When you have dry facial skin, it can be frustrating to try to keep it moisturized so that it doesn’t wrinkle so quickly. Your skin may feel painful and tight, and it may appear flaky or dull. Dry skin tends to be itchy as well, so it’s something that’s better to prevent using an anti aging cream than to treat.
If you suffer from dry skin or have recently started noticing some flakiness, don’t worry. Dry skin is normal, and there are ways to reverse and prevent this. Before taking appropriate measures, you need to know what causes dry skin and ways to treat it. Also, keep in mind that everyone has a different skin type, so using products for your skin type is key.
Sometimes the solution to dryness is switching up the products you’re using to suit the type of skin you have.
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What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin is very common among people from all walks of life. It’s estimated that perhaps 100 million people with dry skin live in the United States alone. Dry skin is as uncomfortable as it is unsightly, and it can be an indicator of deeper problems.
Before we jump into remedies and treatments for dry skin, let’s talk a bit about the causes. The dryness occurs when your skin cells lack water or oil. It can affect absolutely anyone. While some people are prone to dry skin at any time, others suffer from it only during those cold winter months when the air is drier.
Other causes include traveling, living in a dry climate, too much sun exposure, and swimming in a pool with chlorine. Then, there are those severe cases where the skin is so dry it cracks. When this happens, bacteria are more likely to enter the body and cause infection. If this sounds like you, we suggest you speak with your doctor immediately.
Here is a quick list of infection symptoms:
Can It Cause Other Symptoms?
When your skin is healthy, it is the main way your body defends itself against infections. If your skin becomes dried or cracked, bacteria can enter into your body in that way, which can lead to problems that are more serious than simply dry skin.
If you suffer from dry skin, you’ll notice it’s flaky and even itchy at times. Your skin may hurt and feel tight. Other symptoms include peeling, scaling, bleeding, roughness, or redness. You can solve dry skin by making some changes in your skincare routine as well as environmental factors, which we’ll get to later.
Benefits of Improving Dry Skin
There are many reasons why you’ll want to treat your dry skin properly. It will improve your health and your looks, at the same time. Often, your dry facial skin may just be from harsh soaps or long showers that strip the oils from your skin. Some medications can cause dry skin as well, and so can poor nutrition and hyperthyroidism.
Healthy, normal skin has a thin coat of lipids, which are simply fatty substances. These help to keep moisture in, which leaves your skin supple and soft. When your skin dries out, either you are doing something to strip this layer away, or an illness or condition is causing the skin to dry out.
Here are some ways to prevent dry skin:
- Implement and be consistent with your skincare routine
- Wash your face every day with a mild cleanser and warm water
- Use products that suit your skin type
- Always wear sunscreen with SPF 30+
- After you shower, apply lotion to your skin
- Moisturize your dry skin with petroleum jelly
For those who experience dryness at specific times of the year, switching up your skincare routine usually solves this problem. To prevent dry skin, be sure to follow the tips up above.
Remedies for Dry Skin
Dry skin may not be as noticeable a part of your appearance as you feel it would be, but if it gets severe enough, it will cause your skin to look cracked and unhealthy. If you don’t treat your dry skin, you may develop dermatitis, which is caused when the skin becomes inflamed. There are lots of cures for people with dry skin, though, and you can usually solve this problem yourself.
So, what can you do? What options do you have? Before you start trying new products, consider the following remedies to ease the dryness and alleviate your symptoms:
Don’t Shower with Hot Water
This one may be tough if you love steaming showers. However, hot baths dry out the skin by removing oils. Instead, modify your shower temperature to a lukewarm option. Also, don’t spend too much time in the water – 5 to 10 minutes is enough. Too much exposure to water can leave your skin drier than before!
Another quick tip is not showering more than once a day. Doing so is going to dry out your skin and you’re not going to see improvement anytime soon. You have the option to invest in gentle body wipes to freshen up throughout the day when needed. Be sure that they don’t contain any harmful ingredients and, if possible, go for natural, fragrance-free options.
When washing your face, be sure you’re using a gentle cleanser for your skin type. Avoid soaps that contain harsh ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids, retinoids, or alcohol. This can cause irritation or make your dryness worse.
Aside from selecting mild products without fragrances, also look for the following ingredients:
- Polyethylene glycol
- Silicone surfactants
These ingredients are gentle on the skin and have healing properties that your dry skin will need. Be sure you don’t overdo it, and only wash your face in the morning and before going to bed. When it comes to exfoliating, limit it to once a week.
When applying the product on your skin, be sure you’re not using too much force. To avoid doing this, use your fingertips and gently rub your face. Don’t ever scrub your face, as this will only irritate it and make the dryness worse.
Always Apply Moisturizer
After washing your face, moisturize! Look for a gentle moisturizer that helps your skin retain moisture. It needs to be fragrance-free and contain no alcohol. This will only lead to unnecessary irritation. Moreover, consider one with sunscreen. This will protect your skin from the sun and keep your skin feeling hydrated throughout the day.
When shopping for some lip balm, be sure to choose one that contains petroleum jelly or mineral oil. It should feel good when applied to your lips and by no means should your lips tingle when applied. If this is the case, try a different product.
Bundle Up During Cold Months
Dry outdoor air, especially in the winter months, can cause dry facial skin, as well as dry skin elsewhere on your body. Indoors during the winter, you may have air that is dry, from your central heating unit, and this dries out your skin, too. Using moisturizers will counteract the dryness of the winter air.
Bundle up when you go outside in winter time, and set up a humidifier in your room. In addition, take short showers, so that you don’t rinse away your body’s natural defenses. If you can combat dry facial skin before it becomes worse, you can overcome it more easily. Moisturizers will help your skin to retain its hydration.
Water, Water, Water!
Drinking plenty of water is brought out as a solution to every health problem, but don’t ignore that sage advice. You should drink plenty of water, for your body as well as your skin. In addition, eating foods that are rich in vitamins that the skin needs will help your skin fight back. These helpful vitamins include C, A and E. Taking proper care of your body and your skin will leave you less open to experiencing dry facial skin.
Is It Time to See A Doctor?
After reading the above, if you’ve tried these remedies and still suffer from intensely dry skin, it may be time to see a doctor. After discussing your condition with your specialist, they will be able to get you started on a treatment that will relieve these uncomfortable symptoms and bring an end to your dry skin.
If you experience any of the following, you should consider contacting your doctor:
- After your healthy skin care routine, you’re still experiencing dry skin
- Have reason to believe that you have an infection as a result of cracked skin
- Have a reason to believe you suffer from a more serious condition that goes beyond dry skin
Your medical provider will usually recommend a prescription medicine for your skin. This may be a topical cream like corticosteroid or a medication you take orally. Along with this, they’ll suggest following a healthy skin care routine for the best results.
The Bottom Line
Flaky, itchy, and dry skin is never fun. Fortunately, there are treatments that can alleviate the symptoms and get rid of the problem altogether. We hope this guide has taught you about the causes, remedies, and when it’s time to seek medical assistance.
We wish you the best of luck on your journey to getting rid of this condition. Sometimes it’s a matter of tweaking your daily skincare routine or making some changes to your showers. You’ll notice changes within a week or so if you’re consistent.
If after trying these remedies your condition worsens, it’s time to visit your doctor. Sometimes, the dryness you experience may be a sign of an underlying skin condition. Your dermatologist will be able to find out the cause and discuss your options with you!