What Causes Dry Skin and How to Treat It
Dry skin is not only an unwanted cosmetic concern, but it can also accompanied by some uncomfortable physical symptoms.
When skin lacks its necessary natural oils, it may become tight, itchy, flaky, dull in appearance, and predisposed to wrinkles and fine lines. These symptoms occur when there’s not enough natural oils or when the skin’s barrier function is compromised.
Oil and Skin Care
Your skin’s natural oils form a moisture barrier to keep environmental impurities off the skin and out of our bodies. This barrier also works to lengthen the amount of time we can keep moisture in the skin. People who suffer from dry skin either don’t have enough of this natural oil or their barrier is no longer intact, so they experience additional moisture loss.
When your skin is not producing the right amount of sebum (natural oil), it is considered out of balance. This can be caused by inadequate skin care products that only target a couple symptoms instead of looking at the whole health and function of your skin.
Age plays a major part in your skin’s oil levels. As you age, your skin will naturally produce less lubricating sebum and natural exfoliation and cell turnover slows as well.
Women are especially susceptible to dry, tight skin after going through menopause when estrogen levels drop. Finding the best moisturizer for dry skin and maintaining an effective skin care routine at this point in one’s life becomes more important than ever.
Your skin’s moisture barrier, sits beneath the skin’s protective outer coating which is called the acid mantle.
When the acid mantle become disrupted, it leaves this barrier susceptible to weakness and even infection. A weakened moisture barrier means that skin cannot stay adequately hydrated no matter how much moisture you apply.
The skin’s barrier function can be weakened by the following:
- Winter weather from conditions like strong winds, severe cold, or arid climates can cause this deterioration
- High exposure to sunshine can also weaken this layer over time
- Certain prescription medications can also cause dry skin patches, especially some that are prescribed to treat serious acne
- It can also be a symptom of chronic sensitive skin conditions like eczema (atopic dermatitis), rosacea, and psoriasis or even situational skin conditions like contact dermatitis
- Serious illnesses as well as chemotherapy for cancer treatment can also bring on dry itchy skin
With the right products and regular maintenance alongside the right skin care routine, treatment of dry skin is definitely within reach for most people.
The best moisturizer for dry skin should contains non-comedogenic oil, essential fatty acids, aloe vera, and vitamins which will water loss by strengthening your skin’s moisture barrier and therefore it’s health.
No matter how hard you try, if you moisturize flaky, dry, dead skin you will not be able to effectively hydrate the skin below, nor will you be able to revive any dry, dead flakes of skin. This is why exfoliation is so important for taking care of the health of your skin. Removing these surface cells will reveal a fresh layer of new skin cells, leaving your skin radiant and healthy looking.
Plant-based (cellulose-derived) liquid exfoliants are effective to use as gentle daily exfoliation. By giving your skin this regular, mild exfoliation, your skin will be better able to absorb all of the nourishing and hydrating ingredients in your moisturizer.
It seems obvious that if your skin is dry, you should use a moisturizer to compensate for lost hydration. This is absolutely true, however, unfortunately not all moisturizers are created equally.
The best moisturizer for dry skin containsnon-comedogenic oil, essential fatty acids, aloe vera, and vitamins (especially Vitamins A, C, and E). These quality ingredients won’t just hydrate your skin for a few hours, they will keep your skin supple throughout the day and help prevent water loss by strengthening your skin’s moisture barrier and therefore it’s health.
The most important thing that you can do to treat dry skin is to maintain healthy and daily skin care habits, so that dry skin problems become a thing of the past. A daily skin care routine that incorporates gentle cleaning, nourishing, and hydrating protection from the elements will be your best ongoing defense against the cause of dry skin.
Don’t forget all this doesn’t just apply to the skin on your face. Another thing you can do is making sure to apply a moisturizing lotion to your body after showering. Also, avoid long baths or hot showers if you can as they increase the transfer of water away from the skin.