purchasing skincare products. Some of them are harmful, but others may actually be useful in combatting dry skin.