8 surprising reasons your skin, is always so damn dry and what to do about it

At this time of year it’s so easy to blame the weather for skin dryness. We’re only too aware that freezing cold temperatures, gusty winds and indoor heating can seriously suck the moisture from our faces and limbs.

But it’s this knowledge that sometimes overshadows the real reasons for our sudden skin drought.

If your extra layers of moisturiser don’t seem to be satisfying your skin thirst, it could be time to look into other causes…

1. Too many hot showers

Sometimes a boiling hot shower is the only reason to get out of bed in the morning, we get it. But Rick Woodin, Lead Dermatologist at ZO Skinhealth, warns against this guilty pleasure, explaining that “excessive heat from hot water combined with body soap will soften skin and slowly begin to strip away its natural protective barriers.”

“If you expose your skin to hot water for an extended amount of time, it’s more prone to becoming dry, red and itchy. Baths can even be worse than showers.”

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He suggests to keep showers as short as possible (around 10 minutes) and to add a few drops of oil into the water if you choose to have a bath.

“Also make sure to cleanse and use body soap in the essential areas only (like underarms and groin), and moisturise right after showering.”

2. Your room isn’t ‘moist’ enough

Think you can’t fix the dry air of indoor heating? That’s where you’re wrong.

Charlotte Vøhtz, founder of Green People, says to try placing bowls of water near your radiators or invest in a humidifier. Especially in the bedroom where many of us spending 7-8 hours sleeping.

3. You’ve ditched fruit

Cold weather usually leaves us craving hot foods like soups and pastries, but the absence of fruit and vegetables can have a detrimental effect on our skin.

UK’s leading nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar, Dr Marilyn Glenville explains, “What we eat has an effect on the mechanisms that are associated with ageing of the body and these benefits will be reflected not only in terms of good health but also in the condition of the skin.”

“Vitamin C is the most important nutrient as this vitamin helps in the manufacturing of collagen.”

Better start packing an orange for your afternoon snack…

4. You’re using a moisturiser that’s too heavy

Many of us respond to dry skin by slathering on the heaviest moisturiser we can find. But Medical Director of Health Aesthetics Clinic, Dr Rekha Tailor, says this could do more harm that help…

“Thick and greasy moisturisers can weaken the skin’s barrier function and alter the natural function of skin self-hydration. The skin becomes addicted to the use of moisturiser and therefore is unable to self-regulate itself. It is the skins own self-regulation that keeps it looking youthful, therefore the need for the skin to self-regulate is extremely important.”

Charlotte Vøhtz agrees, and suggests that if your skin feel is feeling tight or dry at night to instead use “a facial oil based on jojoba and/or rosehip followed by a light serum.”

Turns out we’re all using too many skincare products and ‘skip-care’ is the way to go for the best skin ever

5. You’re not drinking enough water

We know it’s super hard to switch your steaming cup of tea for water, but it really is essential in winter, and unfortunately a glass or two won’t do it…

“To really hydrate well, the average person should consume approximately 2-3 litres of water per day”, says Medical Director for REVIV UK, Dr Michael Barnish. “This is water and not tea, coffee, juice or alcohol, which actually dehydrates the body, meaning we may need more water per day to keep hydrated.”

“If this seems like a lot or you need an instant hydration boost, then I would recommend a REVIV Infusion. This means having the fluid as a drip directly into your bloodstream, providing instant and effective hydration, to protect from skin for dryness.”

6. Your winter wardrobe isn’t clean

When was the last time you ran your winter accessories through the wash?

Scarves, beanies and hats provide much-needed warmth in winter, but the materials can also cause friction and harbour a lot of bacteria if not washed regularly.
“By wearing items of clothing so close to the skin of the neck and face, we are allowing bacteria direct access. These areas tend to be the most sensitive and prone to this”, says Medical Director for REVIV UK, Dr Michael Barnish.

Not only can this further irritate dryness, but it can also cause acne.

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7. You’re skipping SPF

Just because it’s -1, doesn’t mean the sun can’t get you, zapping your moisture and adding in some UV damage while it’s at it.

It’s a year-round requirement, sorry.

8. You’re not going to bed early enough

No joke, your Netflix addiction could be drying out your skin. As entertaining as Sex Education and You are, limit your episodes and make sure you hit the hay early for the sake of your skin’s rejuvenation.

“Getting your eight hours a night promotes a healthy lifestyle, enabling your body to rest properly and enable your skin to repair each day. The body makes new collagen when we sleep”, says Dora Walsh, Registered Nutritionist mBANT.

“If you’re finding it hard to sleep, you can help your body to drift off by following some key rules: Make sure you don’t eat too late or drink coffee post-lunch or alcohol. And make time to unwind and take a screen break before getting into bed.”

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