A person’s skin is like clothing that they wear all the time.
Would you like wearing an itchy sweater all the time? That is almost what your skin feels like when you have dry skin. Dry skin not only looks bad, but it feels bad too.
Dry skin can cause the skin to be red, itchy, and sometimes in more severe cases, it can cause the skin to burn.
What Causes Dry Skin?
There are many factors that can lead to dry skin. The more you know about the causes, the better are your chances of stopping dry skin before it starts.
One factor which you cannot control is weather. Usually winter is when the air is the driest. When the temperature and the humidity levels drop, the air becomes drier. This can also cause other skin conditions such as eczema.
The opposite is true for people who live in the hot desert. As the temperature reaches up to 100 plus degrees and the humidity levels drop down to ten percent, dry skin is very likely.
-Heating sources and Cooling Sources:
Heating and cooling sources are both causes of dry skin. Central heating systems can cause the air to be dry, causing your skin to be dry. Other heating sources which can pull the humidity out of the air are space heaters, wood burning stoves and fireplaces. Air conditioning can also pull the humidity out of the air.
It may sound strange but water can also cause dry skin. If you take frequent hot showers or long hot baths, this can break down the lipid barriers in the skin. This can pull the moisture out of your skin. Another cause is frequent swimming in heavily chlorinated pools. This can dry the skin out severely.
-Deodorants and soaps:
Many detergents and deodorants on the market today can cause dry skin. Harsh products can strip the lipids and the water from your skin. Many shampoos are also responsible drying of the scalp.
-Diseases and medical conditions:
Certain diseases and medical conditions can cause dry skin. Psoriasis is a skin condition which is categorized by a large amount of rough, dry, dead skin cells. These cells cause severe scaling.
Another condition which causes dry skin is thyroid disorder. Hypothyroidism is one of them. This is a condition which slows the sweat and the oil glands. This can lead to rough-dry skin.
-Alcohol and Drugs:
Alcohol and caffeine can cause noticeable dryness to the skin. Some medications can also dry the skin. Medications such as Accutane, antihistamines, and diuretics can cause drying.
When a person has a high fever, diarrhea, or vomits, a person can become dehydrated. If a person sweats profusely, as in after extreme exercise, the body can become dehydrated as well, causing the skin to dry out.
DRY SKIN CAUSES AND TREATMENTS – OLIVE OIL FOR DRY SKIN
Dry skin happens when the outer layer of the skin is deprived of water.
When this layer is moistened, it keeps water loss at a low level, creating a barrier and keeping out environmental irritants, allergens and germs. When this layer dries out, its protective functions are diminished and allows greater water loss, leaving your skin prone to environmental contaminates.
Under normal condition water evaporation from the skin’s surface is slow giving time for more water to be replenished. When water loss is greater than water replacement the symptoms of dry skin occur.
Dry skin should not be taken lightly. Persistent dry skin can lead to other complications such as inflammation and infection.
Dry skin can also be the effects of other skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and ichthyosis a condition that causes flaking of the skin.
Most cases of dry skin can be treated by the use of moisturizers and other over the counter products. But if dry skin persists after self-care treatments, then professional medical care may be needed.
Bellow I have listed some of the most common causes.
Hot water strips protective oils from the skin resulting in dry skin. Using warm water and limiting showers or baths to 5 or 10 minutes once a day will limit dryness.
Cold and dry winter air is a common cause. The low temperature and humidity levels in winter, sap protective oils from the outer layer of the skin leaving it chapped and dry. Also in the winter, the use of central heating drops the level of humidity aiding conditions that cause the skin to dry.
Hot dry air.
The hot dry air in desert climates can also cause dryness. Whether you live in a hot and dry climate or in a hot and humid climate, the use of air conditioning is common. Air conditioners remove the water level from the air causing a dry environment that also contributes to dry skin.
Exposure to sun.
The heat caused by the sun just like any type of heat, causes dryness. But the UV from the sun causes damage to the skin bellow the outer layer, breaking down collagen and elasticity of the fibers, causing sagging and wrinkly skin.
Cosmetics and soaps.
Many cosmetics have ingredients the can cause irritation, as well as the use of soaps with a detergent base. The use of cosmetics at a very young age, can also cause premature aging of the skin.
As we age blood circulation and the ability to produce oil and fatty substances diminish. Cell repair is also slower and the skin also becomes thinner. All this causing water content to reduce and making it harder to retain oils and moisture.
Lack of exercise.
When we don’t get enough exercise we deprive our skin from better blood flow and cleansing from within by sweating.
Lack of sleep.
When we sleep the body repairs itself. Lack of sleep deprives the time needed for skin cells to repair themselves.
Exposure to air pollution and other ozone concentrations reduces the skin’s supply of vitamin E drastically within just a few hours.
Vitamin E preserves the skin’s oils and helps protect the functions of cells and intracellular processes.
Vitamin E also helps the body increase and control the levels of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential in the growth of new skin cells.
An unhealthy diet lacking vegetables, fruits, grains and fish, can cause vitamin deficiencies that cause unhealthy skin conditions. Excessive consumption of fried foods, alcohol and caffeine, all help to increase dryness of the skin.
