Dry skin isn't often a severe or life-threatening condition, but it can create discomfort. It may also be disfiguring and affect your level of confidence if it's on a visible part of your body.
What Causes Excessive Dry Skin?
In most cases, dry skin will be a temporary condition. For example, some people may only experience it during winter. It can also depend a lot on where you live and how much time you spend outdoors.
External factors most often cause dry skin. This is good news because it means that you can control the situation.
Hot and cold weather, low humidity, and prolonged exposure to hot water can all lead to dry skin. Some soaps and detergents may create dry skin for people with certain skin types.
Medications such as antihistamines and diuretics may also cause dry skin as a side-effect.
What Can Dry Skin be a Sign Of?
Dry skin may be a warning sign of dermatitis, which is inflammation of the skin. It may lead to an itchy rash and dry, irritated patches of skin.
Another example of a condition characterized by dry skin is hypothyroidism. The glands which create skin secretions experience low activity and may need medical treatment.
What Products are Best for Dry Skin?
There are many products on the market claiming to help with dry skin. Dermatologists recommend you be on the lookout for products containing:
- Glycolic Acid - Found as an ingredient in skin cleansers. Glycolic acid is in sugarcane and fruits and is useful for all types of skin. It helps to attract moisture into the skin and keep it hydrated for longer.
- Lactic Acid - Great for dehydrated skin and often found in prescription moisturizers for its relief and healing properties.
- Urea - A popular treatment with dermatologists because of its ability to soften crusty skin. It's a humectant, meaning it can hydrate the skin by sucking moisture out of the air.
- Aloe Vera - A popular sunburn treatment. It's also an excellent moisturizer because of its ability to soak in fast.
Why is My Skin So Dry Even Though I Moisturize?
Even though you may be moisturizing, you may find that your skin is still dry. This could be because you are:
- Not moisturizing straight after bathing (vital if you like your shower hot).
- Using cleansers which are too harsh. If your skin feels tight after moisturizing, you may have washed away vital oils.
- You are using the wrong moisturizer for your skin type.
- It's been a long time between exfoliations, and you have dead skin buildup.
How do I Treat Dry Skin on My Face?
Exfoliate your face at least a couple of times a week using a gentle scrub.
Only use warm, not hot water when washing your face. Consider using an oil blend cleanser such as jojoba, argan, or almond oil.
Try only adding a moisturizing cream in the morning. Forego the nightly routine and see how your skin responds.
How Can I Increase Moisture in My Skin?
There are many ways to add more moisture to your skin or keep more of what you do have.
Stop taking hot showers or baths, do frequent exfoliations, and drink lots of water.
Diet can play a part in dry skin. Avoid salty foods and add more vitamin C rich foods (not just fruits, but vegetables as well). Dark green vegetables are high in water content. You could also try adding more fish to your diet or taking a fish oil supplement.
Can Dry Skin Be Cured?
You can cure or reverse most dry skin conditions unless you have an underlying medical condition as the cause such as diabetes.
The best way to find a solution is to understand why you have dry skin in the first place. Consult with your dermatologist if your dry skin is an issue for you.