10 Surprising Causes of Dry Skin
Conditions that bring about itchy, dry skin and how to stop them from ruining your healthy complexion
The general cause of dry and itchy skin is pretty simple: your skin lacks moisture. However, there is still a lot of surprising factors that contribute to skin dryness.
If you're looking to effectively treat and prevent dry skin, check this list to learn what the top skin dehydrators are, what is causing your skin dryness and what you can do to soothe red, cracking, flaky skin for good!
1. You’re using skincare with fragrance
The synthetic fragrance added in your skincare or cosmetic products could be causing your skin dryness. Often, the formula for these “fragrances” includes chemicals that tend to irritate skin and promote dryness.
Under federal law, “fragrances” are classified as trade secrets. This means that companies do not have to disclose what chemicals are in the engineered scents they are putting in their products. This prevents consumers from knowing the full list of ingredients in their products.
Check your ingredient labels and avoid skin care products that list fragrance as an ingredient. These are commonly found in body lotions, deodorants and creams and may do more harm than good when absorbed by your skin.
At YEOUTH, we have made sure that our line of skincare is free of synthetic fragrance so that you can enjoy your best skin ever. All our products are manufactured in an owner-operated state of the art facility to ensure that no corners are cut and no expense is spared in creating one of the finest anti-aging skincare lines on the market today.
Always be aware of the ingredients in your skincare and choose your products wisely!
2. You’re using the wrong product for cleansing
Aside from ripping the moisturizing oils of your skin, cleansing can also alter the delicate pH balance of your skin. This is why you should give more attention to the face cleanser that you are currently using.
Healthy skin should be slightly acidic with a pH level of around 5.5. This is due to the presence of the acid mantle, a mixture of sebum and sweat we secrete that form into a thin, protective layer that keeps moisture in while preventing harmful contaminants such as bacteria and other microbes from penetrating and damaging your skin.
A lot of soaps and face washes on the market are alkaline with a pH level of 7 or higher. These types of cleansers mess with the natural pH of your skin. These cleansers strip the protective layer of oils leaving it more prone to dryness and irritation.
If you get that tight squeaky clean feeling right after cleansing, you have probably stripped away your protective acid mantle and raised your skin’s pH.
To alleviate skin dryness, we recommend using a gentle or mild cleanser with a slightly acidic or neutral pH level. Steer clear of deodorant soaps or other cleansers that contain alcohol, fragrance or retinoids. Try our gentle Yeouth Vitamin C Facial Cleanser to maintain your skin’s moisture balance.
For best results, you should also use a toner after every cleanse. Toners are slightly acidic and they help balance the alkalinity in the skin right after washing. They have the ability to recalibrate the skin and rev up the acid mantle, thus making skin moisturized and able to effectively protect itself against the environment.
Give Yeouth Balancing Facial Toner a try! Aside from restoring the skin's pH to its normal level, this refreshing mist moistens, soothes and prepares your skin for maximum absorption of your other skincare products, giving you more bang for your buck.
3. You inherited it from your parents (or grandparents)
If you’ve had dry skin for as long as you can remember, there is a high chance that it is all because of your genetics. Some people are just born with dry skin which makes them more prone to flaking and irritation.
In fact, researchers report that there are certain gene mutations that leave people with naturally dry skin with a greater chance of developing skin conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis. This can run in your family and could be the root cause of your skin dryness.
To combat the effects of dry skin, opt for an extra-moisturizing skincare routine. Be extra diligent about your regimen and make sure to moisturize not only during the day but also at night.
For moisturizing ingredients, we recommend looking for hyaluronic acid in your products. Hyaluronic acid acts as a magnet for moisture allowing the skin to absorb it for that dewy, hydrated glow.
Experience the benefits of hyaluronic acid with Yeouth Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It provides intense hydration and does not need a myriad of ingredients or fillers to be effective. One pump is enough to keep your skin smooth and supple for the entire day!
Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum ( $14.95 )
Build-up in your shower head means that the water you use for bathing is hard water. This means your tap water has a high concentration of minerals like magnesium, lead and zinc. Aside from having high pH that alters your skin’s balance, these minerals can leave a thin film on your skin that leads to dryness.
If you suspect that your water supply is hard water, a home filtration system that can lighten the mineral content of your tap water is a wise investment.
Your water is too hot
Excessively hot water for bathing is also bad for your skin since it washes away the much-needed natural oils that keep your skin healthy and moisturized. Experts suggest using lukewarm water (80° F to 90° F) for your baths and showers. To find the right balance, you may want to test the extremes of your water faucet and choose something that feels in between. Your hand should not want to pull away as if it is burned and instead feel comfortable and pleasantly warm.
It’s also best to keep your showers short — spend no more than 10 minutes and remember to pat your skin dry to maintain your skin’s natural moisture level.
5. You’re taking medications that dry out your skin
Some medications have side effects such as dry skin. This is particularly common for acne treatments that contain salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide or retinol.
