Is your skin feeling particularly uncomfortable these days? And you have no idea why it’s suddenly gone all tight and flaky? Your everyday habits might actually be making things worse.

Why is my skin feeling dry?

Your skin becomes dry when it is unable to hold moisture in. This can lead to an uncomfortable, tight feeling, and possibly a rough texture. Know what I’m talking about?

According to Charmaine Burgers, Medical Representative for Bioderma South Africa, “one cause is an alteration of the hydrolipidic film or lipid-barrier that covers the skin’s outermost layer.” This layer of healthy fats helps to seal in moisture. Another cause could be a problem with the cement between your corneocytes – the surface layer of dead skin cells,” explains Burgers. Normally these are packed tight like a brick wall but if the cement between the bricks is weakened, it can leave big gaps where moisture can escape and irritants can come in.

Do I have eczema?

It can be tricky to know if you just have plain old dry skin, or if you might be suffering from eczema. Essentially, a routine geared towards dry and sensitive skin will also work if you have underlying eczema. If you experience a flare-up, however, you might need to see a doctor for a cortisone prescription.

“One of the first signs of eczema is a feeling of discomfort,” explains Burgers. “During a flare-up you might experience redness, itching, and a scaly texture.” If you are worried, it’s best to head over to a doctor, who will be able to prescribe a topical treatment and a proper skincare regime.

Is my skin sensitive?

“Sensitive skin has a poor barrier function, and because of this, it will react to things like fragrances in products, as well as certain ingredients,” says Burgers. If you find that your skin goes red really easily after applying products, if you experience any tingling or itching sensations, or if you are noticing a patchy texture, you should rather swap to products that have been developed for sensitive skin. Remember that sensitive skin can also be oily — acne-prone skin is particularly sensitive. This skin type does, however, require different care than dry skin to prevent congestion and breakouts.

Are you making your dry skin worse? Drop these habits in the sin bin

Go easy on the exfoliation

So your skin is all dry and flaky, and the first instinct is to scrub-a-dub so that it feels nice and smooth again. I’ve been there. The problem is that you’re actually stripping away the little moisture that’s left on your skin, and thinning out an already thin skin barrier.

“Do not use a washcloth and opt for an ultra-gentle cleanser without soap, fragrance or parabens,” says Burgers. If you want to exfoliate, go for creams with urea and lactic acid instead, which will hydrate and gently loosen dead skin cells.

Avoid those long hot showers

I know, cold winter weather practically pushes you to linger a little longer in a steaming shower, or to dip into that indulgent bathtub. Unfortunately all that heat can leave your skin even dryer!

According to Burgers, “the maximum temperature of water should be around 35-36°C so that you don’t make the itching worse.” She also recommends you opt for a short bath or shower, 5-10 minutes once a day.

After showering, gently pat dry with a soft towel and follow immediately with rich creams and oils to replenish your essential lipid barrier.

Yeah, those heaters aren’t helping either

Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin. It’s probably a better idea to wrap up in warm clothes and blankets than blasting the heat.

You can also try a humidifier

If you’re really keen on that fireplace (let’s be honest, who isn’t?), you can help to balance out the moisture in the air with a humidifier. This is a fantastic addition to your home in general if you struggle with dry skin.

Don’t skimp on sleep

Not getting enough sleep? This could be another cause of dry, tight skin. Poor sleep can affect your skin’s pH, leading to an imbalance and moisture loss. So make sure you are getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night.

Win a Bioderma Atoderm Hamper worth R1500!

When it comes to treating dry and sensitive skin, I am a huge fan of Bioderma. Their Atoderm range works on dry, very dry, sensitive and atopic skin, strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier and boosting hyaluronic acid reserves – and the body cream is like velvet! 

The Hydrabio range is specifically formulated for dehydrated sensitive skin.It contains Aquagenium, a biological patent helps the skin to generate its own hydration while restoring the skin barrier.

One lucky 9Lives reader will win a Bioderma hamper worth R1500, with goodies from their Atoderm and Hydrabio ranges! To enter, share one fact about dry skin from the article in the comments section below.

Competition ends 16 July 2018. One entry per person.  


This post was sponsored by Bioderma

Author

I am a lifestyle blogger from Cape Town trying to find the best ways to spend my time, take care of my body and express myself. I am slightly obsessed with fragrances, sneakers, Jamie Oliver and Masterchef Australia. Oh, and I probably drink way too much wine.

67 Comments

  1. Kim August Reply

    Poor sleep can affect your skin’s pH, leading to an imbalance and moisture loss. (PS i didn’t know that!!)

  2. Anusha Naidoo Reply

    Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin.

  3. Phophi Nikki Reply

    A humidifier is a good idea to invest in if you have dry skin

  4. Janet Perry Reply

    Dry skin may be caused by an alteration of the hydrolipidic film or lipid-barrier that covers the skin’s outermost layer. This layer of healthy fats helps to seal in moisture.

