What makes skin dry?

What makes skin dry?

Published on January 30, 2024, by Astrid

Reading time: 5 minutes

Dry skin is above all a skin type, determined by genetic factors. However, the term is often used to name a temporary condition of the skin: dehydration. This condition can affect anyone, regardless of skin type or age. Uncomfortable, even sometimes painful, this feeling of dry skin can impact general well-being. Understanding the causes is essential to be able to take care of it effectively and adopt an appropriate routine.


Recognizing dry skin

Signs of dry skin

While dry skin lacks oil, dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin produces less sebum (fatty substances) than normal skin, so it does not have a sufficient lipid barrier to retain water and play its role as a protective film, effective against external aggressions.

Your skin is rough to the touch, tight and dull, it feels tight, flaky, and gives you the feeling of permanent discomfort, sometimes with burning sensations, your pores are tightened (invisible) and you are prone to fine lines and irritation. , then your skin looks like dry skin.

Signs of skin dehydration

Although it is more likely to affect dry skin, dehydration can also affect oily or combination skin.

The skin then becomes uncomfortable, itches, you feel a feeling of tightness after cleansing and the makeup does not hold very well. It may also have small scales and lack luster. Its color will vary from reddish on light skin to grayish (ashy appearance) on brown and black skin. On the eye contour, forehead, cheeks, fine surface lines begin to appear. In short, the skin needs to be soothed, comforted and hydrated.

Dry or dehydrated skin requires a suitable care routine, in order to restore the skin's protective hydrolipidic film, and thus avoid short and long term problems: discomfort, rough or dull skin, premature aging of the skin. .

Recognizing dry skin

The mechanisms that dry out the skin

There are a series of external factors and internal factors that can cause this feeling of dry skin. Identifying them correctly is the first step before regaining healthy skin.

Lack of daily hydration

It seems useful to point out that not drinking enough is one of the main causes of dry skin. Low water intake leads to dehydration of the skin, making it dull, rough and prone to flaking.

Environmental conditions

Among the most common external factors are environmental factors such as wind, intense cold climates, sun or even dry air. These can deprive the skin of its natural hydration, attack its protective barrier and cause it to dry out. The skin is not fond of temperature variations. Thus, turning the heating or air conditioning to excessive temperatures can be aggravating factors for skin discomfort, particularly for sensitive skin.

The use of aggressive care

Using soaps, detergents or cosmetic products containing harsh chemicals can disrupt the skin's natural oil balance, reducing the effectiveness of its protective role. This rule applies to all skin types.

Skin aging

Skin aging can also play a role. Collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid are all essential for maintaining skin structure and hydration. With age, the skin produces less, it becomes more easily subject to skin dryness.

Adding to this the reduction in sebum production, mature skin tends to be drier and dull. The skin becomes more permeable and more sensitive to external aggressions.

Certain medical conditions

Certain medical conditions like eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, hypothyroidism or diabetes can contribute to dry skin by impairing the normal functioning of the sweat glands and oil glands.

Likewise, certain drug treatments can modify the water balance of the skin, reducing its role as a protective barrier.

The mechanisms that dry out the skin

How to prevent and take care of dry skin?

Certain good actions will allow you to prevent dryness of the skin. For more complete advice, do not hesitate to consult our article on how to take care of dry skin.

Maintain a good level of hydration

The application of suitable moisturizing creams is essential to maintain a good level of hydration in the upper layer of the epidermis. Look for a moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides for good water balance. A moisturizing cream as The Cream by Le Domaine can therefore be used as a day or night cream.

Also make sure that the humidity level in your home is adequate. If the air is too dry, do not hesitate to invest in an air humidifier.

Preserve the protective layer of the skin

Avoid hot water

Opt for lukewarm water when showering and limit the time spent in the shower or long baths to avoid excessive drying of the skin. When cleansing the face, be careful to use a toner or essence on damp skin, in order to limit the damage from limescale, particularly if the water you use is hard.

Avoid aggressive products

Opt for gentle cleansing products, non-astringent, even if your skin is oily. A treatment like cleansing Emulsion by Le Domaine, for example, is suitable for all skin types. Avoid cleansing products containing sulfated surfactants, which can remove lipid elements from your skin and alter the hydrolipidic film on its surface.

Repair the Skin Barrier

Using products that help repair the skin barrier can benefit long-term skin health. Opt for treatments containing niacinamide or fatty acids.

Protect the skin against external aggressions

In case of extreme weather conditions, it is advisable to protect the skin by using appropriate clothing and sunscreen. Adding a humidifier to your indoor environment can help maintain adequate humidity levels in the air, preventing dry skin.

Fight dehydration from the inside out

Drinking enough water is crucial to keeping your skin well hydrated from the inside out. So, make sure you drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. A diet rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants can help maintain skin health. Omega 3 (present in fatty fish for example) will also be your allies in protecting the skin from external aggressions.

In conclusion, dry skin can be caused by various factors, but with proper care, good hydration and healthy lifestyle habits, it is possible to improve the condition of the skin and regain optimal skin comfort. Paying attention to your skin's specific needs and taking care of it regularly is essential to maintaining its health and beauty.

How to prevent and take care of dry skin?

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