To put it blankly, dry skin is essentially caused by a lack of moisture. It occurs when the skin cells are producing less sebum (oil) than is needed to keep the skin hydrated and supple. A lack of sebum causes the skin to feel dry, tight and sometimes uncomfortable. It can happen on any area of the body from your feet to your face. Dry skin can be caused by several reasons but there are also some simple ways to banish it for good!
Signs You Have Dry Skin
1. If after stepping out of the shower or washing your face and your skin feels tight, it’s a sign your skin is on the drier side.
2. Cell turnover is slower in dry skin leading to a build up of dead skin cells on the skins surface. This can cause your skin to lack a healthy glow or to have a dull complexion.
3. The skin will become red, itchy and flaky if the skins natural barrier is impaired due to a loss in moisture.
What Can Cause It?
Dry Air - With the cold season starting to well and truly arrived, it has us cranking that central heating right up! While it does make us feel warm and cozy, the dry air from the radiators plays havoc on our poor skin. In winter, the air is also drier outside the house too leaving us with dry, chapped lips or a tight feeling on our face.
Long hot baths or showers – While it can be very tempting to stay in a steaming hot bath, it can cause the skin to dry out if done for an extended length of time. If you can, limit your bathing times to no more than 5 minutes. Also set the water temperature to warm, not hot!
Ageing Process – As we grow into our older years, our skin produces less oils (sebum) and it becomes drier. People over the age of 40 are more prone to dry skin which can be due to hormonal changes in women during menopause.
We also have a molecule in our skin called Hyaluronic Acid. It is found naturally in the skin to keep it plump and hydrated but we begin to loose it as we age. The process can also be accelerated by environmental factors such as UV exposure. To combat this loss of hydration, Hyaluronic Acid can be applied topically to the skin in the form of serums and moisturisers. The Queen of all serums is Eve Taylor’s Hydrating Serum containing the golden ingredient, Hyaluronic Acid. It’s super power is that it can hold up to 1000 times it’s own weight. The molecules are rapidly absorbed into the top layer of skin (epidermis) where it plumps out the cells, softens fine lines and leaves the skin silky soft and moisturised.
Vigorous Handwashing – It is now more than ever so important for us to maintain strong hand hygiene. Also, certain jobs, such as working in Healthcare have a requirement for increased hand washing. For some people, this can cause the skin to become dry, broken and irritated. To help, choose soaps with a gentle formulation that are alcohol free. Blot your hands dry instead of rubbing them and use warm (not hot) water. Finish with a hand cream to protect and nourish your hands. Right now, the Eve Taylor Hand & Nail Cream SPF 20 is my go-to.
Strong Skincare Products – Active ingredients such as Retinol and Salicylic Acid can cause the skin to become dry. They both have cell renewing properties where they speed up the natural process of cell turnover. If you don’t take your time to introduce them slowly to your routine, your skin can become flaky, red and irritated. Start to slowly add these powerhouse skin solutions by using them only once a week and build it up from there.
Clothing - Woolly jumpers may look cute but they can cause the skin to itch when it becomes dry and irritated. Wear a tank top underneath your jumper to avoid direct skin contact.
Certain Medical Conditions – Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can make the skin more prone to dryness. If you do suffer from these, make sure to seek medical advice for treatment. Dry skin can also indicate something underlying either like diabetes, malnutrition, kidney failure or hypothyroidism.
How to Lock in the Moisture
Aside from the few tips above, you can also:
1. Look into getting a humidifier for your room which will help to make the air less drying on your skin. You can also place a small glass of water on the radiator as a cheaper alternative – its amazing to see how quickly the water will disappear too when the heating is on full blast!
2. After your daily shower, apply your moisturiser while the skin is still slightly damp to help seal in extra moisture. The same can be said for when applying your serums.
3. Choose your moisturiser depending on how dry your skin is. As a rule of thumb, a creams tends to be more thicker and hydrating than a lotion.
4. Look for ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides and as these as provide hydrating qualities to the skin. Look no further than the CeraVe ‘Moisturising’ range which contains a combination of both. To learn the benefits of using ceramides, you can read all about it here.
5. Wrap up warm when heading out into the cold and protect your hands and face. Wear gloves if you suffer with dry skin on your hands and don’t forget your SPF and lip balm too.
Do you suffer with dry skin? Do you have any other tips?