Why Is My Skin Dry?

You can do a lot on your own to improve your skin, including using moisturizers and avoiding harsh, drying soaps. Chronic or severe dry skin problems may require evaluation by a doctor who specializes in skin (dermatologist).

Dry skin or dry itchy skin is often temporary — you get it only in winter, for example.

Dry skin (xerosis) often has an environmental cause. What causes dry skin includes:

  • Weather. Skin tends to be driest in winter, when temperatures and humidity levels plummet. But the season may not matter as much if you live in desert regions.
  • Heat. Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and dry your skin.
  • Hot baths and showers. Taking long, hot showers or baths can dry your skin. So can frequent swimming, particularly in heavily chlorinated pools.
  • Harsh soaps and detergents. Many popular soaps, detergents and shampoos strip moisture from your skin as they are formulated to remove oil.
  • Other skin conditions. People with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis (eczema) or psoriasis are prone to dry skin.

Dry skin does not discriminate and affects people of all ages and ethnicity. However, that does not mean that you need to suffer through it. Instead of hiding your winter dry skin, try managing it with these 7 tips below.

1. Prevent baths and showers from making dry skin worse.

  • Use warm rather than hot water
  • Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser 
  • Apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil, but avoid using so much that you see a thick lather
  • Blot your skin gently dry with a towel.

2. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing. Moisturizers work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer within few minutes bathing.

3. Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion. Look for a cream or ointment that contains an oil such as olive oil or jojoba oil. Shea butter also works well.

4. Use only fragrance - free skin care products. Meaning that added scents can be drying to the skin.

5. Choose non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent.

6. Stay warm without cozying up to a fireplace or other heat source. Sitting in front of an open flame or other heat source can dry your skin.

7. Add moisture to the air. Plug in a humidifier.

During the winter, the oil and sweat glands in your body and the blood vessels constrict a bit. This makes it hard for your skin to keep itself healthy and glowing naturally, and that’s why it needs your help. These tips are not difficult to follow, and you can easily include them in your daily routine.

Do you have any special winter skin care secret? Share it with us and keep following us for more such tips and hacks for your skin in every season.

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