What Causes Dry Skin?
There is no single cause of dry skin. The causes of dry skin can be classified as external and internal. External factors are the most common underlying cause and are the easiest to cure. External factors include cold temperatures and low humidity, especially during the winter when central heaters are used, but can also happen during the summer months when overexposed to the extreme heat. Internal factors include overall health, age, genetics, family history, and a personal history of extreme medical conditions or from the medications for these conditions. In particular, those with certain thyroid diseases are more prone to developing dry skin.
The usual external factors that cause dry skin include over-washing with harsh soaps, the overuse of sanitizers and cleaning agents such as alcohol), cold temperatures, low humidity, and extreme heat or UV rays from the sun.
Although bathing and showering will add water to the skin, it is the evaporation of this water after the completion of the immersion that results in dry skin, especially when the evaporation is fast, such as during a really sweltering day. Skin that feels overly tight after bathing may indicate excess loss of natural skin oils.
One of the most common factors that can also cause dry skin is frequent use of harsh bathing soaps. The type of soap may have a large impact on dry skin. Soap is an emulsifier that removes oils on the skin. The more often skin is scrubbed with soap, the more oil is removed, resulting in the overly dry skin. Excessive use of soaps can worsen dry skin. Dry skin can also worsen if using moisturizers improperly or choose an inadequate moisturizer. Sometimes, the material of different clothing can also affect the dry skin. Some materials such as wool or synthetic fibers tend to irritate the skin and worsen dry skin.
Dry skin condition may also be caused by taking some medicines. Some examples are medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, allergies, and acne. Occasionally, a dry skin problem can be a sign of an internal medical condition. For instance, aging may inherently make people more prone to developing dry skin. In addition, eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition are also associated with dry skin.
The Importance of Moisturizing the Body
It should be understood that daily moisturizing is important for healthy skin, yet some think of it as an aesthetical habit connected only to female vanity. The human skin is the body’s largest organ and requires regular attention to stay young, blemish-free and healthy.
Which moisturizer for your skin. Regularly using a moisturizer should be a part of any good skin care regimen, but some are better than others. Choose a lotion with plenty of vitamins in the ingredients with an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin during the day. Also use lotions that are oil free, non-comedogenic or won’t clog your pores, allergy, and dermatologist tested. Vitamin A and vitamin B5 increase firmness and build moisture levels, and vitamins C and E help protect new skin and fight skin damage because of antioxidants.
When to moisturize. The most important times to use moisturizer are after a bath, shave or exfoliation. For some, this might be twice a day. Moisturizing after a shower is very important because hot water strips all the moisture and oils out of your skin, leaving it parched and dry. While hot water may be relaxing, it also wreaks havoc on your skin, so never forget the moisturizer.
Moisturizing keeps the skin young. The skin on your face, ears, neck, and chest are very sensitive to environmental changes and are the most frequent areas of the body known to develop skin cancer. These areas of skin also shed off dead cells more rapidly than other parts of the body and therefore need moisture to repair itself to allow younger skin cells to rise to the surface. Also, the massaging effect that is used when applying lotion helps stimulate blood circulation and new cell generation.
It reduces skin problems. Moisturizing daily can reduce the chance of developing extreme dryness or oiliness. Both extremes are harmful to skin and cause common skin conditions like acne.
It conceals skin blemishes. Using a daily moisturizer ensures that the skin’s blemishes are kept hidden. This is because moisturizing tends to make the skin have a slight sheen, and those with any tint or self-tanner even out different skin tones.
To help with your moisturizing efforts, here are some things to watch out for:
- Watch the temperature of the water. Hot showers and baths are not good for your skin. Shower for a shorter amount of time and with warm, not hot, water.
- Pat dry, don’t rub dry. After taking a bath gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing your skin dry. This will make your skin retain more moisture you are going to seal in when you moisturize.
- Drink more water. The moisture your skin receives also comes from your body. Drink at least 6 glasses or cups of water each day.
- Use mild soap and shampoo. Soaps and shampoos that contain alcohol strip natural oils from your skin. Look for a mild, fragrance-free cleanser that has aloe minerals and vitamins.
- Don’t forget the neck and chest. The neck and chest are also exposed to the elements so your moisturizing regimen should include them as well.
Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Cream
We tend to be skeptical of any product that is marked “sensitive,” because most sensitive formulas still have ingredients that can irritate skin. However, Eucerin Q10 Anti-Wrinkle Sensitive Skin Cream’s fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic formula really does work magic on even very dry complexions. This moisturizing cream is basically an anti-wrinkle moisturizing cream made for dry, sensitive skin. It is specially formulated to be non-irritating and to gently reduce the look of wrinkles and the signs of aging. It reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles in just 5 weeks. It firms up and moisturizes for softer, smoother looking skin. It can be used by itself or just before applying makeup.
