Dry skin needs no explanation — you know you have it if your skin is dull, flaky, tight, cracked or all of the above. But dry skin is more than just a cosmetic problem. When your skin is cracked, infection-causing bacteria can enter more easily. So why do you have dry skin and what can you do to soothe it?
Common Causes of Dry Skin
Common causes of dry skin include:
- Age. As we age, our bodies produce less sebum (oil) and our skin becomes thinner and drier. A decrease in sebum production means fewer lipids filling the gaps between cells in the skin barrier, making it easier for water to evaporate from the skin.
- Long, hot showers and baths. Showers longer than 10 minutes are more likely to lead to dry skin. The same goes for a hot tub.
- Climate. If you live in a sunny or dry environment like the mountains or desert, your skin is more likely to be dry.
- Chronic skin conditions. Eczema—a condition in which the skin becomes inflamed or irritated—can result in dry skin. Psoriasis—a chronic inflammatory skin disease—also causes very dry skin.
How to Soothe Dry Skin
The number one treatment for dry skin is a good moisturiser. Here are the key ingredients you should look for in a moisturiser:
- Glycerin. moisturisers with glycerin attract water molecules into the top layer of the skin, replenishing hydration.
- Petrolatum. moisturisers with petrolatum seal in moisture and prevent it from evaporating.
- Niacinimide. moisturisers with Niacinimide (Vitamin B3) help improve skin’s natural moisture barrier to restore and repair skin’s look.
- Choose a triple threat: A moisturiser with all three key ingredients is the best way to maintain healthy looking, supple skin.
In addition to moisturising your face and body morning and night, there are other ways to alleviate dry skin. Here are a few dry skin-soothing strategies:
- A cleanser is usually gentler on skin than an anti-bacterial soap and will help replace any moisture that is lost in the cleansing process.
- Moisturising immediately after a shower or washing your face will lock in moisture still on your skin.
Say goodbye to flaky, scaly, itchy skin. Win the battle against your dry skin with these expert tips to help keep it soothed and hydrated.