What You Should Know About Patches of Dry Skin
There’s always someone in your social circle that seems to attain healthy, glowing, and hydrated skin all year long. You may assume they know some secret to moisturizing skin that you simply don’t because – let’s face it – most people struggle with patches of dry skin.
The face is a common place to find dry spots and sometimes even appear flaky. It’s annoying when applying makeup. It can feel as if no matter what you do, they simply won’t go away.
The good news is dry skin patches can be a thing of the past, you simply need to know a few facts about your skin and understand what products can work some magic.
In this guide, we will discuss everything you need to know surrounding dry skin.
Is Your Dry Skin Really Dry Skin?
The first really important item on the dry skin checklist is to determine if your skin is really dry or simply dehydrated – because there is a difference.
Dehydrated skin is skin that doesn’t have enough water. While you can certainly have both dehydrated and dry skin, it’s important to understand the subtle distinction between the two.
You can tell your skin is dehydrated by these signs:
- Dull skin
- Sunken eyes
- Increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Shadows on the face, especially around the nose and eyes
Having dehydrated skin likely means that your entire body is dehydrated, so make sure to keep your water bottle on you all day to sip away. Getting enough water will help your skin and your overall health.
Dry skin isn’t producing or maintaining enough natural oils. While many people think of oily skin as a bad thing, the truth is that your skin naturally produces oil that helps to moisturize your skin. This natural oil, called sebum, helps your skin to retain water for it to stay hydrated. Skin that is too oily can suffer from breakouts, but skin needs its natural sebum to maintain a moisture barrier and keep the skin looking healthy. If you don’t have enough natural oil, then you may notice these symptoms of dry skin:
Some skin conditions can cause dry skin, such as eczema and psoriasis. If you’re concerned about these conditions, then make sure to discuss it with your dermatologist.
If you want to learn more about creating a skincare routine for oily skin check out our blog.
The Causes of Dry Skin
What causes dry skin? There are a variety of reasons your skin may not be making enough natural oils to seal moisture in. Some of the most common include:
As you get older, your skin loses its ability to produce enough sebum naturally. Without enough natural sebum, there is less moisture in the skin. That’s why many people begin to struggle with dry skin as they get older. Aging also makes your skin more susceptible to dehydration, which makes drinking enough water each day more important as you get older.
Where you live has a huge influence on the health of your skin, especially the sensitive skin on your face. If you live in a dry, hot climate then it takes more work to keep your skin properly moisturized and hydrated. If you live someplace cold and windy, it can dry out the skin too.
Some lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on the health of your skin, sucking moisture away and leading to dry patches of skin on your face (and other parts of you, too).
Some lifestyle factors that can lead to dry skin include:
- Tanning too much (both outdoors and at a salon)
- Spending too much time outside in direct sunlight (without sunscreen!)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
It’s a good idea to think about what lifestyle choices you may be making that lead to dry skin if it’s a problem you’re struggling with.
Your DNA can also have a huge impact on the dryness of your skin. Sometimes dry skin can run in families. So, take a look around at the faces of the people you’re related to. If they show signs of dry skin and have struggled with it, chances are you do too. Talk to members of your family about the skin issues they may struggle with. Remember, no skin type is bad or good, but it’s essential to understand your skin type to know how to take care of it and what products to use.
Dry Skin Myths
Before delving into how to deal with patches of dry skin, it’s important to weed out a few of the ideas floating around about dry skin that simply aren’t true. Some of the most common myths out there about dry skin include:
Don’t Exfoliate Dry Skin
At The Skin Spot, we recommend using an exfoliating mask a couple of times per week. There’s no reason not to do this even if you have dry skin. Why? Because even skin that is dry and flaky needs deep moisture penetration. Gently exfoliating the skin can help to get rid of dead skin cells and makes it easier for your skin to accept the moisture it needs from other products you apply after the exfoliation.
The More Moisture, the Better
Too much is not always better. Using too much moisturizer and moisturizing products on dry skin can lead to clogged pores and breakouts. This is because applying too much moisturizer causes dead skin cells to build up instead of naturally falling away, which can send you straight to Breakout City.
