Seven Overlooked Reasons For Dry Skin - And What To Do About It

Last updated on : July 03 2018

reasons for dry skin


Appreciating the factors that lead to dry skin is crucial in preventing your skin from looking chapped and dry at any time of the year.   

Layers of sebaceous glands bless our skin with natural moisturizing oils. The absence of these oils makes the skin vulnerable to itching, peeling, scaling and cracking.

So it is essential that you know how to retain the lubricating effect of our skin’s natural moisturizers to maintain your youthful glow at all times. 

In this article, we've focused on seven often overlooked yet essential contributors to dry skin and what you can do to avoid them.

And to finish, we've highlighted some extra steps you can take to alleviate and treat dry skin. 

Seven Overlooked Reasons For Dry Skin

There is a myriad of factors causing your dry skin, including dehydration, certain medical conditions, and even diet.

Sun exposure, hot water, and the chemicals we use in our soaps and makeup are others.

However, the following seven are factors often overlooked and are quite severe contributors to the dryness we all want to avoid. 

Are you guilty of any, and can you change your ways?

1. Your Beauty Therapy Doesn't Match Your Skin Type

Many people subscribe to any skin therapy they find without first taking time to know their type of skin. 

Knowing your skin type helps you define what suits your skin and allows it to adapt correctly to your environment. 

Products that are too harsh may result in your skin producing more oil than it needs. Conversely lubricating up with too much moisturizer might lead to dry skin as your body adapts.

The easiest way to determine your skin type is to gently pat a sheet of blotting paper on the different areas of your face.

Little to no oil on the sheet likely means you have dry skin. Some oil on the nose and forehead areas is typical of combination skin. However, if greasiness saturates the paper, then you have oily skin. 

Once you understand your skin type, select a skin therapy that matches and compliments it.

2. You're Taking Long Hot Showers

Make a good start to each day with a cold but brief shower, not a long hot one. 

A cold shower envelopes you in a refreshing aura and tightens the cuticles and pores. This tightening prevents the skin from getting clogged and helps retain its moisture. 

On the other hand, a steamy bath or shower strips away the natural oils from your skin, particularly with the use of soap. Hot water and soap deplete the skin’s oil barrier causing dry and chapped skin.

The good news is that you don't need to shower long in the cold to see the benefits. Also, a significant advantage comes from just removing long hot showers from your daily routine.

So replace your hot shower or bath with a daily cold shower to reap benefits for your skin. 

3. You're Using The Wrong Soaps

For all the cleansing benefits of soap, certain types take a toll on the skin’s natural oils. 

If your skin is needlessly tight, red and dry after using your favorite soap, it is time for a change. These symptoms are a reliable indicator that your soap is doing more damage than good.

Using the right soap prevents rapid depletion of the skin oils and the drying out of your skin. Choose soaps with natural ingredients like shea butter or almond oils and avoid those with harsh chemicals or anti-bacterial properties.

Although you might be surprised, you don't need to give your entire body a heavy scrubbing every time you wash. Your armpits and your groin are two areas that need washing with soap; the rest of your body can do fine with water only rinse. 

If you're a dry skin sufferer use the right soap yes, but also use it sparingly, and don't scrub away at your skin.

4. You're Too Rough With Your Towel

Following a refreshing (cold) bath or shower, be wary of your towels and how you choose to dry yourself. 

A rough, dry off will irritate your skin and contribute to the loss of essential oils and moisturizers. Additionally, towels carry bacteria and germs if not washed often and these exacerbate your skin problems.

Your choices are to gently pat yourself dry with your towel or to air dry instead, avoiding a dry off entirely.

Under both scenarios applying a nourishing body moisturizer to seal your skin is advised. A moisturizer will help keep and restore any moisture lost after your wash.

5. You're Making Dry Skin Makeup Mistakes

Many of the chemicals in makeup can and do cause dry skin. So it's imperative that you choose makeup that suits your skin type, and that you apply it correctly. 

Choose a cleanser with ceramides and natural lipids that help skin retain moisture and its natural protective barrier. And use a hydrating primer for additional protection. Try a water-based foundation instead of silicone or matte. Water-based is more moisturizing and creates a dewy effect.

When applying your foundation, use a slightly wet beauty blender instead of a brush because brushes can cause flakiness on dry skin.

Don't brush powder over your entire face as this will accentuate dry patches. Instead, just lightly tap it onto areas necessary or stay away from it altogether. Try a cream based blush in place of powder for a similar and more moisturizing effect. 

Makeup need not cause or highlight your dry skin if you take care with it. 

dry skin and makeup

6. You're Over-Exfoliating

Your skin is continuously regenerating, with fresh skin cells replacing old dead ones. Exfoliation assists this process by removing the older cells and giving the new ones a stronger start in life. 

While exfoliation is a recommended beauty therapy, do it sparingly if you suffer from dry skin. The urge to rub away dry and flaky skin is hard to avoid. However, it will make your condition worse, irritating your skin further.

We recommend exfoliating only a couple of times a week with your dry skin.

