3 Dry skin

Dry skin, also known as xerosis, happens when there isn’t an appropriate amount of water in the epidermis. This leads to small fine flakes, cracking and dry patches. When the skin gets dry it becomes more sensitive and prone to rashes, dermatitis, psoriasis, cellulitis and bacterial infection. Dry skin can also become irritated leading to burning, stinging, itching and redness. Different parts of the body can be more prone to dry skin, especially the face, arms, hands and the lower legs. Dry skin is often caused by genetics, and as a result the glands doesn’t produce enough sebum to lock in the moisture.

Skin Care

Choose a mild, creamy and non-foaming cleanser free of harsh soap, alcohol, fragrance, menthol and salicylic acid. Rinse away with lukewarm water and pad your skin dry with a soft towel.

After cleansing the skin, you can add a toner. Choose a toner that is alcohol-free, or at least one where alcohol isn’t listed as one of the top three ingredients. Also go for a toner that is is made for hydrating the skin. If your skin gets irritated with the toner, try only using it at night, or 2-3 times a week.

The greatest defense against dry skin is moisturizers, as they work by trapping existing moisture in the skin. Go for an oil-based moisturizer, with broad spectrum SPF and antioxidants during the day. Go for a thicker and more nourishing night cream in the evening. Dry skin is often prone to allergic reactions, and choosing products for sensitive skin, without fragrance and parabens, can help the skin be less sensitive. Avoid drying ingredients like charcoal, salicylic acid, strong retinoids and tea tree oil.

It is also advised to use a thick cream on your body instead of a lotion – apply as soon as you notice dry skin, to avoid further evaporation of moisture. Here are some of the best skin care ingredients for dry skin.

Skincare for dry skin

Harsh scrubs and large-grained exfoliating scrubs can be very rough on dry skin, and the results can be quite unpredictable, as it depends on how much pressure and time you spend rubbing the skin. Exfoliation is necessary however to remove flakes and dead skin cells from your skin and lips. Creme-based scrubs with tiny grains, as well as sonic cleansing brushes for sensitive skin, can be used to gently buff away flakes. The most stable solution however is chemical exfoliators, with ingredients like glycolic acid and lactic acid.
These are some of the best exfoliating ingredients for dry skin.

Exfoliation for dry skin

Choose make-up especially made to hydrate and nourish the skin. Go for liquid or creme foundations that contain oils, or a BB-cream with skin-healing ingredients. Avoid matte and long-wearing lipstick, and instead go for a glossy finish or a sheer lipstick. If your skin is prone to flaking, avoid adding powder, as this will only put focus on the flakes. If your skin is dry, but you occasionally get shiny at the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin), you can dust a bit of powder in these areas as needed. Carry a hydrating mist or a toner with SPF, to refresh your makeup during the day. Always remove makeup before going to sleep, or even better when you get home, to let your skin breathe.

Other causes and solutions for dry skin

Dry skin can also have other causes with different prevention techniques.

Frequent hand-washing

When you’re washing or sanitizing your hands, you also remove the natural oils that keeps in moisture. Be sure to use a gentle soap or a moisturizing sanitizer. You can also reapply moisturizer when washing or sanitizing your hands. Wear cloves to protect your hands from harsh household cleaners and detergents – if you don’t like rubber gloves, try wearing a thin pair of thin cotton gloves underneath.

Winter time

The cold dry air in the winter time is drying to the skin, and wind burns often cause redness, dryness and sore skin. Dry air that is heated indoors can also be drying to the skin, as well as sitting in front of a flame or heat source.
Be sure to cover your body and hands when going outside, and carry a lip balm with you to save your lips from the cold. Also plug in a humidifier if the air inside your home becomes too dry.


Choose a mild and gentle soap, that will clean your skin but won’t strip the skin of it’s natural oils. Also showering in cold and warm water, is less drying than hot water. Pad your skin dry gently with a towel and apply moisturizer right out of the shower, to keep in as much moisture as possible.


Wool or synthetic fibers can irritate dry skin. Try to avoid these fabrics or wear a soft cotton blouse underneath. Dry skin is also prone to allergic reactions, so up for a laundry detergent labeled “hypoallergenic”.

Chlorine water

Be sure to rinse off in clean water after leaving a pool with chlorine water, and follow up with a moisturizer to avoid drying out your skin.


The skin will become less effective at keeping in moisture with age. Go for a stronger moisturizer as your skin matures.


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