What Causes the Skin to Dry Out?

This is a popular question among women and the curious ones. There are actually numerous factors at play. Let’s take a look at some of the culprits of dry skin.

Factors that Dry Out the Skin

  • Age – Ones age is actually a factor at play in dry skin especially in women. As women start gaining years, their estrogen production dwindles down most partiularly when menopausal stage is at dawn. The skin’s production of lipids (which control the skin’s moisture levels by preventing moisture from escaping and evaporating) also starts decreasing. Cell regeneration also comes to a slower pace therefore when you start getting older, your skin gets more prone to flakiness.
  • Genetics – Genes are also a major player in dry skin. There are some of us who are predisposed to be more prone to having dry skin compared to others. It can be either because of having a lesser number of oil glands or because of a genetically inherited skin problem such as eczema.
  • The Weather – Changes in weather conditions can also cause the skin to dry out. Therefore it is no longer surprsing that many tend to suffer from dry skin as the days get colder. Cold winds, low temperatures, low humidity as well as dry indoor heating dry out the skin because they all cause water from the skin to evaporate.
  • Water – You may be surprised to know that water also causes the skin to dry out. Water washes away the skin’s natural oils which we call as sebum. Sebum is actually the skin’s natural moisturiser. A second drying action of water takes place as it evaporates, taking with it more needed moisture from the skin. Taking long, hot baths and showers can give you dry skin so it’s better to bathe and shower quickly and using lukewarm water.
  • Harsh Cleansers and Rough Cleansing
    Using harsh soaps and cleansers can also cause the skin to dry out. The same is true when one over scrubs or roughly cleans the skin. This is because lipids on the surface on the skin are stripped off. These lipids on the skin’s surface function as a layer of coating that prevents moisture from escaping and evaporating. If the skin is robbed of its lipids, moisture can easily get out and evaporate into the air leaving you with dry skin.
  • Cigarette Smoking – Smoking is harmful to the body and the skin is not excluded. The toxins in cigarettes actually deprive the skin of nutrients and oxygen that it needs therefore hastening the skin’s aging process. The smoke from cigarettes is already drying to the skin as well.
  • Woolen Clothing – As the days start getting colder we’d be wrapping ourselves to keep us warm. The problem is some fabrics such as wool can actually rub the skin in a not so good way. Woolen clothing may actually cause a disruption in the skin’s barrier responsible for sealing in moisture. This can lead to chapping.

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