We don’t need to tell you that dry skin is bad news – what with its being both uncomfortable and unsightly. The good news, however, is that it’s often caused by external factors, meaning it’s not something you have to put up with.
What is dry skin?
In its most basic form, dryness is characterised by a lack of water in the epidermis – the most superficial layer of the skin.
Dermatitis is the medical term for dryness, and it can manifest itself in a number of ways:
As its name suggests, this develops when your skin reacts negatively to something it touches, such as bleach or nickel, causing localised inflammation.
This happens when your skin produces too much oil, resulting in a red, scaly rash – usually on the scalp.
Also known as eczema, this chronic skin condition causes dry scaly patches to appear on the skin.
Dry skin symptoms
If you’re a sufferer, you probably already know about it, but just to be thorough, here are the things to look out:
- Tightness of skin – especially after being in water
- Grey-looking skin that both looks and feels rough
- Flaking or peeling
- Fine lines or cracks
Common areas of skin dryness on the face are around the eyes, nose, mouth, lips and ears.
So, what is behind it?
- Weather. Skin tends to be driest in winter, when temperatures and humidity levels drop.
- Heating. Winter is a double-edged sword, as it requires you to crank up the central heating, which is another contributing factor to dry skin.
- Water. Yup, hot baths and showers might be bliss in the moment, but immersing yourself for too long in hot water can also dry your skin. Similarly, watch out for hard water, as this contains minerals such as magnesium, lead and zinc, which can leave a film on skin that causes dryness.
- Chemicals. Harsh soaps and detergents – especially those that are formulated to remove oil – are also guilty of stripping moisture from your skin.
- Certain fabrics, such as wool or synthetic fibres, can irritate the skin and make it worse.
- Vitamin A deficiency. Read about why Vitamin A is so good for your skin here.
- Existing skin conditions. It’s not always down to environmental factors – there are several skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis and hypothyroidism that are also prone to dryness. Certain medications may also cause dryness as a side effect.
- Genetics. Experts from Scotland found mutations in genes that control the production of the protein filaggrin, which helps form and hydrate the skin.
You’re more likely to suffer from dry skin if you:
- Are aged 40 or older. This is because the older we get, the less natural oils and lubricants we have in our skin.
- Live in dry, cold or low-humidity climates.
- Have a job that requires you to work with water.
- Are going through hormonal changes.
Dry skin treatment
There’s a lot you can do yourself to reduce skin dryness and prevent it from getting worse, such as:
- Avoiding harsh, scented soaps and choosing other, gentler, water-based cosmetics, such as moisturisers, with care. The thicker and greasier – the better! Those that contain grapeseed oil and antioxidants can also help lock water into your skin.
- Limiting water exposure – especially hot water – and wearing rubber gloves wherever possible, for example while washing up.
- Applying moisturisers to damp skin.
- Avoiding excess scrubbing.
- Covering up in cold weather.
- Using an indoor humidifier during the winter.
- Drinking plenty of water.
- Trying not to scratch!
Creams and lotions can often be applied to control dry skin effectively.
As a general rule, only mild corticosteroids, like hydrocortisone, should be used on the face. Anything stronger can cause serious adverse effects, such as skin thinning and stretch marks.
Which is where we come in!
You can always rely on the trained therapists here at Lovoir Beauty to offer you the best – and safest – in-salon treatments to offset any dryness you may have.
Janesce Facials. Choose from one of our three facials – all offering an ultra-hydrating, skin-rejuvenating boost.
O Cosmedics Peels. Both our luxurious peels in this range will provide the perfect amount of hydration and exfoliation for life-changing skin health and radiance.
Infusion Facial. Hydrates, brightens and plumps your skin.
Bestow Beauty Plus Oil & O Cosmedics EFAs Max Complete. Two ultra-hydrating products we’re proud to sell here at Lovoir Beauty. These supplements add moisture from the inside out!
Hydration serums. Applied morning and night, these will help to combat the effect that the environment has in drying our skin out. The good news? All of our skincare ranges offer these!
Featured image: ADragan/Shutterstock