The causes of dry skin and how to fix dry skin
Do you dread that moment when it comes to applying foundation and your skin is flaky and scaly? Or your skin feels tight and itchy throughout the day?
Most people will deal with some form of dry skin in their life - it is very common!
But what are the causes of dry skin? And how can we fix dry skin? We are sharing our tops tips with you to treat your dry skin, but first, we need to figure out the cause!
Causes of dry skin
Dry skin can be caused by a number of factors. These include:
- cold weather
- dry air
- exposure to harsh chemicals in soaps or other products
- acne products designed to dry out excess sebum production
- washing the skin excessively
- unbalanced skin pH
- skin requires a more intensely hydrating product, rather than higher volume
- skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis
- spending too much time in direct sunlight
As you can see, some of these factors are out of our control, such as weather conditions, but most of these causes of dry skin are within our control. This is good because now we can remedy them and get our skin back to its healthy, supple, hydrated state.
Exposure to harsh chemicals in skin products, excessive washing, drying acne products and unbalanced skin pH, all fall under the umbrella of skincare and can be the most common culprit.
This can be attributed to disrupting our acid mantle, which lies on the surface layer of your skin, and is a very thin, natural protective film that’s made up of sebum (skin oils), amino acids, fatty acids, lactic acid, water (from perspiration), and skin’s own natural moisture. When we use products, such as strongly alkaline soaps and cleansers, or wash excessively, we strip away the acid mantle, leaving our skin open to the air and without its natural hydration.
This is one of the reasons why we use oil cleansing in our 3 step process - it helps to preserve our acid mantle and keep our skin hydrated and protected!
How to fix dry skin
There are a number of ways to help treat dry skin and prevent it from happening.
One method, as we have mentioned already, is the use of an oil cleanser in your skin routine. It helps balance our acid mantle, keeping it at a slightly acidic level, and cleanses away excess dirt and oil on our skin, without stripping away the protection of the acid mantle.
When looking for a cleanser, avoid the following ingredients, as they can further dry out or irritate your skin:
- sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
- those that derive from mineral oil, including petroleum and paraffin
- diethanolamine (DEA)
- monoethanolamine (MEA)
- triethanolamine (TEA)
Aim for an all-natural cleanser, which includes grapeseed oil (rich in Linoleic acid and resveratrol), and Avocado oil, (high in essential fatty acids/ oleic acid to nourish and moisturize dry skin) Look for anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich properties, such as Rose Geranium extract.
The use of a powerful moisturiser is the next step to hydrating your skin. Facial oil, rich in plant-based lipids, free fatty acids and ceramides, is a good place to start, as this will aid in replenishing moisture at a deep cellular level, soothe any redness and irritation, and provides a dose of antioxidants essential for optimal skin health. Look for an emollient facial oil, which will repair damage to the skin barrier, and fill in the gaps to create a smooth and soft surface.
A serum should be an essential step in repairing dry skin. We recommend a humectant serum rich in a natural source of Vitamin C, such as native Kakadu Plum, as it is absorbed directly into the skin without oxidization, as well as attracts moisture from the air and drawing it into the skin. This ensures maximum potency to help the skin's repair process, aiding in reversing visible damage caused via dehydrated skin.
Keep your exfoliation to once a week, to prevent further drying out the skin. Aim for an all natural, super gentle exfoliant that will dissolve dead, dry skin cells, and soften and smooth the skin underneath.
Try a humidifer. Low humidity may be a factor in drying your skin. Use a humidifier in rooms where you spend a lot of time. Adding moisture to the air may prevent your skin from drying. Make sure your humidifier is easy to clean, which can avoid bacteria buildup.
In addition, if you can skip hot showers in favour of lukewarm ones. Hot water can dry your skin by removing naturally occurring oils.
You may also find it beneficial to reduce your time in the shower to five to 10 minutes. This avoids unnecessary exposure to water, which can leave your skin drier than it was before you hopped in the shower.
Avoid showering or bathing more than once a day, as this can worsen dry skin.