When it boils down to skin types, having dry skin can require a little extra TLC. It shows up in symptoms like dull, itchy, and flaky skin that is sensitive to the touch and feels tight.
Think you might have dry skin? You’ve come to the right place! In this article, Topicals is here to tell you everything you need to know about dry skin and how to treat it. Let’s get into it.
What Exactly is Dry Skin
Before we dive into everything you need to know about dry skin, let’s first go over the importance of your skin.
Your skin is essential, as it protects your body from the world around you. It shields you from the harsh elements, helps control your body temperature, and is responsible for your sense of touch. (Thanks, boo!) It is composed of two layers -- the epidermis and the dermis -- and both have several layers of their own.
Okay so boom. The epidermis is your skin’s outermost layer and produces keratin -- a protein that gives your skin its protective nature. The dermis, on the other hand, is your skin’s underlying layer and produces elastin and collagen---proteins that give your skin flexibility and strength. The dermis is also where you will find the body’s oil and sweat glands, as well as hair follicles.
Did you know that your skin is your body’s largest organ? Yup, it’s true! That’s why caring for your skin and paying close attention to what it’s telling you is vital self-care.
Okay, so what exactly is dry skin?
Dry skin is essentially just moisture loss from your skin’s outermost layer, the epidermis.
You see, epidermal skin cells -- the stratum lucidum and stratum corneum -- are the skin’s barrier zone. This barrier zone contains dead skin cells that hold waxy fat and water until they are shed.
When working as usual, these cell layers form snug grids, creating a complex waterproof matrix that safeguards healthy underlying skin. But when your skin is dry, these cells lose shape and moisture, so their ability to protect your underlying skin is compromised, with water escaping through the surface. It sucks, but there’s no need to freak out.
The result? Visibly dry, flaking, scaly, or patchy skin that feels rough. On your face, this is most common on your jawline, chin, and cheeks (aka the U-zone).
So How Do I Know If I Have Dry Skin?
When most people have dry skin, they know they have dry skin. Some of the most common signs can include:
Flaking or scaliness
Tightness, especially after cleansing
Loss of softness and suppleness
Aging, especially fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes where your skin is the thinnest
Causes of Dry Skin
There are a number of factors that can contribute to dry skin.. Here are the primary causes of dry skin:
Did you know that dry air can cause your skin to become dry? It be your own environment.
Seasonal extremes, like hot summers and cold winters alter humidity levels, which lessens the amount of moisture on your skin and in the air.. In fact, even indoor temperature control, like heating and air conditioning, can dehydrate your skin. Whew.
To avoid this, cover yourself with extra layers (like gloves and scarves) that create barriers against the winter chill. In the warm summer months, make sure to wear a hat and quality sunscreen that’s tailored to your skin type. And if you have an internal A/C unit, a humidifier can counteract its drying effects on your skin.
However, if your skin is already dry, you’ll need to add moisture back in. We love our Faded Like Butter Hydrating Mask. This super-thick, whipped mask is packed with powerful botanicals for skin so smooth, it’s like butter!
It helps to restore dry, flaky skin by fortifying your skin’s damaged moisture barrier. All you need to do is apply a thin, even layer and leave it on for 20 minutes prior to wiping it off -- and voila, your skin will feel oh-so-buttery-soft!
What You’re Munching On
Believe it or not, turn up juice daily cup o’ joe dehydrates your body -- with your skin directly feeling the effects. Ugh, the struggle to stay lit, energized and hydrated is real.
Recognizing the impact of your day-to-day lifestyle on your skin is pivotal to swapping these behaviors to ones that will help breathe life back into your skin.
Limiting alcohol and caffeine goes a long way to countering the effects of skin dryness. If you are really going to miss your coffee , there are other options, such as green tea, which gives you all the benefits of caffeine but without the notorious jitteriness or afternoon crash.
Aging can cause your skin to become incredibly dry as your body’s hormone levels begin to change. It happens to every single one of us and it’s nothing to be hard on yourself about.
Over time, estrogen production decreases , which reduces the amount of elastin and collagen in your skin. These are the proteins that are responsible for giving your skin its elasticity and structure. Skin oil -- aka sebum -- also diminishes. The body’s metabolism and thyroid function slow, and skin cell turnover occurs less frequently, leaving dead cells to build up for longer on the surface, causing it to look visibly dry, dull, and flaky. It’s life.
When menopause starts, these dry skin contributors reach peak intensity, resulting in not only dry skin but often itchy and sometimes even cracked skin requiring extra skin love.
Sun damage caused by UV rays can cause dry skin as well, giving skin a thick, leathery appearance. Thankfully, to combat these dry skin concerns, all you need to do is prioritize pure, potent skincare products (like the ones at Topicals) that work to promote the skin’s suppleness, smoothness, and plumpness.
Our Faded Brightening & Clearing Gel gently works to balance the skin tone while brightening, rejuvenating, and smoothing skin. Made with gentle exfoliating acids and soothing shea butter, this super-gel is all you need to keep your glow..
How to Care for Dry Skin
Now that you know exactly what dry skin is and what causes it, let's dive into a few of the best tips and tricks to properly care for it.
Avoid super hot showers.
We know that showers that aren’t super hot are unimaginable. Onefirst thing in the morning or after a long day feels good, but that hot water is not really a good idea for your dry skin. The issue is that hot showers tend to strip your body of its natural oil barrier, and you need that barrier to help trap moisture.
So simply dial down the temp and don’t linger too long. Skincare gurus recommended short, warm showers or baths that last no longer than five to ten minutes.
Did you know that shaving can irritate dry skin, which can make it more intense? As you shave, you are also scraping off natural oils. We know you’re thinking ‘Can I live?!’. The answer is yes, but there are certain guidelines for getting even cozier in your skin.
The best time to shave is right after you shower because hairs are softer and more pliable, making shaving much easier. Always use a quality shaving gel or cream, and avoid a dull razor blade which can cause additional irritation, okay?
Always avoid overly harsh products. Your dry skin is as precious as you are, so avoid any astringent products with lots of sulfates, alcohols, and abrasive granules. These ingredients will further strip your skin of its essential oils, resulting in inflammation and sensitivity.
Dry skin is a skin type that can leave your skin feeling tight and itchy while looking visibly dry, flaky, and dull. Thankfully, there are awesome skincare products like the ones at Topicals that can help give your skin some extra gloss so you can kick some dry skin symptoms to the curb.
Topicals is more than beauty and more than skincare -- we are the new standard, medicated botanicals. Using only ingredients and herbals that have been scientifically-proven by third-party, peer-reviewed clinical studies, it’s no wonder why so many people look to Topicals for all of their skincare needs.