Your skin is mostly made up of fat (lipids) and protein. Lipids serve to keep the skin hydrated – and when these fatty oils are eliminated, it loses their barrier and becomes more prone to moisture loss. As skin dries, it becomes more sensitive and prone to rashes and skin degradation. So what’s the cause of dry skin?
There is no single cause of dry skin.
Dry skin causes can be caused by external and internal sources. External factors are the most common and easiest to take care of; including cold temperatures and low humidity (especially now) when central heaters are used.
Internal factors include overall health, age, genetics, and conditions like atopic dermatitis. In particular, those with certain thyroid diseases are more prone to developing dry skin.
External factors that cause dry skin include
- Over-washing with harsh soaps
- Over showering
- Overuse of sanitizers and cleaning agents (alcohol),
- Cold temperature
- Low humidity
What big factor can we change?
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, a shower a day-night may be too often. The amount depends on your lifestyle and activity level. “If you are not that active it’s okay to cut a couple of showers a week,” says Dr. Estemalik of the Academy. The evaporation of water after a hot shower on your skin results in dry skin – natural oils have a better chance to evaporate. Need to change this up? If you are active every day, try colder or shorter showers. Or perhaps the water is too hard? Try out a filter for your showerhead to reduce dry skin throughout the day.
Dry skin under an electron microscope
Another big factor causing dry skin is the constant use of harsh soaps; as an emulsifier that removes natural oils on the skin, soap ultimately results in the skin’s barrier losing hydration. Along with a hot shower, this speeds up dryness even more. If the barrier is not hydrated enough, cell stacking occurs. On the severe side, it can culminate in deep, open wound cracks in the skin.
Enter the moisturizer to boost the skin’s hydration and banish moisture loss from the barrier. How to choose the right one? Moisturizers must be non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores. The skin on the face is thinner and more oily than that of the body, making it more sensitive and prone to clogging – so get the right formulas that don’t carry any comedogenic oils.
Explore GOA’s moisturizers and find out what makes them a top gift.