Dry skin needs no explanation — you know you have it if your skin is dull, flaky, tight, cracked or all of the above. It can arise for various reasons, such as low humidity and high, dry temperatures, but dry skin is more than just a cosmetic problem. When your skin is cracked, infection-causing bacteria can enter more easily. Find out why you get dry skin, how can you soothe it and find out how to hydrate your skin.
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.
Skin Care for Dry Skin
The number one treatment in dry skin care is a good moisturiser. Here are the key ingredients you should look for:
- Glycerine. Moisturisers with glycerine attract water molecules into the top layer of the skin, replenishing hydration.
- Petrolatum. Moisturisers with petrolatum seal in moisture and help prevent moisture loss.
- Niacinamide. Moisturisers with Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) help improve skin’s natural moisture barrier to restore and repair skin’s look.
- Choose a triple treat: A moisturiser with all three key ingredients is the best way to maintain healthy looking, supple skin.
When it comes to the question of how to keep skin hydrated, make your moisturiser work harder and smarter, by applying it immediately after cleansing to lock in moisture, massaging into skin to help it penetrate better. For a surge of intense moisture, apply right after you shower. You will reap the benefits of the heat and steam by opening pores, allowing for moisturisers to reach deep into the skin. Applying in the evening also hydrates skin while you sleep and ensures you wake up with a fresh, supple complexion.
In addition to moisturising your face and body morning and night, there are other ways to alleviate dry skin. Here are some tips to incorporate into your skin care routine for dry skin:
- 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.
- Consider adding a serum to your facial care regimen. It has concentrated moisturising benefits that can instantly soothe dry skin.
- Invest in a humidifier. Humidifiers add moisture to the air to counteract dryness.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Aim for 8 glasses of water a day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.
Even if it feels like water is nowhere to be found and your skin is taking a beating, do not let your skin stay thirsty. Keep these moisturising tips at hand next time you find your skin dry and tight.
So now you know how to hydrate skin
, you can hopefully say goodbye to flaky skin. Win the battle against your dry skin with these expert tips to help keep it soothed and hydrated.