So many things can give us dry skin, and changing your routines at home is a great step if you think this sums up what’s going on with your skin.
There are lots of factors at play when it comes to dry skin – it may be the impact of the indoor or outdoor climates we’re exposed to, the type of skin we’re born with, ageing, particular skin conditions, or it could result from some products we apply to our skin. It can also be caused by vitamin A deficiency and some medications, Medicine Net tells us.
You may not even know if you have dry skin, but there are some signs you can check. Dry skin may appear flaky or dull, feel rough or tight, have fine lines or pores that are especially small. Your lips may also be chapped or cracked. Try our skin quiz if you're not sure.
According to an International Dermal Institute article, it’s important to know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. While dehydrated skin lacks moisture, dry skin actually has less of the skin’s naturally produced oils – the natural moisturiser sebum. Skin can become dry when levels of this oil are low.
Finding out if you have an underlying skin condition is also an important step. These conditions include dermatitis, including eczema, and psoriasis.
As well, there are some things you can do to combat dry skin by changing your routines at home:
Take cover from the elements
Dry skin can be worsened by strong wind, extreme cold or strong sun. So when the weather is at its most extreme, it’s wise to cover up with long sleeved clothing, covered footwear and a hat.
Avoid products that could cause dryness
Some skincare products like soaps, handwashes and cleansers have ingredients that can lower your skin’s natural oil levels and leave it sensitive and irritated. - you might have tried some of these and noticed they've made your skin dry. Common dermatological advice is to use milder cleansers that keep your skin barrier healthy. Check out our Gentle Cleanser if you have normal to dry skin, as it's designed for this skin type.
A regular moisturising routine is a great way to help seal moisture into your skin and prevent dryness. It’s often recommended that moisturisers are used after a shower or bath so that your skin is already moist from water and steam.
The moisturiser you choose should suit your skin type – for normal to dry skin, we have a Hydrating Moisturiser, which combines seaweed and grape seed extract and is enhanced with the New Zealand flax harakeke.
Don’t irritate your skin with harsh drying or heat
Showers and baths at hotter water temperatures – as well as hair drying on a high setting that also reaches the face – can each contribute to skin dryness. Try choosing only warm water bathing and perhaps skipping the hairdryer when you can. And when you’re drying your skin, use the towel gently instead of heavy rubbing.
Keep up with healthy nutrition
A healthy diet is a good way to improve skin health in general, and for dry skin there are some foods that might be really beneficial. For omega fats you can try seafoods like salmon, mackerel and anchovies, while yellow and orange produce has the antioxidant beta carotene. Others to consider are dark, leafy greens, and nuts or seeds.