Dry Skin Causes and Treatment

Dry Skin

Dry skin is caused by a defect in the skin barrier. Tiny holes in the skin barrier is the reason that you get dry skin. These holes allow water to evaporate off the skin’s surface- leading to dehydrated skin. The goal is to patch those holes in the skin using a combination of important fats (lipids). Dehydration is a barrier to skin health and should be corrected to obtain moisturized healthy skin. When skin has multiple problems, dehydration is the most important skin condition and should be treated first. Without water, the skin cannot protect and repair itself. Super dry skin is more likely to develop inflammation and infection than moisturized skin. Very dry skin is rough to the touch and often itches. Darker skin types develop ashy skin when skin is dry.

What is the Skin Barrier?

The skin barrier is made of stacks of disk like lipids known as lamella that surround each skin cell. This skin barrier protects the skin from dehydration and exposure to allergens and irritants by giving it a protective coating. The lipids that protect the skin cells and form the skin barrier are made up of cholesterol, ceramides and fatty acids. Detergents, friction, chlorinated water, excessive heat, and using the wrong skin care products can injure the skin barrier. Diet, medications (such as cholesterol lowering drugs) and stress can also affect the ability of the skin barrier to protect the skin.

How To Treat Dry Skin on the Face?

If you have dry skin, your skincare regimen should be personalized for your specific Baumann Skin Type®. Everything that comes into contact with your skin will affect skin health, so it is critical to follow your skin care regimen instructions exactly. The main goal of treating dry skin is to protect and strengthen the skin barrier. Cleansers and moisturizers make the biggest difference in correcting dehydration.

How to Treat Dry Skin on the Body?

Apply oil to skin when still damp and cover with a barrier repair body moisturizer.

Skin Care For Dry Skin

Hydrating Cleansers-

Cleansers that form bubbles and suds can remove lipids from the skin and injure the skin barrier. Use only nonfoaming cleansers. Look for cleansers with oils, fatty acids like stearic acid, shea butter, and MLE technology.

Best Scrubs for Dry Skin-

Friction can hurt the skin barrier so we do not recommend scrubs for super dry skin that is scaled, pink or cracked. If you have mildly dry skin, a gentle scrub can be used 2-3 times a week followed by a barrier repair moisturizer.

Toners for Dry Skin

Most toners are not good for dry skin because they have alcohol such as denatured alcohol. Fatty acid alcohols do not injure the skin barrier but simples alcohols do.

Moisturizing Creams For Dry Skin

Barrier repair moisturizers are a must for people with dry skin. Look for “MLE technology”, Myristoyl/palmitoyl oxostearamide/arachamide MEA, or PSL Repair technology or the 3 important lipids: ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids (like stearic acid) on the product labels. Stearic acid is a hydrating fatty acid that may be on the skin care product label as glyceryl stearate, cocoa butter or shea butter.

Hydrating Oils For Dry Skin

Oils containing anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Argan oil, Jojoba oil and Safflower oil are the best oils for dry skin. These hydrating oils can be applied to damp skin or added into the bath. Moisturizers and oils should be used at least twice a day and should be applied to damp skin after bathing. Avoid over drying the skin with the towel and pat skin dry to prevent excess friction. You can apply the moisturizer or the oil first- depending on your preference.

How To Take Care of Dry Skin?

Do not use soap, bubble bath, shampoo, or foaming shaving creams on the skin.

Do not use scrubs, facial brushes or other friction causing products on very dry skin.

When cleansing, bathing, or showering use lukewarm water.

Avoid staying in water for over 5 minutes when possible.

Decrease the frequency of baths and showers.

Use mild fragrance-free laundry detergents such as Tide Free and ALL Clear

Avoid organic laundry detergents because they often irritate the skin.

Tips For Dry Skin

If you have super dry skin, follow these tips to help protect your skin barrier. Avoid very hot water, chlorinated water, hard water or immersing yourself in water for long periods of time. If you live in a dry climate, add a humidifier to your house/ office whenever possible. Try and get 7 + hours of sleep a night, exercise regularly and do stress relieving activities. Stress has been shown to lead to damage to the skin barrier.

How To Cure Dry Skin On The Face Overnight?

The best treatment for dry skin is consistent use of the proper cleansers and moisturizers for your Baumann Skin Type® to repair your skin barrier. You should be using a personalized skin care routine for dry skin every day. If you need to look good in the morning and you want to treat your dry skin overnight- here is a dry skin tip- but this is only in an emergency situation and does not take the place of a daily skin care routine for dry skin. This dry skin tip will help you improve dry skin fast but the results are temporary.

Use a facial scrub for dry skin to remove dead skin cells. Follow with a moisturizing serum- preferably with hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Cover with a barrier repair moisturizer. This should help you turn rough dry dull skin into moisturized fresh skin overnight.

Food For Dry Skin

Foods that hydrate skin have nourishing oils. Linoleic acid is a fatty acid that soothes and hydrates. Look for oils that have high amounts of linoleic acid. Hydrating foods to add to your diet if you have dry skin are salmon, mackerel, sardines, flax seed oil, nuts and seeds, and avocados.

How Do I Know if I Have Dry Skin or Eczema?

Eczema is a condition of severe dry skin that can become inflamed and is susceptible to infection. There are many eczema creams to treat eczema. Look for eczema cleansers and moisturizers to treat dry skin. These are called eczema creams, eczema oils, skin barrier creams or barrier repair moisturizers. If creamy cleansers and barrier repair moisturizers do not improve your skin in 4 weeks- see a dermatologist to see if you have eczema and need a prescription medication. You can find a STS approved medical provider here.

Not all dry skin is eczema. Often you are dry because you live in a dry climate or you are using the wrong skin care products for dry skin or you have lifestyle habits that are interfering with your skin’s production of lipids to hydrate the skin.

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