What Causes Dry Skin? We Identify 5 Common Culprits
Can’t figure out what’s causing your dry skin? Check out our blog to find out five sneaky culprits that could be breaking down your skin’s barrier function.
The good news, though, is that you probably don’t need to do too much sleuthing to figure out the cause. There are plenty of common culprits that could be zapping the moisture from your skin, causing it to become dry, flaky and itchy. Ready to get to the bottom of your parched skin?
Here are several things you need to know about the causes of dry skin:
- Some of the more common culprits of dry skin include irritating skin care products, hard water and prolonged sun exposure.
- Dry skin can be improved with powerful moisturizers and regular exfoliation.
- Hydrating your parched skin will restore the skin barrier function and boost your skin’s protective abilities.
1. Harsh Skin Care Products
If you’ve recently switched up your skin care routine, this could be the cause of your dehydrated skin. Some skin care products can be extremely drying because of their harsh ingredients or by being misused.
We know that guys generally would rather not do a lot of research for their skin products. Even so, it pays to know which ingredients to look for in your face wash, acne cream, face scrub and other potentially dehydrating products.
While you’re reading the label, be sure to read the directions carefully to avoid misusing the product. Using a face scrub more than twice a week can dry out your skin, leaving it rough and itchy.
2. Excessive Sun Exposure
Whether you’re running errands or spending an entire day outdoors, it’s critical that you protect your skin from UV rays. The sun’s UV rays not only cause permanent sun damage and prematurely age the skin, it can also lead to dry, itchy skin.
According to a 2012 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), UV radiation can damage the skin’s outermost layer, altering its barrier function and leading to dryness and cracking (see claim: “…solar UV radiation…decreasing the skin’s natural ability to resist, compromising the critical barrier function of the skin.”)
Protecting your face with a daily moisturizer with SPF is essential to keeping skin hydrated, youthful and healthy. Don’t forget that the sun’s UV rays can peek through clouds and be reflected off the snow in the winter, which makes wearing sunscreen year-round critical to your skin’s health.
3. Hard Water
Hard water, which is high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium, can sneakily wreak havoc on your skin. Bathing in hard water day after day can strip the body of its natural oils, leading to redness, drying and irritated skin.
You can do a few things to combat the problem. First, use skin care products formulated specifically for sensitive and dry skin to avoid making the problem worse.
Second, try turning the temperature down while you shower. Hot water can dry out the skin, making your dehydrated skin even more red and itchy than before.
4. Dry Air
If your dry skin occurs only in the winter, it could be caused by the lack of moisture in the dry, winter air. When the winter air is also combined with high wind, it’s like a double whammy for your skin.
A good moisturizer and protective gear can go a long way in keeping your skin hydrated during the colder months. You may also want to alter your skin care routine for the winter season by exfoliating less and moisturizing more often.
5. Chronic Skin Conditions
If dry skin is a persistent problem for you, you may want to see a doctor. Dry skin is a common symptom of many underlying skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
There are new therapies on the horizon that show promise in the treatment of these inflammatory skin conditions. For instance, a new study published in JCI Insight found that a topical treatment of the bacterium Roseomonas mucosa was effective and safe for treating eczema in both children and adults. (see claim: “…the commensal bacterium Roseomonas mucosa was shown to improve atopic dermatitis-like phenotypes in murine models.”)
Getting to the bottom of your skin condition is vital, not only for improving your dry skin, but also for protecting your body from disease. Dryness can compromise the skin’s protective barrier function, increasing your susceptibility to infection and a myriad of diseases.
Soothing Parched Skin
Dry skin is more than just a minor annoyance. It’s your body telling you that it desperately needs hydration.
Fortunately, it usually doesn’t take too much investigation to find the underlying cause of your parched skin. Once you know the problem, you can take steps to fix your dry skin for a healthy, youthful complexion.