Keep the process gentle by avoiding products with beads or grains that are rough on your skin. A warm wet washcloth, gently applied, should in most cases be all that you need. 

Alternatively, try a spoon of sugar added to two spoons of olive or vitamin E oil for a perfect mix. Dab over your face and use your fingertips to massage the mix into your skin gently. After a few minutes, wash off the solution.

7. You're Not Using Sun Protection And Treating Sun Damage

Summer comes with brightness and bounce and brings out the zest for holidays and vacation.

As inviting as the weather is, be careful of too much exposure to the scorching heat. Although sunlight brings with it vitamin D it also brings UV rays capable of damaging your skin permanently and aging it with fine lines and wrinkles.

If you need to be in the sun, use an excellent summer sunscreen with strong UV protection and apply it regularly to your face and other exposed skin. 

Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays causes dark patches, wrinkles, and roughness. This photoaging hinders the growth of healthy cells, causes inflammation, and stimulates enzymes that destroy the extracellular space of the skin.

The damage is cumulative over time and so must be treated with moisturizers and anti-aging coolants to ensure your skin recovers as much as possible.

Failure to catch the effects in time can result in long-term damage to the skin, dryness and a severe risk of skin cancer.  

Extra Steps To Alleviate And Treat Dry Skin

dry skin mask

When your skin moisturizing routine is not working, ensure you're not making any of the mistakes above, and try out a few of the remedies below.  

Use An Humidifier

A warm climate with dry air and extended use of air-conditioners can suck the moisture out of your skin through a process known as trans-epidermal water loss.

Too much water loss leads to noticeable looking wrinkles and fine lines and can exacerbate some skin problems like eczema and rosacea.     

Although we often use humidifiers during winter, they are an ideal way to combat dry air caused by warmer weather and too much air-conditioning, helping your skin cope better.

However not all humidifiers are created equal, and their proper use is essential if you want the maximum benefit.

Using a warm mist humidifier is generally considered cleaner for example, because the process of boiling water to create steam kills off bacteria. You also need to clean your humidifier regularly.  

Have A Mist In Your Bag

A quick and easy way to add moisture to your face is to spritz it up with a face mist

Mists are an essential beauty accessory and excellent at combating dry skin, plus protecting it too.

Research shows that your skin is weaker when it's physically hot, and heat encourages the production of sebum adding to unnecessary oiliness and the clogging of pores. A quick spray with a cooling mist is effective at addressing this, keeping your face fresh and moisturized. 

What's more, mists come in a range of formulations. There are those that tone, nourish, help to set your makeup in place and of course to cool your skin down. 

The name of the game is moisturization and a spritz of facial mist, when needed, is encouraged.

Use Vitamin E-Rich Oil

The environment is fraught with radicals. From dust, fumes, smoke and the uproar that envelopes you each day. Your skin bears the brunt, and if you care less, a wrinkled skin will replace your youthfulness.

Vitamin E oil helps you steer clear from flakiness. It nourishes your skin down to the thinnest layer and keeps you glowing.

However not all vitamin E oils are created equal so choose one with care. Most are heavy and can cause unwanted breakouts if you are prone to them. They also come in different formulations, some more effective than others.

Try mixing vitamin E oil, honey, and milk for a face moisturizer that will nourish and revitalize dry skin.    

Try Almond Oil

Almond oil is high in vitamin E and an excellent topical treatment for dry skin.  

Massage a teaspoon of the oil directly onto the dry patches to reap the benefits. Or add a little dash of almond oil and milk powder to your tub for a luxuriant moisturizing touch that your skin will love. 

Almonds are great to eat too and contain high nutritional value helping you combat various ailments. Add them to a balanced diet for a nutritious skin enhancing boost.   

Use Aloe-Vera

To keep your skin sparkling and youthful, add aloe-vera to your necessary skin therapy.

Aloe Vera is a cactus that secretes a clear gel. This gel, when applied topically, acts as a natural skin moisturizer. It's highly useful for dry skin, and to treat sunburn and acne. Frequent use builds up your natural skin oils over time.

Either apply the gel directly from the plant or purchase a product that incorporates it.  

Treat Yourself To A Dry Skin Pack

As a personal therapy and treatment, make yourself a homemade skin pack to revitalize and rejuvenate your skin. 

For effectiveness, we recommend a mix of five drops of glycerin, the extracted juice of a lemon and a teaspoon of olive oil. Store in a container and regularly apply to your face for 15 min sessions at a time.  

However the list of mixes is endless, try papaya and honey or milk and almond plus more as exciting alternatives. 


If you're guilty of any of these skin habits, try changing your ways to see if things improve, chances are they will.

And if you're running out of dry skin solutions, try some of the ideas above, they too will lead to a revitalized skin over time. 

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Sasithon Bella is the kewl in The Kewl Shop. Co-founder, chief buyer, bandage dress guru and a lot more. If you like what you see at The Kewl Shop it is because of Sasithon Bella. You might know her better as Sasi.



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