Staying hydrated means more than just drinking water. Your skin needs to stay hydrated, too. While drinking plenty of water does help, you might not be aware of all the things your skin has to combat to stay moisturized and supple.
Here are five surprising causes of dry skin:
Lotion: This is a big surprise, right? Perhaps you’ve been buying lotion by the vat to combat dry skin. Believe it or not, you could be making the problem worse. While it may certainly feel like your lotion is adding moisture to your skin, certain dehydrating ingredients could be taking moisture away. Be sure you use a fragrance-free moisturizer for dry skin. You’ll want to avoid lotions and moisturizers with ingredients like sulfates or alcohol. Opt for products with ceramides, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid instead.
Soap: This can be one of the most drying things you use on your skin. The ingredients of some types and brands of soap are just too harsh, especially if your skin is sensitive or prone to dryness. Avoid soaps with synthetic dyes; that bar of soap you love in that gorgeous color could wreak havoc on your skin. Stay away from soaps with lots of heavy perfumes and scents, too. They’ll zap your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Hard water: What could be more moisturizing than water itself? Well, certainly not hard water. Hard water contains minerals that can irritate your skin. If you have hard water in your home, a water softener can condition the water to make it a friend instead of a foe.
Cold weather: Old man winter can be rough on your skin. A combination of low temperatures and frigid wind can pack a punch. Without humidity moisture in the air, your skin can dry out easily. Heading inside to warm up can make things even worse. That warm, dry indoor air can also suck away your skin’s natural hydration. Running a humidifier indoors during the winter, especially while you sleep, can help give you dry skin relief in the wintertime. It can ease stuffed-up nasal passages, too.
The sun: If you’ve ever had a sunburn and watched as your skin dried up and peeled off, then you already know that the sun can be tough on your skin. What you might not know is that the sun's UV rays damage skin cells. Damaged or even dead skill cells cause dry skin. Exposure to the sun's UV rays literally dehydrates that skin's outer layer leaving dry, flaky skin behind. Over time, too much sun will take away the smooth, youthful look of your skin, too.
What to Use Instead of Soap for Dry Skin
Sometimes, you might just need to rinse off with some water. If you hop in the shower, don't turn the water all the way too hot. Overly hot water can also strip your skin of moisture. If you need more than a quick rinse, a cleansing oil is another non-soap option. High-quality cleansing oils will cling to the dirt and grime and let you rinse them away while leaving your skin supple and moist. You can use something natural, like jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, or you can opt for a commercial cleansing oil product.
You might not be ready to ditch conventional soap altogether. So if you’re looking for dry skin soap, you might want to try something natural. There are many options, but the important thing is to choose one made with high-quality oils and fats, such as olive or coconut oil. There are also a lot of dermatologist-approved options that are gentle on your skin. Whatever you choose, avoid the following potentially harmful ingredients:
Sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS)
Propylene or butylene glycols
You don’t have to grab for a bar of soap, either. A creamy body wash works wonders, too. Whatever your use for your body may or may not be the perfect option for your face. Use a gentle face wash for dry skin like CeraVe or Purpose.