If your skin becomes drier than usual, that means you follow the wrong skincare regimen or stick to bad habits. Sometimes you might overlook that your favorite toner contains alcohol or your passion for a regular hot shower ends up with eczema. Scroll down to learn more about the most crucial mistakes that cause dry skin.
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#1 You Use Products with Irritating Ingredients
There are literally thousands of different ingredients used in creating skincare products. According to Uter’s study, some of them are more likely to cause dryness, especially if they are used over a long time. Preservatives, surfactants, fragrances, alcohol, essential oils, and colorants are the most common culprits associated with dry, itchy skin, or a condition called contact dermatitis. Though you may not have any reactions at the very beginning, the issues may appear after a certain time of exposure to irritants. To identify which ingredient affects your skin, you should stop using one skincare product at a time to see if your condition improves.
You should also turn your attention to well-known vitamin C, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and tea tree oil which also pose a risk. Dryness can occur if you are initially prone to sensitivity and have a compromised skin barrier. You can make mistakes when you try to mix ingredients or use them at the wrong time of the day. So, it would be a bad idea to start your morning with benzoyl peroxide followed by cream with retinol.
#2 You Spend Too Much Time in the Sun
Is sun-backed skin still popular? It probably depends on the region or season. However, the trend has shifted towards healthy, slightly bronzed skin over the past few years. Unprotected overexposure to UV radiation can be dangerous. Sunlight compromises skin barrier function, promoting transepidermal water loss (TEWL). At the microscopic level, that means keratin and lipids, that act as the glue, become less cohesive. As a result, the damaged skin gradually loses its ability to hold moisture. The water freely passes through the epidermis and evaporates from the surface, inducing dryness.
To replace the moisture, you should use a product that combines humectants (hyaluronic acid or polyglutamic acid) and occlusive ingredients (oils, petrolatum, silicones). Whereas humectants provide the epidermis with hydration, occlusive ingredients act as a barrier by sealing that moisture. A good idea would be to use a lotion with these ingredients in the morning and cream at night routine. Besides, you should remember to always protect your skin with the right sunscreen, a good pair of fancy sunglasses, a nice hat, and special clothes. Having healthy skin is not about avoiding the lovely sun completely. You can still get a sunbath but do it moderately. Read “5 Secret Tips for Getting a Nice Sun Tan Safely” to learn how to reduce the adverse effects of UV rays and promote the synthesis of vitamin D.
#3 You Don’t Moisturize Your Skin
Skipping the moisturizer is one of the most crucial mistakes that cause dry skin. It is not a crime, but sometimes we just simply forget to use it or think that lotion or serum would be enough. However, moisturizers are the foundation of any effective skincare routine because your skin needs water. Without proper hydration, the skin can become dry, flaky, and even inflamed. If you stay in this state for a long time without taking any action, you may develop a condition, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema.
To avoid this issue, you have to stick strictly to the skincare regimen. Use moisturizer twice a day – in the morning and at night – right after your favorite serum. If you have a dry skin type, choose the product with humectants and occlusive agents. For oily, combination, or normal skin, it would be best to use the slightly light version without heavy oils.
Best Product Picks, According to Our Editors
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Moisturizer is a highly efficacious product that strengthens the barrier, protects from free radicals, and makes skin soft and plump. Non-comedogenic, even with lemon oil in its composition. The molecules in citrus oils are not big enough to stick into pores and cause clogging. This formula is great for all skin types.
EltaMD Moisturizer is a favorite product of many dermatologists. Fragrance-free, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic. It is strictly aimed at replenishing moisture and promoting a healthy skin barrier. The formula suits all skin types and can be used morning and night.
Our team was amazed to see colloidal oatmeal as the first ingredient listed on the label. That’s a good sign! Colloidal oatmeal works as an emollient by sealing moisture into the skin. It also provides relief to irritated skin and reduces itchiness. Vegan and cruelty-free. It suits all skin types.
Grown Alchemist Face Moisturizer is a high-quality product that is worth every penny. It contains Aloe vera, a well-known humectant, and rosehip oil that acts as a powerful occlusive agent. Toxic-Free and cruelty-free. The formula is lightweight and absorbs quickly. We recommend it for people with normal, dry, or combination skin.
#4 You Take a Long, Hot Bath or Shower
There is nothing better than having a hot bath to refresh your mind in these busy and stressful times. Just imagine you gradually relax, plunging into your thoughts of the future vacation, last date, or carefree life next to the beach. It seems to be nice for mental health, but not for your skin. Prolonged exposure to hot water strips natural oils from the skin, causing damage and dryness. The longer and hotter the bath, the faster you end up with irritated and itchy skin.
To protect the skin, take shorter showers and decrease the water temperature. Five to ten minutes is enough to avoid negative consequences. The most important thing after the shower or bath is to pat – not rub aggressively – the skin dry, then apply a free-alcohol lotion to lock the moisture into the skin.
#5 You Drink Too Much Alcohol
Have you noticed how a daily glass of wine has become the new normal? We have a drink (or more) when meeting with friends, after work, and during the weekend in the beloved backyard. The fact is that alcohol makes us more relaxed and outgoing but also adds a series of skin problems that appear a little later. To make it clear, you have to imagine how the skin operates at a microscopic level. Small water-soluble and lipid-soluble molecules travel across the skin layers, penetrating the cells to nourish them. When you have a couple of drinks, the molecules of alcohol also reach the cells of the skin, drying them out and affecting the most vital functions.
Although alcohol is one of the most aggressive substances on the skin, it affects people differently (but still affects). Everyone has a unique speed of metabolism. Whereas some can have two bottles of beer and don’t notice any severe consequences, others with the same drink wake up with puffy eyes. Besides, age plays a crucial role. When you’re under 25, the alcohol leaves your body in about 3 to 5 hours. If you are over 40, it will take more than 24 hours to clear up the system. So, how much is too much? Let’s be honest, no matter what age you are or what type of metabolism you have, there is still a significant amount of damage to the skin caused by alcohol. The best thing you can do is give up or significantly cut back on drinking.