Dry skin on the face not only looks bad, but it can also be itchy and uncomfortable — and who wants that? It can be caused by a number of factors, and the severity of your dry skin will determine how to treat it. Having said that, dry skin, no matter how severe, is treatable.
Speaking with a dermatologist can assist you in determining the source of your dry skin and the best course of treatment. But, in the meantime, keep reading to learn about the causes of dry skin and how to treat it.
What Factors Contribute to Dry Skin?
A variety of factors could be causing dry skin (medically known as xerosis) on your face. It’s critical to determine what’s causing yours, as this will influence how you treat the dryness. Here are a few examples of common causes:
Your skin produces less sebum as you age (a natural oil your body produces to lubricate your skin). In your 40s, the amount you produce drops dramatically, and by 60, nearly everyone has dry skin. However, dry skin can affect people of all ages.
Parched facial skin can also be caused by cold and hot weather with little to no humidity. It’s especially bad in the winter when the weather is dry and cold — and heaters are pumping hot, dry air inside. Similarly, sitting in air conditioning in the summer can affect your skin’s moisture levels.
Your skin naturally lubricates itself by secreting oil via the sebaceous glands; this also forms a protective barrier on your skin, which aids in moisture retention. However, factors such as the sun and pollution can erode that barrier, resulting in dry skin. As a result, it’s critical to use a face cream or moisturiser twice a day to replenish hydration. If you don’t, your skin may become dry.
During the day, you can use an SPF-containing moisturiser (more on that soon). You could use a hydrating anti-aging cream at night.
Dry skin can be caused by a variety of skin conditions. Atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, perioral dermatitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis are some to be aware of. Dry skin can also be caused by non-skin conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes.
Vitamins A and D, niacin, and iron are just a few of the vitamins and minerals that help keep your skin healthy and moisturised. You may experience dry skin if your diet lacks these nutrients.
Eggs and oily fish are examples of foods high in both vitamin A and vitamin D. Lentils, rye bread, raisins, beef, and dark leafy greens are all high in iron.
To this point, dry skin is sometimes associated with anorexia — primarily because anorexics do not get enough nutrients.
You may notice dry skin on your face if you are taking medication for a medical condition. Acne medications, for example, isotretinoin, can cause dry, chapped skin. Chemotherapy, which is used to treat cancer, is another medication that can cause dry skin all over, including your face.
If you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, you’ll become dehydrated, which can affect the moisture levels of your skin. Drinking alcohol too dehydrates you and can cause dry skin on your face.
Cigarette smoking can also have an impact on your skin (not to mention, your overall health). Cigarettes hasten ageing and, as a result, can cause drier skin.
Dry Skin Symptoms
The truth is that you probably don’t need anyone to tell you what the symptoms of a dry face are — after all, you’ll be able to feel that your skin is dry there. But, just in case, here are some signs that your face skin is dry:
- Skin flakiness, scaly patches, and a rough texture
- Skin itch
- Burning or stinging
- Texture is wrinkled and loose.
- Skin that is raw, red, and irritated
How Can You Get Rid of Dry Skin on Your Face?
Take Note of How You Wash
Washing your face is an essential part of any skincare routine, but you must also be careful how you wash it.
First and foremost, do not use hot water (which can strip away more moisture). Make sure the water you use is lukewarm instead. Instead of rubbing your skin dry after washing it, pat it dry (which can cause further irritation).
When it comes to cleaning, avoid using harsh soaps. Instead, look for something that is non-abrasive and alcohol-free (which is drying). Hers has a cleanser that cleans while also hydrating the skin.
We’ve already mentioned it, but it bears repeating: moisturising is essential. To trap in hydration, apply face cream or moisturiser immediately after washing your face or showering. Don’t know what to look for? These ingredients are extremely hydrating:
- Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
- Lactic acid
- Hyaluronic acid
- Jojoba oil
Make Lifestyle Changes
You may be doing things in your daily life that are drying out your skin, but a few simple changes can help.
Do you spend a lot of time outside in the sun? You might want to reconsider. Sun exposure can deplete oils, exacerbating dry skin. While we’re on the subject, sunscreen is a must. It’s best to go with a broad-spectrum formula (one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Drinking plenty of water and eating a nutritious diet are also important.
You should also reconsider taking hot baths and showers, as hot water can aggravate dry skin. Instead, in the shower and tub, aim for warm water.
Finally, install a humidifier in your home. When you’re running the heat or air conditioner, this will help keep moisture in the air.
If your skin is excessively dry, you may require the assistance of a prescription medication to remedy the situation. A healthcare professional may prescribe a topical steroid to help after speaking with you. This can relieve rashes and itching caused by dry skin and allow it to heal.
The Final Word
Many factors can contribute to skin dryness on your face. Aging is a common cause, but other factors such as poor skincare and diet can also play a role.
Dryness in this area is, at best, unsightly. It can be irritating or painful at worst. Dealing with it is necessary in either case.
Getting your face routine in order will help, as will selecting the appropriate skin care products (like gentle skin cleansers). More information can be found in our guide, How to Take Care of Your Skin. If your dryness is severe, you may require medication.