As the largest organ in our body, it’s beyond important for us to maintain a well-balanced diet and good lifestyle habits if we want healthy, clear skin. But more often than not, whether we like it or not, our skin still freaks out on us - completely out of the blue!
It might seem scary to watch your complexion go from 0 to 100 all of a sudden, but there’s no need to fear. Whether you have a minor rash or dry scaly skin on your face, we’ve got you covered. Here’s your complete guide on causes and prevention of dry scaly skin.
What might cause dry, scaly skin?
Since there’s more than one cause of dry, scaly skin, we’ve compiled symptoms of the most common causes, and how you can treat them.
This may come as a shocker, but your skin gets thirsty too! And dehydrated skin wrinkles can show up on your skin as dry, scaly patches. Factors ranging from the skincare products you use to your diet and lifestyle, can all affect your skin’s hydration level, as well as its ability to hold and retain moisture.
Common symptoms can include feelings of itchiness and irritation or tightness. Dehydrated skin is usually flakey, feels sensitive, and has a dull skin tone to it. Luckily, dehydrated skin isn’t too hard to treat. Use a moisturizer cream or masque to hydrate and balance your skin as needed. And keep a toner with you (in your purse, perhaps!) to hydrate your skin throughout the day.
And of course, don’t forget to drink enough water every day. Fun fact: skin is actually the last organ to receive any nutrients we consume. That means that it’s the last organ to receive the water you sip! That’s what makes topical products like creams and serums an absolute must keep your skin nourished and well hydrated.
Dry skin (also known as xerosis) and dehydrated skin are often confused with one another, but the difference is simple: dehydrated skin lacks water and dry skin lacks oil. Dry skin lacks enough lipids - natural oils your body produces. As a result, it leads to rough, dry, flaky patches. Your skin could be dry, dehydrated, or both.
Common symptoms of dry skin include a feeling of tightness (especially after showering or swimming), rough texture, itching, redness, and fine lines or cracks that may be prone to bleeding. This is your skin’s way of telling you that something’s wrong.
But no worries, dry skin is easy to treat. Dry skin responds well to the right moisturizing ingredients. We recommend moisturizers or serums that are oil-based. Most lotions will create a barrier, but instead, oils penetrate deep into your skin, allowing your skin to breathe. And they’re also faster penetrating, which means your skin will be back to normal in no time. Choose products with rich oils such as coconut oil if you’re suffering from dry skin. Jojoba oil, carrot seed oil, and chia seed oil are also great for deep-penetrating moisturization.
Also known as allergic eczema, this is an itchy skin rash that develops when your skin comes into contact with an allergen. Common allergens are grass, dogs, and cats - all of which can trigger an allergic reaction up to 24 to 48 hours after you’ve been exposed.
Common symptoms include itching, a burning sensation or pain, red bumps, rashes, and scaly, dry, or rough skin. If you exhibit these symptoms, it’s always a good idea to wash the affected area with water to remove any traces of the allergen.
Eczema treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. If your symptoms are mild, you might want to use an over-the-counter corticosteroid cream. This will help with the itching and inflammation while repairing your skin. If your symptoms are severe, consult your doctor. Your doctor will conduct a patch test to determine whether you have eczema or not. And if your symptoms are severe, they can provide you with prescription-strength ointments or creams.
What are ways to prevent dry, scaly skin?
You know what they say, prevention is key. And when it comes to maintaining healthy skin, we’ve got all your bases covered.
Take extra care to keep your skin smooth and hydrated by drinking at least nine cups of water every day. A good cup of coffee or tea may sound perfect right now, but it won’t do anything to help your skin. Instead, keep a water bottle with you and reach for that everytime you’re craving your favorite drink. Your skin will thank you.
As tempting as that margarita or cosmopolitan may be, try and stay away from the alcohol! If you don’t want to skip out on happy hour, just make sure you stick to the golden rule. For every alcoholic beverage, follow it with one full glass of water. Not only will it save you a painful hangover, it’ll also save your skin. Alcohol is a known diuretic which means that it dehydrates both your body and your skin.
Avoid long, overly-hot baths or showers. Exposing your body to hot water for long periods of time will suck out all that precious moisture from your skin. So can frequently swimming in heavily chlorinated pools or salt water such as the ocean. Likewise, central heating units, space heaters, and fireplaces are all guilty of reducing humidity and drying your skin.
Stay away from harsh soaps, detergents, and shampoos - most of the popular brands are formulated to remove oil. But it doesn’t just remove oil, it also strips your skin of moisture. Try cleansers and shower gels with added moisturizers. Look for products that are free of harsh chemicals like parabens, sulfate, and silicone. Products that include natural ingredients like cucumber extract, aloe vera, and coconut oil are always a good sign.
So the next time you experience dry or scaly skin, don’t panic. Just remember to refer back to this handy guide to identify and treat your skin. We hope this was helpful!