Dry skin plagues many people today. Due to its uncomfortable nature and visual appearance, it has many people flocking to stores and doctors trying to find relief. For the most part dry skin is minor and can be treated at home without physician assistance, but it takes time and a consistent routine. There are a small amount of individuals who have developed severe dry skin outside of having a skin disease.
When dealing with dry skin, individuals have moments of feeling very uncomfortable. Skin can become very itchy and even with the application of products that help control itch, one can still be quite miserable as certain fabrics can irritate the skin more as well as the constant rubbing of clothing against the skin can make one question if relief will ever come. Others may experience scaling as well as cracking of the skin. There are several factors that determines how minor or severe dry skin a person can be. Let’s learn more about this condition. Contributing factors and what we can do to live a better life!
What is dry skin/how does it start?
Dry skin, also known as Xerosis (Zer-oh-sis) is the loss of water from the stratum corneum (top layer of the skin. Normal skin has a soft, supple texture because of its water content. For skin to feel soft or should I say "normal," its top layer must contain a minimum of 10% water — and ideally between 20% and 35%.
To help protect the outer layer of skin from losing water, the skin's sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum. Sebum is a complex mixture of fatty acids, sugars, waxes and other natural chemicals that form a protective barrier against water evaporation.
If the skin doesn't have enough sebum, it loses water and feels dry. If environmental factors cause more water evaporation and overwhelm the ability of sebum to prevent water loss, the skin will shrivel and crack.
What can cause water loss from the top layer of your skin?
Decreased production of sebum - often a factor in the elderly, since the number and activity of sebaceous glands in the skin tends to decrease with age.
Loss of existing sebum - caused by lifestyle factors, such as:
• Excessive bathing/showering
• Excessive scrubbing of the skin while washing
• Harsh soaps that dissolve the protective layer of sebum.
In some cases, the result is dry skin over the entire body, especially among athletes who shower several times a day. In other cases, dry skin affects only the hands — for example, in health care workers, food handlers, house cleaners, mothers with children in diapers and others who frequently wash their hands. This is the case for me as I make a lot of skincare products and although I wear gloves, it is essential that I wash my hands frequently. Unfortunately moisturizing soaps do not do well with removing certain debris from the skin, a less moisturizing soap is required.
Environmental conditions that increase water loss — Extreme environmental conditions can overwhelm the skin's natural protective barrier, causing water to evaporate, such as:
• Reside in hot desert climates
• Excessively dry indoor air also can cause dry skin and itch
• Frequent exposure to wind and sun can evaporate water from the skin
• Swimming can cause dry skin as the chemical content of pool water draws moisture from the skin
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How to prevent water loss/dry skin?
There is no full proof way of preventing your skin from drying out as it depends on the reason your skin is drying out in the first place, but there are some great tips to help you. Try some of the below tips in helping to prevent your skin from getting dry.
• Moisturize your skin as it seals in moisture by to keep water from escaping. For very dry skin, apply a water based moisturizer, then apply an oil such as olive oil or a body butter to seal in moisture. This will also assist with keeping peeling moisture and easier to remove.
• Limit bathing/showers. Keep bathing time to 10 minutes or less with warm water. Turn the dial to warm, not hot. Try to bathe no more than once a day.
• Skip the drying soap. Try cleansing creams, gentle skin cleansers and shower gels with added moisturizers.
• Exfoliate at least once a week to remove dry skin. This will allow the healthy skin underneath to be at the surface and ready to absorb your body lotion/moisturizer.
• Cover as much skin as possible in cold weather. Winter can be especially drying to skin, so be sure to wear a scarf, hat and gloves when you go out.
• Wear rubber gloves. If you have to immerse your hands in water or are using harsh cleansers, wearing gloves can help protect your skin.
Luxurious Bath Boutique can help
Luxurious Bath Boutique offers products that can assist with dry skin. Our Decadent Body Fluff is great for providing deep down moisture while our Apricot & Shea body oil and Whipped Shea Butter help seal in the moisture to prevent your skin from drying out. Check out our website today for more information on these products as well as soaps that are beneficial to your skin.
I hope you all found this blog informative and can use some of the info/tips to alleviate dry skin. Feel free to pass along this blog to anyone you feel can benefit from this information.
Do you have any questions about dry skin or have any tips you can share about how you have been managing your dry skin? If so, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you.
'Till next time.....