Dry skin is usually a sign that your skin is not sufficiently hydrated. Aside from feeling tighter and being flaky, it can also feel rough or look dull. This could mean that your skin is either not getting enough moisture or is losing too much moisture to keep it supple and well, less dry. According to dermatologists, certain factors namely; your environment, your routine and underlying conditions can cause this.
While some people are naturally more prone to dry skin, it can also be aggravated by the same factors.
If you are constantly in cold areas or take hot showers frequently, your skin barrier can take a hit. A disrupted skin barrier can easily cause the skin to lose moisture. It is therefore advisable to wash your face with lukewarm water instead of hot water which can strip the skin of its natural oils. It is best to do this after taking a shower. With cold environments, the moisture is also completely seeped from the atmosphere making it stripping to the skin.
Therefore, ensure you use moisturizing products that contain occlusives (avocado oil, lanolin, and rosehip oil) or emollients such as cocoa butter, shea butter or oils like olive oil.
2. Your skincare routine
Certain products also tend to cause dryness if they are too harsh for your skin type(i.e normal, dry, combination) or if they are used inappropriately and once again can destroy your skin's barrier. A compromised skin barrier does not only lead to more sensitized skin but more loss of water, hence dryness.
Over-exfoliation using physical or chemical exfoliants also falls under this category as it is responsible for interfereing with the skin's moisture barrier.
Another reason your skin may be drying out is if there are drying products in your routine. For instance, witchhazel is an astringent and if used without mositurizing products, it can cause dryness.
Therefore, look for products that are moisturizing or hydrating if your skin is on the drier side and if you feel that you may have over-exfoliated your skin, lay off the exfoliants for about two weeks then re-introduce them 2-3 times a week.
3. Underlying physiological factors
Skin issues such as eczema, rosacea or psoriasis can cause the skin to be more prone to drying out and flaking which can be treated by a dermatologist.
However, if external factors seem not to come into play, then it could be other underlying issues such as diabetes, hyperthyroidism, malnutrition or kidney problems and it is best to see a doctor to determine the cause.