5 Surprising Causes of Dry Skin

It’s exceedingly frustrating when our beauty routines and efforts don’t produce the results we want – especially when it comes to our skin.

Literally and figuratively, your epidermis sets the stage for how comfortable you feel in your own skin. If it’s in the midst of a breakout, you may feel self-conscious. If it’s dry, tight, and itchy, you’re bound to feel uncomfortable and irritated.

But when you’re doing everything right – like, paying attention to your skin and caring for it with a thorough skin-care regimen – why does it still feel dried out?

Top Dehydrators Causing Dry, Itchy Skin on Your Legs, Arms & Body

Let’s start by taking a look at some seemingly harmless habits that are surprisingly the top culprits of dry skin. Are one or more of these sneaky causes a part of your day-to-day?

1. Cleansing with a soap that disrupts your skin’s natural pH
Our skin’s pH is naturally slightly acidic. Without this acidity, our skin wouldn’t be able to completely protect us from harmful bacteria and various, damaging environmental factors.

Certain soaps and body washes foster an alkaline pH – which is found on the other end of the pH spectrum – which can upset the outer layers of our skin by disrupting the pH balance and removing natural oils.

The remedy? Cleansers that are pH-balanced are usually formulated to work with our skin, instead of against, by matching its slightly acidic pH level.

2. Wearing a fragrance
Deodorants and body lotions and oils that are packed with perfumes may smell fun and inviting, but they tend to dry the skin out more than provide a moisturized feel and supple complexation.

Additionally, strong smelling skin-care products usually contain a high amount of chemicals (to achieve the scent) that are very harmful to your skin.

The remedy? Scent is rarely ever better. Look for skin-care products with little to no added fragrance, or products infused with a combination of essential oils that naturally supports the hydration, strength, elasticity and firmness of your skin.

3. Smoking
Cigarettes and the accompanying smoke – whether firsthand or repeated exposure to secondhand – is exceptionally toxic to the skin. In addition to promoting premature aging and wrinkles, smoking denies the outer layers of skin critical levels of oxygen and nutrients. Alone, cigarette smoke dries the skin’s surface.

The remedy? While your skin does an incredible job of repairing itself against everyday damage, it needs your support to really thrive. Healthier, supple skin that holds moisture depends on a smoke-free life.

4. Taking medications that dry out your skin
An abundance of both over-the-counter and prescription medications warn against dry skin as a side effect. Acne medications especially – like benzoyl peroxide or retinoids – can frequently make your skin look and feel dry.

The remedy? If you suspect your dry skin is from any medication you’re taking, talk to your prescribing doctor and get insight from your dermatologist about what can be done so your skin isn’t suffering. Depending on the medication, the solution may be as simple as reducing the frequency of use, but only your doctor can make a final (and the safest) recommendation.

5. Applying a moisturizer at the wrong time
One of the biggest components to ensuring your skin stays soft, supple and well-hydrated is applying the lotion or body oil when your skin is still damp. Why? This is the most effective way to lock in moisture and help the moisturizing product to fully absorb into your skin.

The remedy? Apply your moisturizer after your shower, once you gently pat dry your skin with a towel and while your skin is still damp. If you wait too long after your shower (five minutes or more is usually too long), your skin may be too dry and absorption and moisture-locking won’t be as successful.

Your Genetics May Be Playing a Role in Your Dry Skin

It is commonly known that living and/or working in a dry air environment will quickly dry out your skin, but the very skin you’re actually living in may also be more prone to dry, flaky skin than the average person.

Some body oils tend to work well for genetically dry skin, as they are inherently natural and hold moisture better than other products – allowing moisture to be absorbed into your skin, making it soft and supple.

How to Relieve Severe Dry Skin on Yours Hands

While we’re on the subject of surprising causes of dry skin, we can’t ignore the hands – as the skin on your hands endure a lot and can quickly dry out.

