Dry skin is one of the most common skin types and if your skin tends to be on the drier side, this is mainly because of the natural oil that is lacking to keep it soft and supple.
Having dry skin is a skin type that’s normally present since birth and in most cases; it is hereditary.
However, the water-holding capacity of the skin can be disrupted by many factors and environmental conditions.
Let’s read about six common causes of dry skin and how to protect your skin from over-drying.
Dry skin is a skin type that’s present since birth.
If your mother or father have dry skin, you have a genetic predisposition and a chance of having dry skin.
Mutations in genes that control the production of proteins that are responsible for hydrating the skin barrier can cause several skin conditions.
People with these mutations tend to suffer drier skin types.
If dry skin happens to run in your family, it is important to moisturize daily with adequate products that help to reinforce the skin barrier.
2. Cold weather.
The symptoms of dry skin usually become more severe in winter months, when the humidity level in the air drops.
The air outside becomes cold and dry and this causes the water in your skin to evaporate more quickly leaving it with the feeling of dryness.
Besides feeling nearly unbearably dry and tight, your skin might even start to appear flaky because it is losing its ability to hold moisture in winter.
In the cold winter months, be sure to be diligent on daily moisturizing and make sure you are using a rich moisturizer that contains ingredients like glycerin which is an excellent humectant that will help hold moisture in your skin.
There are many other ways to protect your dry skin in winter and that is by reducing overexposure to the outdoors.
If you happen to be someone who enjoys winter sports, always remember to shield your skin by wearing protective clothing like scarves and gloves.
3. Dry air.
Sometimes the air indoors can be as harsh on your skin as the cold air outside.
Forced air like central air conditioning or heating can draw humidity levels down and this may leave your skin feel dry and itchy.
A moisturizer may be the one most effective thing to give comfort to your skin and add protection.
Considering bringing in a humidifier in your home is another useful thing to think about as this will help restore moisture in the air.
4. Hard water.
You are probably already aware that hard water has the potential of making your hair look rough, dull and difficult to style.
Besides this, it is logical to assume that hard water can also negatively affect your skin.
Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals that can dry out your skin and clog pores and this leads to stubborn skin conditions such as eczema and acne breakouts.
Tap water often contains a high concentration of magnesium, zinc, lead and even heavy metals like iron and aluminium.
This turns the natural oil on the skin into a thick substance that clogs pores and aggravates conditions like acne.
This thick film sits on the surface and prevents the beneficial ingredients of a moisturizer from being absorbed into the skin.
5. Harsh skincare products.
I have already written a post on things you are doing wrong for your skin with a brief explanation of how the overuse of harsh products can have a negative effect on the skin.
Nothing strips the skin of moisture faster than cleansing, so face and body washes should always be chosen with care.
Knowing your skin type and getting familiar with the common ingredients used in skin care products can help you while choosing the perfect cleansing agent for your skin.
Dry skin should always look for gentle, non-irritating cleansers that are to be used twice to cleanse the skin twice daily and no more than that.
Cleansing too often can strip the skin of natural oils, and this will cause a challenge for your skin to heal and retain good moisture level.
6. Taking hot baths & showers.
Although a long, hot soak in the tub sounds like a luxurious dream in winter, decreasing your bath time is probably a good thing to consider doing if your skin is already on the drier and more sensitive side.
Prolonged exposure of the skin to hot water can disrupt its natural moisture balance and will rob your skin from the natural oils and fatty acids that are keeping it soft and supple.
Taking long, hot showers can seriously dry out your skin and cause redness and itching.
If this persists it will eventually lead to peeling and more serious complications like increased skin sensitivity and infections.
Dry skin is not a serious health problem and it can be treated and controlled easily with frequent application of adequate products specifically formulated for this particular concern.
Skin dryness can be recognized easily, and if this concern is constantly being neglected, it has the potential to produce serious complications such as chronic eczema, redness, and swelling.