Most self-care treatments by using over the counter products like moisturizers, sunscreens, mild cleansers and soaps should improve the skin’s condition.
A healthy diet which includes omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, fibres and antioxidants like olive oil and berry fruits, should also decrease dryness.
But despite all efforts, if conditions don’t improve and you have symptoms like:
Dryness and itching severe enough to interfere with daily life and sleep.
Sores and infection caused by itching and scratching.
Large patches of scaly and peeling skin.
If you have any of the above, then, by all means, consult a Dermatologist or Doctor.
They can diagnose and determine whether or not your dry skin is in fact a more serious underlying medical condition.
A few tips to reduce dryness are:
The use of a humidifier to replenish water in the air that is removed by central heating or air conditioners.
A healthy diet rich in fibres, omega 3 fatty acids (fish and fish oils) and antioxidants like berries and olive oil.
Plenty of exercise and sleep.
Wear clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton and silk to help the skin breath better.
Limit showers to once a day for only 5 to 10 minutes and use only warm water.
Use mild natural soaps and shower gels with added fats, oils and moisturizer.
Olive oil based soaps are considered some of the best for your skin.
Application of moisturizers and body butters.
When applying moisturizer or body butters, it is best applied right after showers or baths while the skin is still damp. This helps to apply easier and evenly, while helping lock in the moisture.
These treatments should create relief, but if symptoms don’t decrease, again I stress to check with a physician.
Olive Oil for Dry Skin
Since ancient times, Egyptians and Greeks used olive oil to help keep their skin young and supple.
Today olive oil is still used to replenish and moisturize the skin. Olive oil can now be found in an endless array of skin products. While the use of olive oil can be used raw (directly from the bottle) as a moisturizer or as a bath oil, it does leave the skin greasy.
While this method has a tremendous effect in healing the skin and is probably better used just before bed time, people prefer to purchase products that include olive oil as a basic ingredient.
Skin care product also uses other natural plant oils and antioxidants, along with olive oil, to increase their benefits on the skin.
DRY SKIN RELIEF LOTIONS – DO ANY OF THEM REALLY WORK?
Dry skin relief lotions are a big seller in the cosmetics and skin care industry. However just because a dry skin lotion sells well doesn’t mean it’s any good.
It may surprise you to know that many mainstream skin care products are not considered very effective, and in some cases not even safe.
However there are small niche companies that are producing high quality organic skin care products that are targeted to specific skin conditions like dry skin. So if you’ve got the typical symptoms of dry skin like itching, flaking and cracking you can experience with severe dry skin, the good news is that there are solutions.
The best dry skin relief lotion is intended to do several things. Of course it needs to hydrate your skin, putting back the essential oils that are missing, but it also needs to treat the cause of the dry skin, because if it doesn’t do that then this skin condition will not improve.
The best dry skin lotion makes use of naturally occurring plant substances like vitamins, oils and enzymes to achieve these ends.
For example one of the most powerful of vitamins is vitamin E.
This is a natural anti-oxidant that is vital in treating a range of skin conditions such as dry skin, and is an important ingredient in a good dry skin relief lotion. Vitamin E helps the body release free radicals and this in turn helps with the health of your skin, and in particular it reduces the signs of skin aging such as lines and wrinkles.
Equally important is a naturally occurring anti-oxidant called CoenzymeQ10, sometimes called CoQ10 for short. This is found in quite a few skincare products, but in many cases isn’t effective. That’s because the product needs to use the naturally derived nano-lipid form to really work. It sounds complicated, but basically it means that the CoQ10 is then able to effectively penetrate the skin to work it’s magic.
I also mentioned oils. Many mainstream skin care products use artificially produced chemicals to mimic the effects of natural oils. However the best dry skin lotion you can get makes use of naturally occurring plant oils like avocado oil and macadamia oil. These hydrate the skin effectively without the need for artificial chemicals.
And more is needed. There are a number of proteins that occur naturally in the skin that can become depleted, especially in those suffering from dry skin. Keratin, for example, is used in the best dry skin relief lotions to stimulate the production of collagen, an essential skin protein and new skin cells.
And you need to be aware that many mainstream skincare products contain artificial chemicals, and that there are some doubts about the safety of some of these chemicals.
A couple of examples are Parabens and synthetic fragrances, both of which can be found in many well- known brands of skin care and dry skin lotions. These can actually cause more damage to your skin, surprisingly. If you’re interested to see if these are in your current skin care lotion have a look at the label.
And remember that these chemicals don’t just affect your skin, they are absorbed into your body as well, so can affect you in more subtle ways. Some are even suspected of causing cancer.
So you need to be careful when selecting a dry skin relief lotion, or any skin care product or anti-aging product for that matter. Read the labels before you buy anything, and do some research on some of the ingredients if you’re in doubt.
The best skin care products, including dry skin lotions, are organic and don’t contain artificially produced chemicals. They work naturally and they work well. And the absolute best must also be backed up with an unconditional money back guarantee so you can try them risk free until you satisfy yourself about how well they work.
So remember, if you suffer from dry skin, or for that matter you’re just tired of your brand name skin care products that don’t work, there are solutions. There are excellent organic skin care products made by small niche companies that aren’t household names.
They’re safer and work better than what you’re probably using now.