Dry Skin

Living with Dry Skin

What is dry skin?

Dry skin has a rough texture and may be scaly or prone to forming shallow cracks. Unlike the smooth and healthy appearance of normal skin, dry skin lacks moisture and may look dull and flaky.

Dry skin can feel itchy and uncomfortable and may lead to the development of other skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema.(27) 

Living with dry skin
  • In dry skin, the lipid layers may be damaged, allowing more water to escape near the surface. Irritants/allergens may penetrate more easily. 
  • Without water, the protein links are harder to break, leading to excess dry, dead skin cells and giving skin a rough texture.

Moisturisers help: 

  • Rehydrate skin cells
  • Reduce water loss and support the skin barrier
  • Smooth the rough texture of dry skin


  • The skin barrier (Stratum Corneum) 
  • Skin cells (corneocytes) are arranged like the bricks in a brick wall. 
  • Skin lipids act like the 'mortar', which helps prevent water loss. 
  • Protein links (corneodesmosomes) between cells hold them together until they reach the surface and shed naturally.


Who gets dry skin?

Some people have naturally dry skin, while for others it may only occur at certain times of the year, such as in cold weather. The ageing process is also linked with the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Although dry skin can affect anyone, it is particularly common in older people. The loss of sweat and oil glands as we age may also make dry itchy skin worse. (28)

What causes dry skin?

Some people are born with a natural tendency towards dry skin. People who suffer from conditions such as asthma, hay fever or allergies may also develop dry skin.

Causes of dry skin include:

  • Soaps and strong detergents
  • Hot baths and showers
  • Exposure to the sun and wind
  • Air-conditioning

As we age, our bodies produce less sebum (an oily substance, naturally produced by the skin that helps to keep skin smooth and supple), leading to naturally drier skin.(29)

Living with dry skin

You maybe more likely to develop dry skin if:

  • You swim in chlorinated pools frequently. 1
  • You live in dry, cold or low-humidity climates. 1
  • You are in your 40s or older. 1
  • You are frequently exposed at work to potential irritants. 1


How to manage dry skin?

If you think your dry skin is being caused by environmental factors, you can make simple changes like not taking as many hot showers or turning off air conditioning.

Look for dry skin creams that help moisturise skin and protect skin from drying out. Avoid creams that contain potential irritants such as colour, fragrance and lanolin. You should also avoid soap, which can dry your skin further. Choose a soap-free cleanser instead.(27)

Try an emollient bath additive such as QV Bath Oil to help relieve the symptoms of dry skin. After bathing, apply a moisturising cream or lotion such as  QV Cream or QV Skin Lotion all over the body, concentrating on trouble spots. 

  • QV Cream

    Highly concentrated moisturising cream for dry skin
  • QV Skin Lotion

    Non-greasy lotion for dry or sensitive skin
  • QV Bath Oil

    Helps revive dry or sensitive skin in the bath.
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