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Dry Skin – Symptoms, Causes and Care

Dry Skin - Symptoms, Causes and Care

Dry Skin – The Natural Problem

Human skin thrives on moisture and nourishment. To stay smooth and supple, it is important that your skin retains its natural moisture and also gets its regular nutritional supplements, both cosmetic and dietary.

Needless to say, your skin needs more attention if it happens to be of the dry nature or if you are aging. In both cases, your skin will demand extra care. Symptoms of dry skin can manifest itself in various ways. Sometimes, the only symptom is itching, although you are likely to notice that your skin is flaky and slightly more wrinkled than normal. These symptoms tend to worsen during the cold winter months or if you spend a lot of time in a centrally heated environment where the air is dry.

How to Learn If You Have Dry Skin

To find out whether you have dry skin or xerosis, simply go through the following checklist:

  • Does your skin have a few flaky patches that disappear when you apply rich moisturizing creams?
  • Does your skin look fine-textured, which further means that the pores are not at all visible?
  • Does your skin have tiny expression lines around the eyes, which somehow do not seem to disappear?
  • Does the skin of your neck and cheeks look crepey (thin and wrinkled)?

If you think any of the above symptoms appear to apply to your skin, then you definitely have dry skin.

Causes Of Dry Skin

Though the skin types are largely determined by birth, yet there are certain other factors that can make your skin drier and worsen its texture. The main causes of dry skin can be divided into 2 distinct categories:

1. General Causes


With a fall in temperature and humidity levels, winters can become one of the major causes of the dryness in your skin. However, if you happen to be living in a desert region, then summers can also affect your skin adversely.

Central heating

There are various elements in your living environment which can induce dryness in the skin. These include:

  • Central air
  • Heating
  • Wood burning stoves
  • Space heaters
  • Fireplaces

Hot baths and showers

Frequent showering can often lead to breakage of the lipid barriers in your skin. The same can also happen if you swim a lot in heavily chlorinated pools.

Harsh soaps and detergents

Especially in the case of women, there are many popular soaps and detergents that can strip lipids and water from your skin. The most damaging types of products include deodorant and antibacterial soaps along with a lot of shampoos.

2. Medical Causes

Apart from the above, there are certain diseases and medical conditions that can cause excessive dry skin, even progressing to a painful stage, calling for immediate treatment. The most prominent among these are:

  • Psoriasis
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Alcohol and drugs such as diuretics
  • Dehydration

Caring For Dry Skin

1. Basic Care

There are some important measures you need to adopt for caring dry skin such as:


Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Experts advise having a minimum eight-hour sleep everyday to keep your skin healthy, especially if you have dry skin.


You should be very careful when choosing your cleanser in case you have dry skin. Select a cleanser that will effectively remove all the pore-clogging debris but without leaving your skin taut, dry or stripped of its natural protective oils.


Toning is a very important follow-up step to cleansing. It effectively removes the residues of the cleanser and also dissolves dirt. Besides, toning also stimulates surface circulation on your skin. An ideal skin tonic for dry skin should be a preparation of mint combined with a honey base.


This step is important to help you prevent dryness from aggravating. The ideal time to carry out this part of your skin care regimen is just before you go to bed at night. For a smooth and well-nourished skin, apply a nourishing cream with an orange base every night, smoothing it over the face and going downwards towards the chin.

The eye region

For individuals with dry skin, the eyes are one of the most sensitive areas as they lack the sebaceous glands and hence require extra care. Experts suggest using an almond-lanolin cream, right form the inner corner of the eyes outwards, applying it very gently.

The bath routine

Since water, soap or cleanser can considerably draw moisture from your skin, it is important for you to follow a regular pre-bath routine to keep your skin moisturized. To begin with, use a good pre-bath cream followed by a generous massage of vanishing cream after you’ve had your bath.

2. Lifestyle Measures

As much problematic as dry skin might be, it is always possible to maintain a fine-textured and healthy dry skin. All it takes is a few practical self-care measures and a little bit of precaution to maintain a problem-free dry skin.

Here is a brief set of simple guidelines to follow in your daily routine to help you take care of your dry skin:

  • Try to take a bath with lukewarm water as far as possible. Try to spend a minimum amount of time in the shower.
  • Avoid using harsh soaps for your bath or even for washing hands. Prefer to use skin cleansers such as Cetaphil Lotion, Oilatum-AD and Aquanil.
  • Do not use deodorant soaps as these tend to be very harsh and cause dryness.
  • Avoid heavy usage of a washcloth in cleansing. Blot or pat dry yourself gently when towel drying.
  • Immediately after you’ve used water or a cleanser on yourself, apply a suitable moisturizer. Choose one of the products from Cetaphil or Eucerin.
  • Whenever you go out in the sun, cover all areas of your skin that are likely to be exposed to the harmful sun rays and use an appropriate sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater. This will include all areas like the face, ears, hands and back of the neck.
  • Only use All-free, Tide-free or Cheer-free detergents for all types of laundry. Do not use fabric softeners too much.
  • Use cotton percale sheets on your bed.
  • During the cold seasons when your home is centrally heated, use a humidifier to prevent any harmful impact on your skin.

Beauty Care

If you suffer from dry skin and prefer using homemade products instead of commercial ones, you can try one of the remedies listed below for getting relief. For best results, try and use each one of them several times, before you can know which ones suits you the best.

Morning Skin Cleanser

This one needs to be applied just 15 minutes prior to your bath every morning and comprises of:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Few drops of rose water
  • Few drops of lemon juice

Beauty Mask

The ingredients listed below should be mixed thoroughly and applied as a mask:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • Few drops of rose water

Besides following a regular night moisturizing routine and taking a milk bath once in a week also helps considerably.

“The Definitive Guide To Total Skin Care”

  1. Understanding The Basic Structure and Functions Of Human Skin
  2. Acne – Types, Causes and Treatment Methods
  3. Dry Skin – Symptoms, Causes and Care
  4. Anti Aging Skin Care For Youthful Skin
  5. 3 Step Skin Care Regimen: Cleansing, Exfoliating and Moisturizing
  6. How To Choose The Best Cosmetics For Your Skin
  7. Common Beauty Problems and Natural Remedies
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