Why your skin dries out and what you can do about it.

Lots of water = lots of moisture. You think, but is that the case?

Especially in winter, it is often rainy or it snows. Nevertheless, you often have itchy skin. What are the causes of dry skin when you are surrounded by water?

Water is counterproductive as far as the moisture balance of the skin is concerned. It even leads to a lack of moisture! But more about that in a moment.

We will briefly explain when water can be harmful to the skin, why you feel dry even with normal or oily skin, and what you can do against dry skin in general.

In our last article, we told you how to determine your skin type with a simple skin analysis. One of those skin types was dry skin (or sensitive skin). We also showed you what you can do about it. Namely, use the right care for dry skin - very simple, without any mumbo-jumbo.

Now you may have found out that you don't have sensitive skin. Yet sometimes you have dry skin - is that possible?

Yes, of course! Dry skin in winter has nothing to do with skin type.

Just because your car has a bigger tank than others, you still need gas to drive. Right?

So let's get back into this now.

Dehydrated skin is why your skin is tight and feels chapped. Do you have normal or combination skin? Then you probably know the feeling when you step out of the shower. After a short while, it feels like someone is pulling on your facial skin from behind.

Not only that: if your skin is particularly dry, visible skin flakes form, and your skin looks tired and sallow.

Nobody wants that. What is the reason for this?

Responsible for it is a lack of moisture - who would have thought that!

The effect is like someone letting all the air out of a balloon.

Now imagine your skin like a balloon and the knot is the skin barrier. The skin barrier is made up of a horny layer held together by horny lipids. Often the skin barrier is compared to a brick wall in structure. Horny layer = brick, horny fat = mortar. Get it?

The denser this composite of the horny layer and horny fat is, the healthier and more resistant the skin is.

If the skin loses the horny fat, the skin barrier begins to crumble. It becomes permeable. The skin dries out and reacts irritated and sensitive. In the case of sensitive and dry skin, not enough fat is produced that can be carried to the outer skin layer. This leads to a permanent feeling of stress.

Now the whole thing can become even more extreme due to external influences.

Temperature fluctuations, extreme cold or heat cause the skin to release more moisture. Low humidity causes the skin to dry out more quickly. Heat causes the skin to sweat more and thus release moisture. In cold weather, the blood vessels constrict and fewer nutrients are transported to the skin. The protective function of the skin is thus further reduced.

What was that again after showering?

Water can dry out the skin by removing fats and dehydrating the skin. Especially aggressive shower gels and shampoos designed for more stubborn cases than skin contain surfactants that strip the facial skin of more oil than necessary. However, as we learned above, oil within the skin is necessary to retain moisture and strengthen the skin barrier. By the way, the same applies to the use of hand soap.

The more mature the skin becomes, the less able it is to produce its oils. This, in turn, causes the skin to dry out as it ages, which means it is more dehydrated than it used to be. This leads to deeper furrows and wrinkles.

It's no surprise that as we age, skincare becomes much richer. By the way, we're talking about creams for men here, not lotions anymore. We'll explain the difference in a separate blog entry.

The drier the skin, the more dangerous it becomes: Less moisture leads to the skin's protective barrier weakening. This also means that harmful substances can penetrate the skin more easily.

Consequently, the skin becomes more sensitive, reacts irritated and reddened. The risk of irritation and inflammation increases.

Due to this additional stress, the skin needs more time to recover and regenerate.

And, you guessed it: this, in turn, makes the skin more susceptible to pollutants.

It's a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.

So, what is the right skincare for dry skin? What are skincare tips that apply equally to every skin type, men and women alike?

Care tip for protection from the inside:

Moisture passed from the inside to the top layer can prevent dehydration. It is therefore essential to drink enough. Especially during sports, you should make sure you drink enough water to compensate for sweating.
Care tip for external protection:

Supply your skin with sufficient moisture. Sounds banal, but it is. Use moisturizing face care for this.
Pay attention to your skin type. The drier your skin type, the more lipids your face care should contain - so it should be richer.
Protect your skin in nature. When it's raining, windy, and sunny, make sure your skin stays protected. Be it through hats, scarves, shawls, gloves.... the more protection, the better your skin will feel.
Avoid excessive cleansing. It is not necessary to use shower gel on your entire body or even face every day. Often, the intimate areas are quite enough.
Avoid over-cleansing your face. Use mild facial cleansers to avoid unnecessarily stripping the skin of oils. Use an exfoliator no more than twice a week. Dry skin should avoid exfoliation altogether if necessary.
Avoid smoking and alcohol. This is quite simple. Smoking contains toxins that attack the skin. Alcohol causes increased sweating as it breaks down. (This doesn't necessarily apply to alcohol in cleansing products like toners or gels, though. But another article on that sometime).
Try it for yourself if you feel your skin has been feeling too dry lately.