Dry, flaky skin is an agonizing, uncomfortable condition. It is characterized by scaling, cracking, and itching.
This skin condition is caused by many factors, or you may have naturally dry skin. However, in some cases, you may have oily skin but you can develop dry skin from time to time. Dry skin may develop in any part of the body, usually in the face, arms, hands, and legs. Over-the-counter skin products may treat it, but if those products are not enough, consult with a dermatologist.
What causes dry, flaky skin?
There are many factors that can cause dry skin. Spending too much time in the sun, effects of the cold and dry winter season, and not taking care of your skin properly are common reasons for having dry skin.
Another factor is aging. As we age, vital proteins like collagen and elastin start to breakdown. Sad to note that our body cannot produce these natural proteins easily. Take note also that our bodies are mostly water and when our skin cells do not have sufficient water, they become dehydrated.
In most cases, dry, flaky skin is a result of a skin that is dehydrated and dry. Good news is that you can prevent and fix this uncomfortable skin condition.
What you should about the difference between dehydrated and dry skin?
Dry skin treatment may differ from dehydrated skin remedy. Dry skin is a skin type where it feels tight and parched – consistently – and without visible oil. A dehydrated skin comes and goes which may be caused by season changes, or by using the wrong products for the skin. It may feel dry and may appear flaky.
What skin care ingredients to look for to boost and/or retain skin moisture?
- Hyaluronic acid, which is in your skin naturally. If you apply a skin care product with this ingredient, it can hold up more than its weight in water. This means that this hyaluronic acid is a great hydrator for severely dry skin. This can also help dehydrated skin to breathe.
- Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), such as lactic acid and glycolic acid help exfoliate your skin. It helps in removing dead skin cells found at the top layers of dead, dry skin. These ingredients also help boost the ability of the skin to retain hydration, preventing future symptoms of dryness.
- Ceramides, also known as fats, are lipids that naturally cover more than half of your skin. They help prevent moisture loss, restore and secure the surface skin cells from dryness.
- Choose nourishing, non-fragrant plant-based products like safflower, jojoba, and sunflower that can improve dry, flaky skin.
- Omega fatty acids are hydration for dry, flaky skin. They are capable of helping your skin to calm and soothe.
What you should avoid:
We have to learn how to identify the ingredients of the skin care products that we are using or buying. If it is necessary, we have to change products that do not work. For those with flaky, dry skin, avoid:
- Fragranced products, including lip and body skin care products because these fragranced products can have some effects on the skin.
- Products with denatured alcohol, menthol, mint, eucalyptus, and essential oils.
- Products with starches and clays. Although they are absorbents and do not damage your skin, they can be drying if the skin is not oily.
- Using very hot water if your skin is scaly and very dry. We recommend CeraVe Moisturizing Cream for dry skin. It provides 24-hour hydration. It contains essential ceramides that help revitalize the protective skin barrier. This cream also has hyaluronic acid that helps retain the natural moisture of your skin.
- Bar cleansers or soap. Change to a hydrating cream like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Gel Cream. It has hyaluronic acid that helps alleviate dry skin for supple and smooth skin.
- Abrasive scrubs but choose a gentle leave-on skin care product that helps remove dead skin cells.
See a dermatologist
When all your efforts (including our tips and skin care products) and if these efforts do not bring any relief, we recommend seeing a dermatologist. Extra dry skin needs a prescription cream or ointment. Very dry skin may also be a sign of a skin condition that actually needs treatment. A dermatologist can examine your skin and determine what can help relieve your discomfort caused by dry skin.