To alleviate your skin’s dryness, you can try minimizing your use of these medications. If you regularly use it every day, take it down a notch by using it every other day or so. Make sure that you’re also using gentle and moisturizing skin products along with your medications to further address the issue.
If you’re still experiencing skin dryness, ask your dermatologist for a less drying medication and other recommendations for treating this potential side effect.
6. You’re frequently exposed to dry air
The cold, blustery conditions outside during the colder months can exacerbate the effects of dry skin.
The skin on your face is especially more susceptible to dry skin since it’s exposed to the environment unlike the rest of your body. Whenever going out, give extra attention to your exposed body parts by applying a thick layer of moisturizing cream and wear protective clothing like gloves and scarves.
Dry air indoors
Extensively drying indoor heat can also wreak havoc on your skin. The warm air from your heating system can have extensively low humidity and this might be why your skin feels dry and itchy.
Try lowering the temperature of your central heating system to a cool, yet comfortable level (68°F to 72°F) to keep the surrounding air from drawing out moisture from your skin. A humidifier is also a really great investment. It will help add moisture back into the air. Consider installing one in the rooms that you spend the most time in, such as your bedroom.
7. You're washing your skin too often
Pay attention to how your skin feels after cleansing. Your skin should feel soft and smooth.
A tight, squeaky clean feeling is one of the red flags of over-cleansed skin. If your skin feels dry, rough and irritated, this either means your cleanser is too harsh or you might just have been washing your skin too frequently. Over cleansing and drying the face also causes a pH imbalance. When in doubt use our toner after cleansing!
On the contrary, excessive oiliness can also be a sign that you’re overdoing it. The skin can produce too much oil to compensate for the loss in moisture. If you’re breaking out more or your skin is extra oily all of a sudden, take a step back from cleansing and instead focus on hydration. Less is more!!!
How often should you cleanse?
Clean your face twice a day. Once when you wake up in the morning and then again before going to bed each night.
Our skin naturally secretes oil and toxins during sleep so a thorough wash in the morning is needed to create a fresh base for a daytime complexion. Cleansing at night is also important so that you remove all of the makeup, dirt and oil that has built up on your skin during the day. Doing so allows your pores to breathe at night and will prevent dirt and oil build up.
If you sweat heavily after a workout or on a hot day, you can freshen up by washing your face. Perspiration, especially when wearing a helmet or a hat, can irritate your skin. The bacteria and germs mixing with sweat is a recipe for a breakout to happen. If you’re cleansing your face midday, don’t forget to reapply the essentials -toner, moisturizer and sunscreen - after washing.
8. You’re exfoliating more than necessary
Exfoliating is an important skincare step but too much of it can also ruin your skin. Whether it's with a scrub or a chemical exfoliant, over-exfoliating can damage your acid mantle — the barrier that keeps your skin moisturized and protected from dirt and bacteria. The result of over exfoliation: your skin is more vulnerable to the environment, leaving it drier and more prone to breakouts.
Limit the exfoliation step of your routine to once a week or do it less frequently (every other week) if you have extremely dry skin. After exfoliating, remember to replenish the lost oils from your skin with a rich and thick moisturizer to help seal in hydration.
9. You’re not using the right moisturizer
It’s important to switch up your skincare products as the seasons change. During summer, a lighter lotion can do the job of keeping your skin moisturized but during winter, you need a thicker, richer cream to prevent any flaking, cracking and peeling.
In general, dry skin needs moisturizers that are rich in oils to soothe and revive it. Try Yeouth L22 Anti-aging Moisturizer! Formulated with natural moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba and macadamia seed oil, this advanced moisturizer will lock in long-lasting moisture and leave your skin nourished and moisturized.
You’re applying your moisturizer at the wrong time
Aside from using the right moisturizer, you also have to make sure you’re applying it correctly. For best results, you should always apply your moisturizer on damp skin to make sure it has enough moisture to hold on to. Damp skin 'acts like a sponge' so resist the urge to completely rub your face dry after washing.
However, don't rush in when it's dripping wet! Layering skin products over soaking wet skin can have the opposite effect and will not help with absorption. For the right amount of moisture, we recommend tapping your face with a towel and dampening skin with a spritz of Yeouth Balancing Facial Toner.
10. You’re not drinking enough water
Your skin can lose moisture if you don’t make hydration a priority. Make sure that you drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to keep your body hydrated at all times.
Also note that when it’s cold outside, the air becomes drier and it's easier for water to evaporate from our bodies. For this reason, we must make an extra effort to keep it hydrated from the inside out.
Eat foods that have a high water content to help to hydrate your body. Add fruits like oranges, kiwi, apple or cantaloupe to your diet. You can also eat more watery vegetables like tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and celery.
Fatty fish and flaxseed also help keep skin nourished since they contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These omega acids help skin stay supple and moisturized. These healthy fats can help maintain the membrane around your skin cells and improve the moisture-holding capacity of the skin.