Itchy, flaky and stiff - this is not how our skin should be, but for so many of us, dry skin is oh too common, making us uncomfortable and even self-conscious. But it doesn’t have to be that way, dry skin is totally treatable, you can start fixing it today.
Even if you’ve got very dry skin there’ll likely be a treatment out there that will nourish your skin back to health. But to do this, we need to understand dry skin, what causes it and how to help our skin.
The Poko deep dive into dry skin will answer all these questions and point you towards a future with soft and supple skin.
What is dry skin?
Okay, so first things first - what is dry skin? Well, dry skin is just as it sounds, skin that lacks moisture. Here are some signs to watch out for if you suspect your skin is drying out.
Dry skin is often tight and easily irritated, especially by tight-fitting clothes. Fine lines and small pores develop on the skin and it can start to flake. It’s common for dry skin to develop a rougher than normal texture which makes applying makeup tricky.
What causes dry skin?
There’s gotta be a cause of this nuisance right? Actually, there are plenty of causes.
Our environment can play a part, especially when we’re exposed to cold weather or dry air for long periods of time. Using harsh chemicals in soaps too often, or not washing them away properly, can unbalance our natural pH. And there are some natural factors too like our age, diet, hygiene and even our medication can throw our skin’s natural softness off tilt.
How to care for dry skin?
Now we know the characteristics of dry skin and some of the possible causes. But how do we *actually* treat it?
Moisturising is essential if you’ve got dry skin. We’ll say that again - moisturising is essential.
After all, the reason you’ve got dry skin is that it lacks moisture. So this solution seems almost too obvious.
Dry skin specific moisturiser is fantastic at penetrating the skin and bringing moisture to where it’s needed most. The best moisturisers soak into your skin quickly and leave it light and soft.
Avoid long, hot showers
Natural oils in our skin are responsible for producing moisture so it’s vital that we retain as much natural oil as we need. This means that those endless hot showers are a no go. These wash away all the natural goodness. Limit yourself to ten minutes in the shower and try to turn the temperature down a few notches. Lather up your skin afterwards with a refreshing moisturiser and your dry skin won’t stand a chance.
This should be something we all do, regardless of skin conditions. Our skin is our largest organ, so we need to protect it. A light SPF soaks into your skin quickly making it soft and also protecting us from the damaging UV from the sun. Work this into your daily routine and you’ll also have younger-looking skin for longer.
Check your product’s ingredients
Do you really know what’s in your skincare products? Some skincare brands (not us!) throw together concoctions with harsh chemicals, alcohol and dyes and sell them on as an enriching and soothing product. Have a read of the label and see if it has anything you’re allergic to in it, this should be a red flag as it’ll instantly irritate your skin.
Fragranced products smell wonderful and can make us feel great, but for some of us, the active ingredient here can trigger dry skin. Keep an eye out for hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products instead.
Add a humidifier to your room
We mentioned earlier that dry air can contribute to dry skin, that’s why lots of people try to add moisture to the air at home with a humidifier. It works wonders why the humidity drops and is another tool to fight dry skin.
Stay away from strong detergents and soaps
Nasty chemicals in a lot of detergents and soaps wash away moisture from your skin and cause, yep you guessed it, dry skin. They’re literally designed to remove oil, which cleans our hands, but use too much and it strips away the natural oils. This is because they are made to remove oil. Try to pick gentler soaps and detergents that don’t irritate your skin.
How to treat dry skin?
Dry skin will respond well to lifestyle changes, such as avoiding long, hot showers and regularly moisturising. But, if these changes are not cutting it, you might need to try out some different products.
If you’ve got extremely dry skin or have a rash, then you’re best off speaking with your doctor or dermatologist, but for the vast majority of us, dry skin is something that we can treat at home.
What to do if you moisturise, but your skin is still dry?
You may find that even after all your efforts of finding the perfect moisturiser your skin can still feel dry and tight. Here are some things to try if your skin is still dry despite your new moisturising routine.
The cleanser you use is too harsh on your skin
Cleansing is a vital part of our skincare routine, we do it morning and night with a cleanser, so we need to watch out that we’re not using a cleanser that dries out our skin.
Cleansing milks and lotions are generally better suited to those of us with dry skin and try to avoid foams and gels, these are better suited to oily skin types. Cleansers are meant to strip away some of our natural oils, they keep us clean this way, but use too much of an abrasive of a cleanser and leave our skin dry, red and abrasive.
After all the effort you’ve gone to find the right moisturiser, double-check that your cleanser isn’t letting you down.