Just like bathing too often, especially in hard and/or hot water, washing your hands frequently (especially in hard/hot water) can lead to intense dry skin on yours hands. But don’t stop washing your hands! There’s an easy solution for this dry skin issue.

To get your hands looking and feeling good, try to wash your hands in lukewarm water. Once you pat dry your hands, immediately apply a moisturizing lotion or oil while your hands are still damp for the absorption.

Dry Skin Quiz: How to Get Rid of Dry Skin on Your Legs, Arms & Body

Preventing and treating cracked, itchy, uncomfortable epidermis starts with understanding the many facets of dry skin.

Test your knowledge, then discover how to get rid of dry skin on your legs, arms and body using a powerful, comprehensive solution that gives dry skin the entire spectrum of support it needs.

Question 1: True or False: Most cases of dry skin are caused by external and environmental factors.

Answer 1: True. Dry skin is a completely natural and normal occurrence in most instances. While some diseases and infections can also cause dry skin, it’s significantly more common for things like tough weather conditions, hot water, harsh skin-care products, dry air, prolonged exposure to water, and other factors to disrupt the skin’s protective barrier and strip it of its natural oils – the oils that are essential to keeping your skin soft, supple and moisturized.

Because most causes of dry skin are relatively easy to relieve, there is a dry skin remedy for your body.

Relieve Dry Skin | Next Question

Question 2: What is the best way to relieve your dry skin?
A: Apply a comprehensive moisturizing oil or cream after your shower, once you gently pat dry your skin with a towel and while your skin is still damp.
B: Wash your body with a pH-balanced soap or cleanser.
C: Quit smoking and/or remove yourself from an environment with second-hand smoke.
D: Talk with your doctor about whether any medications you’re taking is drying out your skin.

Answer 2: F: ALL OF THE ABOVE. Your dry skin is more than likely a direct result of simple, everyday habits you have. The good news is, with little tweaks to your routine, you can enjoy smooth, comfortable skin in no time.

Discover a Comprehensive Moisturizing Oil | Next Question

Question 3: What is the most common area on the body for dry skin to form?
A: Face
B: Legs
C: Lips
D: Hands

Answer 3: B: Legs. While dry skin can form anywhere on your body, including your scalp, the most common place for it to form is on the legs. Closely following the legs is the hands and forearms. But since everybody is different, your skin may experience other areas that are more susceptible to dryness than the legs, such as the sensitive skin under your nose or your elbows. Once you know the intricacies of your skin, you can help every area look and feel its best.

Relieve Your Driest Areas | Next Question

Question 4: What is the main (and usually first) symptom of dry skin?
A: Redness
B: Scarring
C: Itchiness
D: Blisters

Answer 4: C: Itchiness Yes, that incredibly annoying and uncomfortable feeling is the main symptom of dry skin. As your skin becomes drier, and you cave to the itchiness, you may notice your skin becomes slightly red and flaky. Without any relief, your dry skin will worsen, which, in turn, will cause your symptoms to become more irritating.

Alleviate the Itch Now | Next Question

Question 5: True or False: Dry skin can be caused by a genetic condition.

Answer 5: True. Ichthyosis – a genetic condition that causes dry skin – can appear in many forms. The most common types are ichthyosis vulgaris and atopic dermatitis. With ichthyosis vulgaris, for example, skin can begin to look like fish scales.

With any severe dry skin issue – like the formation of large skin flakes – it’s best to consult with your dermatologist.

For persistent, everyday dry skin, give a natural body oil a try. Certain body oils are inherently natural and allow moisture to be quickly and effectively absorbed into your skin, giving you soft, supple skin.

Try a Breakthrough Body Oil

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Dry Skin Remedy for Body

Moisturize & Nourish Your Skin with a Comprehensive Body Oil

Not all moisturizers are created equal, and your skin needs a powerful, all-encompassing product that will help it stay healthy, hydrated and glowing.

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