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Causes of Dry Skin and How To Fix Them

The main cause of an itchy dry skin might seem obvious at first, lack of moisture. Unfortunately, the nagging causes of dry skin may not be that cut and dried. This is because some sneaky dry skin triggers lurk in surprising areas. If you are on the lookout for fixes or the right skin care tips to fix or prevent dry skin, check to make sure the offenders on the list below are to blame. Additionally, find out the best ways to combat these dehydrators with tips from skin experts and get back to softer looking skin.

#1. Genetics

This one might come as a surprise to you, but it’s as true as it sounds. With this knowledge, you at least have a good excuse to throw a small dig at your mom and dad. After all, they are responsible for that dry skin you may have inherited. A simple mutation of genes that control the release of protein filaggrin eventually plays a role in firming and hydrating the skin barrier. If any of your parents have this mutation, then it can easily be passed on to you. The result, one of the surprising causes of dry skin and a risk to more skin conditions like eczema. Although not your fault entirely, following a good skin care routine should go a long distance to maintaining better skin.

#2. Fragrance

One of the causes of dry skin, fragrance, may not be a surprising one considering it’s a mainstay in your beauty and grooming basket. Unfortunately, fragrance tends to irritate dry skin or make it worse. The fragrance from some deodorants and skin care products will not do your skin any good, so make it a point to avoid them. Before adding them to your list, make sure to read the ingredients and check labels. If the product has fragrance as part of its ingredients, it will do more harm than good. Instead, go for formulas that consist of ingredients such as honey and vanilla. Bean based butter like shea and cocoa are great if you want hydration that coats the skin with sweet and non-drying scents.

#3. Harsh Soap

Cleansing is one of the most important parts of a reliable skin care routine. However, nothing is more responsible for stripping the skin of its moisture like cleansing. Soap falls in the list of causes of dry skin if you don’t follow some basic cleansing rules. The right cleanser, body wash, laundry detergents are all essential in keeping the skin moist. Hence, dermatologists advise against the use of harsh detergents if you have dry skin. Fabric softeners are also a huge no-no if you have dry skin. To maintain your soft skin, simply go for mild soaps only.

#4. Hard Water

Tap water may sometimes contain a huge concentration of minerals such as lead, magnesium, and zinc. When this happens, it is known as hard water. When you cleanse with hard water, the minerals leave a film on the skin that causes dryness. The heavy metals in the water turn the natural oils on your skin into a thick substance that clogs glands. This also prevents the efficient absorption of moisturizers which in turn triggers conditions like acne or rosacea. One way to solve this and avoid one of the notorious causes of dry skin is investing in a home filtration system. This will help lighten the mineral content of water and keep it safe for your skin.

Additionally, adding chelators like vitamins A and C to your skin care routine will also assist in counteracting any coating that may be deposited by hard water.

#5. Acne Medications and Retinol

The go treatments for acne include chemical exfoliants, retinol and glycolic acids can also dry out your skin. Luckily, you won’t have to give up on these care givers if you can observe good usage. Simply cutting down on their use may give you the right results without irritation. Reduce the frequency of use and use gentle cleansers or request a less drying prescription from your dermatologist. Layering treatment products can also work great when applied over your moisturizer instead of underneath it. This will help buffer their possible drying side effects.

#6. Dry Air

You have probably heard that dry air can be punishing to the skin and one of the most known causes of dry skin. Hot air especially can bring down humidity levels and make your skin feel both dry and itchy. If you are experiencing such, a humidifier becomes the perfect addition for your living space. A humidifier helps to restore the moisture that is lost due to dry air. A mild cream also goes well with your humidifier to make sure you avoid chapped skin before it happens.

How to Treat Dry Skin

While dry skin can be triggered by external factors like pollution or climate, there are many ways to reverse the damage. These quality tips should help you keep your dry skin soft and supple.

Moisturize Properly

When it comes to dry skin, moisturizing becomes a no-brainer. For best skin, make sure to only use oil-based ointments or creams and lotions rich in essential fatty acids. These acids are capable of compensating dry skin with its lost oil and lipids. The main causes of dry skin often involve striving the skin of its natural oils, and this step helps to restore it.

For best results, make a point to apply your moisturizer when the skin is slightly damp so as to lock in some extra hydration. A good moisturizing routine is a good way to keep your skin as soft as possible.

Watch the Temperatures

At worse, extreme temperatures can exacerbate your already dry skin. Harsh temperatures can strip oils from the skin and leave it looking to compensate. For dry-free skin, the water in your shower should be set in a temperature that does not burn the skin and dehydrate it. As a further precaution, avoid chemical ingredients like parabens, petrolatum, mineral oils or propylene glycol.

Shield Your Skin in winter

The dry air that comes in winter can lead to skin dryness. During the winter season, there is less moisture in the air. This affects the moisture on your skin as it evaporates quicker. Like we mentioned above, adding a humidifier is one way to deal with one of the causes of dry skin which is dry winter air.

Exfoliate Per Week

Exfoliating at least once per week helps to take care of any flakiness that may threaten your skin. A gentle exfoliant is the best bet to treat a dry complexion. A quality physical or chemical exfoliant should be able to clear the dead skin cells while smoothening any rough, dry skin.

Use a Toner

A toner in your skin care regimen should act as the conditioner to your cleanser. A quality toner should be able to help restore moisture while nourishing your dry skin. This is an important step to fighting the common causes of dry skin.

Bottom Line

Dry skin occurs when the skin is not able to retain sufficient moisture. This can be triggered by anything from frequent bathing, using harsh soaps, aging, and different medical conditions. Also, those in colder climates can be affected by the cold, dry winter air. With the right guidelines to counter the causes of dry skin, you should be in a great position to maintain soft skin in the long term.


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