Skincare routine for dry skin

Skincare routine for dry skin

Dry skin occurs when your skin lacks moisture. When the outer layer of skin lacks moisture, small gaps form between the cells and visible cracks can appear in the skin’s surface, increasing the chances of irritation and itch. 

Dry skin is actually more common than you might think; nearly a third of us, and almost everyone over 60, is affected by dry skin. 

 

What is the most common cause of dry skin?

Lack of skin moisture is the definition, and most common cause, of dry skin. The underlying reasons why you might have dry skin however are many and varied—from seasonal dryness, to the symptoms of a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis or the side-effect of a new medication; there is no one cause that fits everyone. 

It is always a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have concerns or questions about the source of your dry skin.

 

How do you treat dry skin?

Treatment or management of dry skin depends on the nature of the dryness and the underlying cause. If your dry skin is due to seasonal changes or simply a lack of moisture from heat or other environmental factors then you can effectively manage this by using appropriate moisturisers. 

These can be used as often as required, and come in many varieties: light formulations like creams and lotions can be better suited for day-time use, whereas heavier, more occlusive formulations such as ointments can help to hydrate the skin overnight.

If your dry skin is the result of a skin condition such as eczema, your doctor or pharmacist can advise on appropriate treatment products such as corticosteroids, but they will also suggest the consistent, liberal use of moisturisers to help control dryness and itch. 

Again, use these products as often as required, and choose products that suit your needs. Try to look for moisturisers that are specifically designed for sensitive skin, and avoid any with common irritants like fragrance or colour.

 

What ingredients should I avoid using on dry skin?

The most common irritants found in moisturisers and cleansers tend to be fragrances, colours and especially soap. 

Small fragrance molecules can pass through the skin barrier where they can trigger a hypersensitivity reaction in some people. Fragrances are among the most common allergens, yet they’re surprisingly hard to avoid in many of today’s skincare products. 

If your skin frequently feels sensitive or irritated, fragrance should be the first thing to cut from your skincare routine.

Soap can be particularly damaging. Our skin naturally has a slightly acidic pH of around 4-5,  whereas soap, while very effective at removing dirt and oil, has a high pH of about 10, which can disrupt the skin barrier, causing it to dry out further, and raise the pH of skin. 

 

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