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
The hyaluronic acid in CeraVe’s rich and fragrance-free cream penetrates the surface of your skin to deeply hydrate, while the ceramides and glycerin work to repair and restore your skin’s barrier function.
There are two important ingredients in EltaMD Moisturizer, petrolatum and paraffin, and both are excellent, non-pore-clogging ingredients that lock moisture into the skin for 12 hours. Just make sure to apply it over damp skin, especially after taking a bath, to really seal in the water. This moisturizing cream delivers long-lasting moisture to bring relief to dry, peeling, and flaking skin. The soothing formula seals in moisture and protects sensitive skin conditions including eczema and sunburns. It also helps promote skin healing after chemical peels and laser treatments. For extra moisture replenishment, it can be used at night.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
This body moisturizer can be used on your face to soothe dry, itchy, sensitive skin, as well as eczema haters, without clogging pores. It’s also fragrance-free and filled with nourishing sweet almond oil for an added boost of moisturizing and skin nourishment. It can give relief to chronically dry, sensitive skin with its clinically proven formula. It’s extra-strength emollients and humectants bind water to your skin and prevent moisture loss. It’s a lanolin-, paraben-, and fragrance-free formula.
Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
If it’s good enough for a baby then it’s good enough for adults as well. Formulated with colloidal oatmeal, Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy’s thick cream soothes irritated skin and hardcore hydrates it with glycerin and oat kernel extract, without leaving skin sticky or heavy.
Cetaphil Restoraderm Eczema Calming Body Moisturizer
This is an advanced moisturizer and a good option when it comes to healing itchy, red skin that is the hallmark of eczema. This product is given the highest possible rating from both product and customer reviews, praising its beneficial ingredients that soothe dry and irritated skin such as glycerin, emollients like sunflower seed oil and shea butter, and allantoin that has anti-irritant properties. It also contains an antioxidant, niacinamide, as well as a ceramide, hydroxypalmitoyl sphinganine. All of these ingredients help repair skin’s barrier and this is a big step in healing eczema since this is a condition in which the skin’s barrier is damaged. Many New York City based dermatologists say that they even use Cetaphil Restoraderm because they offer a great barrier protection against the harsh environment, given New York City’s polluting environment, but ordinarily a no-no with creams and lotions designed for the body, which is typically too harsh for the more sensitive skin on the face. It’s made with ceramides and filaggrin, this latter formula is a skin protein that’s impaired in people who have eczema. Using this cream helps prevent any type of skin from over drying and doesn’t clog pores.
Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
This contains ceramides to lock in the skin’s natural moisture. It’s thick texture absorbs easily into the skin without being uncomfortable or leaving a sticky or greasy residue behind.
Thousands of users that have purchased the product from Amazon.com, Walmart and Walgreens rave about this body lotion, with several calling it “near to the miracle point.” Some users say they’ve followed every bit of advice from their dermatologist including taking cold showers, staying hydrated, using humidifiers and moisturizing their skin twice a day, and while these measures prevent their skin from becoming unbearably dry, only Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy actually aids their skin in the healing process. Many users say this body lotion works well for eliminating the dry, scaly and itchy rashes caused by eczema, and some say it helps with keratosis pilaris as well.
Jergens Ultra Healing Extra Dry Skin Moisturizer
This moisturizer is a good option, although it has a stronger scent that turns some testers off. Most users love it, but there are some detractors as well. In hundreds of reviews across Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Walgreens.com, some say the rich formulation is the ticket to combating winter dry skin, while others complain that it leaves a greasy, sticky feeling behind. Some users say it helps to smooth skin affected by keratosis pilaris and heal dry, cracked and irritated skin, and the affordable cost is a bonus. The greasy and sticky feeling left behind, for some, is simply a minor inconvenience for better skin.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
For severe cases of dry skin in difficult-to-treat areas like the elbows and heels, experts say that ointments are best for locking in moisture and promoting healing. One such ointment is from Aquaphor that has been a long-time favorite of many users who suffer from dry, cracked heels or extremely dry skin on the hands in the winter months. Skincare experts say that it is a favorite among dermatologists, and for good reason. There isn’t much to this classic ointment, but without question, it’s a gentle formula that does a formidable job of protecting skin that is dry, cracked, or irritated.
Alpha Skin Care Revitalizing Body Lotion
This lotion and moisturizer earn the highest possible expert rating from many online beauty reviews, thanks to its high concentration of glycolic acid, which is 12 percent, the highest concentration available without a prescription. This concentration helps to exfoliate dry, rough and damaged skin. Many dermatologists note that there are dozens of products available for exfoliating the skin through physical means, such as body scrubs, but many contain problematic ingredients. Alpha Skin Care Revitalizing Body Lotion, on the other hand, is non-irritating, providing the perfect balance of exfoliating and moisturizing benefits without harsh fragrances and other ingredients that do more harm than good to sensitive skin. It is a basic formula containing several helpful emollients including petrolatum, glycerin, mineral oil, and dimethicone to leave skin feeling smooth and hydrated.