The most common cause of dry skin is a compromised moisture barrier that can happen on any part of the body. To put it in a nutshell, dry skin is caused by an impaired skin barrier and dysfunction or deficiency in the necessary healthy fats in the top layer of the skin.
What are the causes of dry skin?
There are other factors that contribute to dry skin as well – take a look:
It tends to irritate dry skin and worsen its condition, so it is strongly recommended to steer clear of deodorants and skin-care products that are filled with fragrance. This is due to the fact that fragrance is a common source of allergic contact dermatitis – you might notice a reaction the very first or after several exposures.
Some soaps, detergents, and shampoos could subtract moisture from your skin and scalp, as they are formulated to remove oil. That is why it is imperative to read the labels of products before buying. For instance, it is better to stick a moisturizing body wash than a harsh bar of soap that leads to excessive dryness.
Hard water is when it contains high amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which might leave a film on skin, thus causing dryness. The oils on the skin are turned into a thick substance that can worsen conditions like rosacea and acne, while preventing moisturizers from being absorbed into the skin. Incorporating skincare products containing vitamin A and C into your daily routine is beneficial as they can counteract the coating deposited by hard water.
Acne Medications and Retinol
While salicyclic acid is great at combating acne, it could also dry out skin when you first start using it. Dryness is a common side effect of retinol, too, and it happens because retinol loosens the connection between cells on the skin’s surface. Try to reduce the frequency of use from every day to alternate day, and use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t worsen the issue. Take burning, peeling, and flaking as signs you need to stop using the product.
Sometimes the air inside can be as punishing on your skin as the air outside. Forced air, especially heat, can draw humidity levels down, making skin feel dry and itchy. Luckily, you don’t need to suffer with dry, itchy skin all winter: a humidifier can help restore moisture to the air in your house. To deal with dryness caused due to air outdoors, which can lead to excessively dry skin, follow a strict beauty routine that includes moisturizers and lip balms, to heal and soothe dry, chapped skin.
Dry skin becomes a serious problem as you start to age. As you become older, the skin produces less oil and gets drier, so signs of aging manifest faster and are more visible. There are various moisturizing ingredients that replenish lost moisture and quickly repair the skin barrier, so the skin doesn’t become too dry.
How to select skincare and cosmetic products for dry skin?
• Start with a gentle facial cleanser for the skin that doesn’t contain fragrance or alcohol, but is effective in removing dirt, makeup, and other impurities without stripping the skin of moisture. It should ideally be oil-based.
• Next in your skin care regime is a moisturizing ointment or cream. Go for an ointment or cream rather than a lotion, as lotions can be irritating and less effective for your skin. Check for ingredients like lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum – they are good for dry skin.
• Toners are good for dry skin as they soothe, moisturize, and refresh your skin. You can use toner to remove excess oil and makeup residue on your face as well as flaky or dry skin. Go for a toner that contains salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or hydroxy acid. Avoid toners that contain alcohol, as this can dry out your skin more.
• It is advisable to use sunscreen on a daily basis to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but a side effect is that it can dry out your skin even more. Use a water-based sunscreen that keeps skin hydrated throughout the day without clogging pores.
• To replenish moisture and keep the skin supple, use hydrating face masks – sheet masks with moisturizing ingredients are a good idea. You can even create a hydrating face mask at home with natural ingredients. Use it 1 to 2 times a week to reduce dry patches and soothe inflamed skin.
• Avoid pressed powder or powder foundation, as it will dry out your skin more and lead to flaking. Instead, go for a water-based liquid foundation. Wear it with a moisturizer and sunscreen underneath, so it blends well and doesn’t overly dry out skin.
• If you use a concealer to hide blemishes or scars, make sure it is moisturizing. Alternatively, liquid moisturizers are a good option. If you have a lot of redness on your face in addition to dry skin, try a moisturizing concealer in a green shade to counteract the redness.
• Lips can become dry in all seasons; not just when temperatures go down. Use a lipstick or lip balm that is hydrating – check if it contains ingredients like glycerin, Shea butter, or jojoba oil. For better hydration, apply lip balm or lip chap first and then apply lipstick on top of the balm. Gently exfoliate your lips with sugar and honey on a weekly basis to keep them soft and moist.
• You may notice that your makeup looks dry or flaky after several hours of wear. If you face a similar problem, get a skin refresher (ideally in a small spray bottle) to carry in your bag. You can make one of your own with water and a soothing essential oil like lavender, tea tree, or jojoba. Applying it throughout the day, as required, ensures the skin stays moist without becoming overly dry.
Now that you know the causes of dry skin and the best makeup and skincare products to deal with it, you can purchase wisely.
- ‘Dry Skin Causes, Treatment, Remedies & How to Get Rid of It’, MedicineNet. https://www.medicinenet.com/dry_skin/article.htm (accessed Mar. 27, 2020).
- ‘How to Choose Skin Care and Cosmetic Products for Dry Skin’, wikiHow. https://www.wikihow.com/Choose-Skin-Care-and-Cosmetic-Products-for-Dry-Skin (accessed Mar. 28, 2020).
- J. Law, ‘5 Most Common Causes of Dry Skin’, Reader’s Digest. https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/beauty/5-most-common-causes-dry-skin/ (accessed Mar. 28, 2020).
- ‘10 Surprising Causes of Dry Skin | Everyday Health’, EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/beauty-pictures/7-surprising-causes-of-dry-skin.aspx (accessed Mar. 28, 2020).