Dead skin cells are building up because you are not exfoliating
Similar to cleansing, we must exfoliate our skin to keep it healthy, this helps regulate oil production and allow oil to leave our skin naturally. Our skin constantly regenerates but, as we get older, this process slows down.
This build-up prevents our products from working correctly on our skin. That’s why your skin feels dry even though you have moisturised. It is essential to start exfoliating regularly so your products can get to work properly.
You don’t drink enough water
This is one of those general rules that everyone should follow. Drink more water. It’s as simple as that. Dehydration removes water from our skin and contributes to dry flaky and dull skin.
Drink up and hydrate your skin.
You are confusing dry skin with dehydrated skin
Dry skin and dehydrated skin are easily confused with one another. That’s because they have some similar characteristics and can feel very similar.
Dry skin lacks moisture, while dehydrated skin lacks water. Dehydrated skin is dull, sunken, with dark circles under the eyes, and itchy.
The reason your skin remains dry after moisturising might be because you’re actually dehydrated skin. So once again for the people in the back - drink more water!
Dry skin on feet, hands, and legs
Dry skin is very common on the body, particularly on the feet, hands, and legs. We put our hands and feet through some pretty demanding situations, so dry skin happens when we’ve damaged the protective barrier on the skin.
While shaving is the main culprit for dry skin on our legs, especially when we don’t moisturise afterwards.
Ingredients that help dry skin
Right, so we know what’s bad for our skin and what to avoid, so how about what we should be doing and using?
Aloe vera juice
Aloe vera juice is very beneficial for dry skin types. It is rich in vitamin B, C and E. Along with that, it protects our skin from pollutants thanks to its antioxidants and enzymes. It is an excellent ingredient for hydrating and moisturising the skin.
It is particularly well suited to this skin type since it keeps skin quenched. Aloe vera juice soothes the skin due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties also. Not to mention, it is the perfect moisturising ingredient since it quickly absorbs into the skin.
It has healing properties, which makes it great for treating sensitive, dry areas on your face.
Apricot kernel oil
Apricot kernel oil is a brilliant ingredient for treating dry skin since it is high in omega 3, omega 6, and omega 9. These are fatty acids that help our skin feel lush and luxurious. These acids work to make the skin soft and supple while simultaneously soothing it. They work so well because it resembles the natural sebum our skin produces.
On top of this apricot kernel oil hydrates and balances the skin without causing any irritation. Being light on the skin, it absorbs into the skin quickly. It also seeps deep into the skin, keeping us moisturised better and for longer.
Olive oil is a natural way to soften skin that is packed full of fatty acids. These fatty acids enable dry skin types to retain water, which helps to keep skin moisturised and hydrated.
It is excellent for those experiencing sensitivity or irritation because it is naturally rich in squalene which really resembles the skin’s natural oils. They also work as antioxidants to heal and protect the skin from environmental damage. Olive oil, delicious and great for your skin.
Oatmeal is another one of those surprising ingredients that’s also excellent for treating dry skin. It is rich in lipids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Not to mention, it has anti-inflammatory as well, which is a godsend for us with sensitive skin.
It has even been found to be beneficial for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Both of which cause dry and flaking skin as well as irritation.
Best face cream for dry skin
Having learnt all about dry skin are we any closer to finding the perfect product? We’ve got lots of amazing and enriching moisturisers and our favourite ones for dry skin has got to be the Poko Regenerating Collagen Moisturiser and Light Hydrating Moisturiser.
They’re packed full of natural ingredients like oatmeal, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, and aloe vera juice. All of which adds a healthy dash of moisture to dry skin. On top of all this healthiness, our products are all vegan and cruelty-free, with everything we make getting third party tested to make sure that we only produce the highest quality products available.
What have we learned about dry skin?
Dry, itchy skin is way more common than you think and it feels quite uncomfortable and tight. But worry not, there are lots of things you can do to care for your skin. The bottom line is that it’s crucial to know the ingredients in your products and avoid harsh chemicals.
Ingredients in many cleansing products are designed to remove oils from the skin and we don’t want that at all. That’s why it’s best to seek out products that contain natural ingredients and that are known to be gentle and of benefit to your skin type.
Drink an adequate amount of water, exfoliate your skin regularly and be kind to your skin. This will help you greatly in providing it with that much-needed moisture.
And if you need a gentle and nourishing moisturiser, then we’re here to help you out. Check out our full range and get rid of that tight, dry skin for good.