Characteristics and Causes
Skin is dry when the small oil glands are not secreting enough oil to keep skin soft and supple. Skin oil is also vital to form its protective barrier. Dry skin is also prone to dehydration (lack of water) and sensitivity.
Some typical symptoms of dry skin are:
Rough feeling texture
Dull, even flaky with no glow or sheen
Tight and uncomfortable feeling
Fine lines and wrinkles
While dry skin may be inherited there are common causes we may be able to control.
Hot water: Washing the skin with hot water can have a drying effect. Imagine rinsing a greasy plate under the hot water tap, the oil is quickly broken down.
Harsh products: Soaps, alcohol toners and intense exfoliants can destroy skin lipids leaving skin feeling tight, dry and itchy.
Low fat diets: Even if we are trying to “beat the bulge” and shed excess pounds the body and skin still need fats. Avoiding fat completely in our diet can result in dull, dry skin.
Age: You may have had a normal skin most of your life but as we mature it's not unusual to experience a drier skin, particularly women. As hormone levels change the skin can become drier.