Why Your Skin Gets Dry
There are many reasons why skin becomes dry, but fundamentally it happens when skin’s surface becomes disrupted and steadily dismantled. Genetics (what you inherited from your parents), environmental damage, sun damage from accumulated unprotected sun exposure, climate influences, your health, or a combination of those things can be primary or secondary causes. The type of skincare products you use can also be a factor if they contain harsh or drying ingredients that disturb skin’s surface.
Regardless of the cause, the result is your skin can’t maintain its normal moisture level. Your course of action? To reestablish skin’s surface so it can stay perfectly hydrated. When you start providing your skin what it needs to remain intact and smooth, it will better be able to stay hydrated.
Without a change in your skin care, dry air can make fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable. Dry skin can itch, flake, crack, and even bleed.
How to Restore Hydration to Skin
Given the core issue of dry skin is a broken surface, the two primary goals are to put it back together again and stop doing things that tear it apart. Drenching skin in replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients is the key to hydrating the building blocks of skin. These blocks hold skin together just like mortar holds bricks, keeping precious moisture where it’s supposed to be so skin visibly improves.
To help heal dry skin and prevent its return,the following are recommended.
Wear sunscreen with an SPF 30 or greater 365 days of the year, rain or shine
It only takes one minute of unprotected sun exposure to start chipping away at your skin’s surface stability. When skin is compromised from repeated, unprotected sun exposure, it slowly but surely makes it less able to hold moisture or feel smooth, to say nothing of the wrinkles and skin tone changes that develop.
Apply moisturizer immediately after washing
Ointments, creams, and lotions (moisturizers) work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within few minutes of:
- Drying off after a shower or bath
- Washing your face or hands
Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion
Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Shea butter also works well. Other ingredients that help to soothe dry skin include lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum.
Wear lip balm
Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips. Some healing lip balms can irritate your lips. If your lips sting or tingle after you apply the lip balm, switch to one that does not cause this reaction.
Use only gentle, unscented skin care products
Some skin care products are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin.
When your skin is dry, stop using:
- Deodorant soaps
- Skin care products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA)
Avoiding these products will help your skin retain its natural oils.
Add moisture to the air
Plug in a humidifier.