Dry Facial Skin: What Causes It and How Do I Get Rid Of It?
Red, flaky, rough and itchy dry skin is not a good look on anyone. Learn the main causes of dry skin, find out how to combat them and know easy skin tips and tricks to always have smooth and moisturized skin.
DRY SKIN VS. DEHYDRATED SKIN
Dry skin and dehydrated skin are terms that are used interchangeably in skincare but did you know that there’s actually a difference between the two?
Dry skin is skin that is not producing enough sebum to keep all of the good moisture in. Sebum are naturally occurring oils and their main job is to protect and moisturize your skin. They also help retain water in the outer layer to keep skin hydrated.
Dehydrated skin, as the name implies, means that your skin cells do not have enough water in them. Just think about grapes and raisins. Grapes are smooth and juicy while raisins are dried and wrinkly. The same goes for your skin! Hydrating it will keep skin plump, smooth and wrinkle-free much like a grape!
IS MY SKIN DRY OR DEHYDRATED?
So, how do you know if your skin is dehydrated or just simply dry? When you have low levels of these natural oils in your skin, the result can be flaking, redness and itchy skin. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, tends to appear dull or pale. If you notice that your face is missing its usual glow, chances are your skin is dehydrated.
You can also have both dehydrated and dry skin at the same time! Be mindful of the state of your skin to know the best steps to take to address your skin’s needs.
WHAT CAUSES DRY SKIN?
There are many things that can cause dry skin, but it's important to identify which factors are the cause of YOUR dry skin so that you can address the problem at its root.
The major cause of dry facial skin can be traced back to your genes. We all have different skin types and our DNA basically determines which skin type we have. Some people have oily skin, some have dry skin and some have a combination of both. It is innate and natural but that does not mean it has to stay that way.
It’s important to know which skin type you have to understand your skin’s needs and how to take care of it.
The environment in which you are exposed to daily also has a huge impact on your skin. Its effects are especially apparent in the skin on your face since it’s always exposed to the elements.
People who live in a hot and parched climate, as well as those who live in cold and dry places, have to put in extra work to keep their skin hydrated. Also, take note of changes in weather and seasons to adjust your skincare routine accordingly.
Our lifestyle habits can also cause dry facial skin. Avoid smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and spending too much time outdoors without sunscreen to ensure that your skin looks great and healthy.
As our skin ages, it becomes less capable of producing natural body oils. This means moisture easily evaporates off of our skin making it more prone to dryness than when we were much younger. Aging also makes it more difficult for skin cells to retain water which leads to dehydration and in turn creates those unwanted wrinkles and fine lines.
HOW DO I GET RID OF DRY FACIAL SKIN?
According to the Harvard Health Publishing, the best way to combat dry facial skin is to use moisturizers. They rehydrate the top layer of our skin cells and seal in the much-needed moisture for that dewy, nourished glow.
The thicker the moisturizer is, the more effective it will be. If you have really dry skin, experts suggest moisturizers in cream or ointment form compared to lotion-type formulas. They will be more effective in keeping moisture locked in your skin.
Also check your skincare products and look for moisturizing ingredients like Shea butter, Jojoba Oil, Hyaluronic Acid, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Lanolin, Mineral Oil and Petrolatum.
Read more: Skincare Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid
7 TIPS AND TRICKS TO RELIEVE DRY FACIAL SKIN
Aside from moisturizing, soothe dry skin with these 7 easy tips and tricks that you can do to keep skin healthy, nourished, and radiant!
Skin Tip #1: Wash face with warm (but not too hot) water
Hot baths are super relaxing way to unwind after a long day but unfortunately, they are not too good for your dry skin. Hot water has the tendency to strip the skin of its natural oils which are needed to retain moisture. Instead of using hot water, only use lukewarm or room temperature water to keep your skin clean but still moisturized.
It’s also important that you limit your baths to 10 minutes. The longer you shower, the longer you are exposed to water and more of your natural oils and sebum get washed away leading to even drier skin.
Skin Tip #2: Always wear sunscreen
Even though it’s not hot or sunny outside, the powerful UV rays of the sun can still damage the skin. Even when it’s cold, even though you don’t see the sun, or even if you want to get a tan, remember to always use sunscreen before going out in the morning. Your skin will love you for that.
Skin Tip #3: Don’t use soap for cleansing
Did you know that a lot of soaps are too harsh for our delicate facial skin? If you have dry skin, make sure you don’t use products like deodorant soaps or others that contain alcohol, fragrance or even retinoids.
Instead, use a gentle facial cleanser that will keep the skin’s moisture balance. Look for cleansers with oils and natural ingredients.
You should also be extra gentle while washing your face. Don’t scrub too vigorously and a thick lather is not a must. Take your time to massage and stimulate your face up to 30 seconds and carefully rinse it away with lukewarm water.
Skin Tip #4: Moisturize at morning and at night
Moisturize not only during the day but also at night. Always apply moisturizer right after cleansing to keep skin nourished and hydrated.
Read more: Moisturizing 101
Skin Tip #5: Exfoliate dead skin
Dead skin causes those dry, flaky spots on your face. Get rid of them by exfoliating once or twice each week to clear the way for younger-looking, healthier skin. Give all-natural exfoliators a try! They don’t contain microplastics, better not just for your skin but also for the environment!
Skin Tip #6: Don’t rub your face dry
A lot of us are guilty of unconsciously rubbing our skin dry with a towel after cleansing. This bad habit not only damages skin, but it also irritates dry skin and makes it worse. Befriend your skin and soothe it by gently patting it dry with a soft towel after cleansing.
Skin Tip #7: Eat healthy and drink lots of water
Remember that you are what you eat! Keeping a healthy diet will translate to healthy skin so eat good food to keep your skin radiant and nourished always. Healthy fats are good for the skin so include foods like almonds, salmon, and avocado in your diet.
Make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water to keep skin healthy and moisturized inside and out.
Don’t let dry skin stop you from having beautiful, glowing skin! Just follow these 7 easy tips and tricks and you will be transforming that dry, flaky skin into smooth, nourished skin in no time. Now, who doesn’t want that?