The Thicker the Moisturizer, the Better
Don’t judge a dry skin product by its thickness. Just because something is thicker does not mean that it’s going to deliver what your skin needs for proper moisture. Sometimes the lighter products will work better for dry skin because they penetrate faster and absorb quicker too.
Hot Showers Will Hydrate Skin
Showers are important for the health of your skin, but it is possible to get too much of a good thing. The truth is that hot showers can damage your skin, causing the blood vessels to dilate and stripping the skin of its natural oils. This can have the undesirable effect of making skin even drier. This doesn’t mean you should avoid showers, but make sure the water isn’t too hot and limit yourself to under 10 minutes, then blot dry with a towel instead of rubbing.
This applies even if you’re simply washing your face in the morning or at night. Don’t use hot water, but warm water. And blot your face dry, never rub!
How to Treat Dry Skin
There are a variety of ways you can address patches of dry skin. Make sure to add these things into your skincare routine:
Think About Your Cleansers
It’s important to steer clear of any cleansers that are formulated with sulfates, such as sodium laureth sulfate, lauryl sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate. This ingredient cuts oil from your skin and is way too harsh for skin that’s struggling to maintain its natural moisture barrier.
Choose a cleanser for your skincare routine that washes away dead skin cells without stripping moisture from the skin. Sticking with something sulfate-free should help.
Buffing away dead skin cells is vital to making sure the products you apply to your skin can penetrate and get where they can do the most good. That’s why you should exfoliate at least once per week. It’ll help the moisturizers you apply to work better and help to rebuild your skin’s natural lipid layer.
Serums are a great product to have in your beauty lineup. Apply a hydrating serum before you apply a moisturizer. If you think your skin is dry due to aging and you’re in the perimenopause or postmenopause camp, then The Skin Spot recommends using Emepelle Day Serum. This specialized serum helps to address dry skin issues that can be caused by estrogen deficiency. It’ll help with dryness while also addressing collagen loss and thinning skin that leads to fine lines and wrinkles.
Make Sure to Moisturize
After cleansing your face, using an alcohol-free toner, and applying a serum, you should moisturize right away. Leaving skin bare will start to dehydrate it – something you’re trying to avoid. Some of the best moisturizers for dry skin that we love at The Skin Spot include:
SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore
SkinCeuticals is an excellent skincare brand that scientifically formulates its products to address skin issues – issues just like dry skin. The Triple Lipid Restore cream targets the skin’s natural moisture barrier to help it repair naturally. Where can you buy SkinCeuticals products? From an authorized seller like The Skin Spot, of course!
Nazarian Skincare Hydrate
Hydrate cream is specially formulated to help rejuvenate dry skin. It’s oil-free and contains natural skin-soothing ingredients to encourage healing and repair.
Moisturize at Night
Many people think that letting their skin “breathe” at night is a good thing. While it is important to wash your face at the end of the day, it’s also important to moisturize your skin at night, especially if you’re struggling with dry skin in the first place.
The fact is that your skin is at its most permeable at night, making it the ideal time to apply a good nighttime moisturizer that can go to work as you sleep. We love Epionce Intensive Nourishing Cream. It’s perfect for those who are trying to tackle dry skin. It offers intense hydration and is a great addition to your nighttime skincare routine.
Humidify Your Home
If you don’t have one already, you may want to consider adding a humidifier to your home or office. Keeping the air adequately moist will ensure that your skin can stay hydrated too.
Protect Skin from the Sun Sunscreen must be a part of your everyday skincare routine. Apply it each morning to help shield your skin from the harmful rays of the sun that can damage your skin, no matter what time of the year it is. Even on cloudy days, it’s important to protect your skin.
Remember that you can work on making your skin healthy from the inside out. Eat a healthy diet full of the nutrients your skin loves, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and avocado, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water can also help your skin to find the proper balance.
Don’t Live with Dry Skin
Everyone can suffer from dry skin from time to time. Chances are, as you get older it will become an issue you will need to address. The Skin Spot is here to help you address those issues. Following these tips and using the products we recommend can help you to tackle patches of dry skin before they start, paving the way for healthy, glowing skin no matter what.
If you have hyperpigmentation issues check out our blog about Cysteamine cream.