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5 Surprising Causes of Dry Skin

Are you experiencing dry skin and are unsure why? If so, you’re not alone. Dry skin is extremely common, but the cause isn't always apparent. Perhaps you’ve tried all the usual suggestions but still haven’t found any relief - if that’s the case, learning about some unexpected causes of dry skin may help you find ways to soothe and moisturise drier areas.

Why Do I Have Dry Skin?

We all have moments when our skin feels drier than usual, but for some of us, this is a permanent issue. If you're wondering what causes dry skin, there are many possible reasons. For instance, some people naturally have drier skin due to genetics, while others may experience dryness as a result of environmental factors such as harsh weather conditions or low humidity. Additionally, certain medical conditions and medications can lead to flaky, roughened skin that struggles to retain moisture. Plus, dietary intake and lifestyle can cause all types of physiological responses that manifest in the skin - including dryness.

Dry cracked skin on woman's hand

It’s crucial to understand the underlying cause of dryness in order to find natural ways to treat it, so I’ve compiled five reasons you might not have considered that could affect your dry skin.

Environmental Causes

Your environment, both indoors and outdoors, can significantly affect how your skin responds. Elements like intense heat, wind, dry air, and coldness can all contribute to chapped, dry and rough skin. Also, drier air from indoor heating can cause moisture to evaporate from the skin more rapidly, resulting in dryness and tightness.

Another surprising cause behind dry patches on your body is hot showers and baths since Hot water can break down the lipid barriers in your skin, which are responsible for locking in moisture. This leads to a loss of natural oils and hydration, resulting in dryness and a compromised skin barrier.

To protect your skin from the external environment, try moisturising regularly, especially before exposing yourself to the elements. Also, using lukewarm water to wash your hands and face, along with gentler cleansers, can really help you fight against dryness.

After showering or bathing, pat your skin gently rather than scrubbing it dry, and follow up with a rich, emollient moisturiser while your skin is still slightly damp. I recommend using our body cream with chia seed oil, which can help you to seal in moisture and replenish your skin's barrier.

Dietary Causes

You might also be surprised to find that dry skin and diet are also interrelated. This is because are many vitamins needed for healthy skin, and if some of these are lacking in our diet, it can lead to dryness, redness and even inflammation.

Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that plays a fundamental part in collagen synthesis, which is vital for maintaining the skin's strength and elasticity. This vitamin helps the body in multiple ways, but it also aids the skin by promoting wound healing and a glowing, brighter complexion. Omega 3s are also crucial for moisturised, nourished-looking skin, as these fatty acids help strengthen the integrity of the skin's cell membranes, which contributes to a strong and healthy skin barrier.

Another incredible antioxidant is found in milk thistle, which also supports the liver and contains anti-inflammatory properties that can encourage healthier, smoother, and more hydrated skin. That’s why we’ve created a natural milk thistle tincture that can be added to your daily diet to assist your skin from within and restore hydration.

Lifestyle Causes

Lifestyle elements such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and lack of sleep may also negatively impact our skin health and overall wellness. Substances such as nicotine and alcohol place extra pressure on our entire body and can contribute to visible dryness and stress on our skin. Unfortunately, bad sleep hygiene is commonplace in our fast-paced lifestyles, but this also results in worse skin health. In many cases, these three lifestyle choices can cause accelerated and premature ageing, dehydration, dull and discoloured skin, along with an impaired skin barrier function.

Everyone’s body is different, but you may find that lessening or eliminating your alcohol and nicotine intake significantly improves your skin’s appearance and hydration levels. And why not add our natural intensive night serum to your night-time routine to give you an extra boost of overnight moisture and relaxation before bed?

Medical Causes

There is also a range of medical conditions - even though unrelated to the skin - which can lead to prolonged or intense dryness. For instance, high blood glucose levels in those with diabetes can affect the skin’s moisture retention ability, causing flakiness and dry areas. Plus, skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis also tend to lead to rough, scaly dry skin, alongside other symptoms like itchiness and inflammation.

Lesser-Known Causes

When it comes to dry skin, we often attribute it to things like the weather or lack of moisturiser. However, there are a few lesser-known causes that can be equally detrimental to our skin. One of these causes is medication side effects, as specific treatments may reduce the skin's natural oil production or interfere with its capacity to retain hydration. As a result, you may find that skin dryness, flakiness or itchiness become more pronounced while taking certain medications.

Another factor that we often overlook is hard water, which has higher amounts of minerals such as magnesium and calcium. As we wash and bathe with hard water, these mineral deposits can build up on the skin, disrupting the natural balance of our skin’s moisture barrier and causing dullness and dryness.

If you have been struggling with dry skin despite using gentle products and regular moisturisers, it might be worth examining these other causes as well.

Knowing the underlying cause of your dry skin can be the first step in improving its appearance and health. Once you have addressed the causes, natural products such as those from our skincare range can help you carry on maintain supple, moisturised skin while keeping dryness at a minimum.

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