You’ve likely experienced dry skin at one point or another, so you know how uncomfortable it can be. General dryness, aka a loss of skin’s natural moisture, is a common skin care concern shared by many—and skin dryness doesn’t discriminate against skin types. For example, you can have oily skin around your T-zone and still experience dryness on your cheeks from time to time. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if you have a naturally dry skin type or if there is something else causing your dryness. Here, we explain what causes dry skin, from the weather to a lack of exfoliation. Plus, we’re sharing how to hydrate dry skin with a proper skin care routine.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #1: THE WEATHER
If you’ve been asking yourself, “Why is my skin so dry?” the main culprit may be none other than the weather. See, dry, cold air draws moisture out of your skin, leaving your complexion with an extra dry and chapped-feeling, especially during the winter. Additionally, if you’re living in or visiting a cold-weathered climate, you’re also likely to be spending time indoors—and indoor heat is extremely drying.
To help combat the effects of dry air, try using a hydrating facial serum that’s formulated with hyaluronic acid. Reach for the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum and apply it onto freshly-cleansed skin before you put on your moisturizer.
When indoors, you can also follow the American Academy Of Dermatology’s (AAD) recommendation of using a humidifier to put moisture back in the air. For more on why you may want to invest in a humidifier, here’s How Using a Humidifier Can Benefit Your Skin.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #2: OVER-CLEANSING
This one may seem obvious, but with the current skin care trends of double and even triple cleansing, it’s worth restating: Washing your face more than twice a day can dry out your skin too much. If you feel dry skin coming on, scale back on your cleansing routine—but never phase it out completely! If cleansing the recommend amount (twice per day) makes your skin feel tight and dry, it may be a sign you need to reach for a more gentle facial cleanser. We recommend trying a micellar water, like the L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #3: LACK OF EXFOLIATION
When dead skin cells build up on the surface of your skin, you may notice that your complexion sports a dry and dull appearance. The buildup can also impede your hydrating products from working their best. To help slough away dead skin cells, along with other dirt and debris, reach for a gentle facial scrub, like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Nourish & Soften Cocoa Scrub.
Editor’s note: Tackling dry skin on your legs? Skipping exfoliation may be holding you back from smooth and supple skin. To restore your skin, try your hand at dry brushing to help remove impurities from the skin and prep your legs for hydration. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you hop in the shower after dry brushing. Once you rinse off, hydrate damp skin with a body moisturizer to help lock in moisture.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #4: YOU’RE WASHING WITH WATER THAT’S TOO HOT
Very hot water may feel relaxing in the moment, but unfortunately, it’s another common cause of dry skin. This is because hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils. Wash your face with lukewarm water instead and shower with the same. The AAD also recommends keeping your showers short to help with dry skin relief.
If you want to know what causes dry skin on legs besides skipping exfoliation, you might already have the answer. Showering and shaving with hot water can dry out the skin on your legs just as it can do a number on your visage.
Editor’s note: Speaking of hot water stripping skin of its natural oils, it can also wreak havoc on your strands. That’s right, steamy showers can easily leave you with a dry mane. So, you’ll want to make sure that you give your strands extra TLC while in the shower to keep dry hair at bay. Head on over to our article, How to Manage Dry Hair, for more dry hair causes and treatment tips.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #5: YOU’RE WASHING WITH HARSH SOAPS
While you may think that hopping in the shower and moisturizing your skin afterward is enough to ward off dry skin, there’s more that you need to know. According to the Mayo Clinic, many popular soaps, detergents, and shampoo can strip skin of moisture. To help get things back in order, be sure to use nourishing soaps while cleansing skin for desired results.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #6: YOU’RE NOT APPLYING MOISTURIZER AT THE RIGHT TIMES
Believe it or not, the best time to apply facial moisturizer is right after you’ve cleansed, while your skin is still moist. You might be inclined to do other things after cleansing, like brush your teeth or pop in your contacts, but these things should come after moisturizing.
Here’s how to hydrate dry skin with moisturizer: While skin is damp, apply your day or night cream before layering a facial oil on top. We recommend looking for moisturizers formulated with nourishing manuka honey, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Honey Day Cream and the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Honey Night Balm.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #7: YOU’VE GOT MATURE SKIN
What can dry skin be a sign of? There are a number of answers to this oft-asked question, but one you may not have considered is that your dry complexion is a sign your skin is maturing. Aging is unavoidable, and unfortunately, dryness is a common sign of skin aging. Skin’s natural oil production decreases as you get older, meaning you’ll need to replenish and nourish skin with extra hydrating skin care products formulated for mature skin. Our top pick? The L’Oréal Paris Wrinkle Expert 55+ Moisturizer, which visibly reduces signs of aging for youthful-looking skin.
DRY SKIN CAUSE #8: YOU HAVE A SKIN CONDITION
If you find that your dry skin isn’t caused by any of the above, you may be wondering what else your dry skin could be a sign of. Unfortunately, it could be a clear indicator that there is an underlying skin condition, such as eczema, at play. If your dry skin persists even after you’ve attempted to hydrate it, make an appointment with a dermatologist and have it checked out.