  5. 6-8 hours quality sleep is important to maintain healthy skin.

  6. Vanessa Cooke Reply

    the maximum temperature of shower water should be around 35-36°C .

  7. Vanessa Cooke Reply

    the maximum temperature of shower water should be around 35-36°C .

  8. Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin.

  9. Ensure you get enough sleep, drink enough water and make sure you do not use to high temperatures in the shower. Not higher than 36 degrees.

  10. Lynnith Andreou Reply

    Poor sleep can affect your skin’s pH, leading to an imbalance and moisture loss. This I have noticed before, especially when the kids were younger and waking me up all hours!

  11. Layla Basha Reply

    You can help to balance out the moisture in the air with a humidifier. This is a fantastic addition to your home in general if you struggle with dry skin.👌💖
    Fingers crossed

  12. Carolyn Augustus Reply

    The maximum temperature of shower water should be around 35-36°C .

  13. Nicole Hapgood-Strickland Reply

    If you really need to have a heater on in winter, balance out the dry air with a humidifier 😉 it’ll stop your skin from drying out. Or better yet, just get cosy with more clothes and a comfy blanket!

  14. Anthea Williams Reply

    Air-conditioning and heating units and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin.

  15. Jennifer Chunilall Reply

    The maximum temperature of the water that you should shower in should be around 35-36°C .Try to avoid heaters and airconditioners. Rather wrap yourself up warmly.

  16. Air condo ,heaters and crackling firescan contribute dry skin too!

  17. Dry skin is due to the fact your skin can’t hold moisture in. Which my skin definitely cannot!

  18. The comfy warm heater which we all are using in the winter an make your dry skin worse. Dit dries out the air and leaves your skin feeling flakey and dry.

  19. Yeah, those heaters aren’t helping

    Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin. It’s probably a better idea to wrap up in warm clothes and blankets than blasting the heat.

  20. One cause of dry skin is an alteration of the hydrolipidic film or lipid-barrier that covers the skin’s outermost layer.

  21. Kim Basson Reply

    – Dry skin may be caused by an alteration of the hydrolipidic film or lipid-barrier that covers the skin’s outermost layer. This layer of healthy fats helps to seal in moisture.

    – Not getting enough sleep & you need to go easy on exfoliation

  22. Imogen Searra Reply

    Do not use a washcloth and opt for an ultra-gentle cleanser without soap, fragrance or parabens

  23. Sara Findlay Reply

    After showering, gently pat dry with a soft towel and follow immediately with rich creams and oils to replenish your essential lipid barrier

  24. Not getting enough sleep could be another cause of dry, tight skin. Poor sleep can affect your skin’s pH, leading to an imbalance and moisture loss. Make sure you are getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night.
    Never new this – very interesting as I am menopausal can’t sleep and my skin gets dryer and dryer.

    Would love to try this range!

  25. Better to dress warmly than use heaters or hot air conditioning, but when it’s so cold it’s difficult 🙂

  26. Leanne Vermeulen Reply

    Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin.

  27. Air-conditioning, heating units, and comforting crackling fire, all contribute to dry skin.

    I would loooove to win this😊

  28. Sashnee Rambaly Reply

    Your skin becomes dry when it is unable to hold moisture in.Poor sleep can affect your skin’s pH, leading to an imbalance and moisture loss. So make sure you are getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night.

  29. Air-conditioning and heating units, can contribute to dry skin.

  30. Mosima Makgatho Reply

    if you have dry skin, use warm water and not hot water. Don’t take long hot showers and apply your moisturizer immediately after washing. Also , be gentle with your skin and avoid touching your skin during the day. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen !!!!

  31. Mosima Makgatho Reply

    One fact about dry skin is that you have to apply sunscreen everyday because the sun causes damage to skin. There are health risks such as skin cancer and melanoma. The sun causes brown spots, freckles ,moles, wrinkling and can dry out the skin. The sun on skin moisture levels is similar to the effect of ageing. When you are exposed to ultraviolet rays, collagen in the middle layer of skin breaks down faster than normal. Collagen is the protein in skin and provides elasticity and firmness. Also it helps form the skin’s moisture shield. Therefore, the breakdown of collagen also causes moisture loss. Always wear a high-protection sunscreen and ensure your facial moisturiser contains SPF too.

  32. Not getting enough sleep? This could be another cause of dry, tight skin. Poor sleep can affect your skin’s pH, leading to an imbalance and moisture loss. So make sure you are getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night.

  33. Don’t over-exfoliate, Don’t use a washcloth and opt for an ultra-gentle cleanser without soap, fragrance or parabens 👌🏼

  34. The Hydrabio range is specifically formulated for dehydrated sensitive skin..

  35. Sonja Nothnagel Reply

    Air-conditioning, heating units and even the fire in your favorite fireplace, can contribute to dry skin.

  36. Karin Gerber Reply

    The fact I can identify most, is that heaters are not good for dry skin. I love Winter, but struggle with the hot / situations due to my Rosacea and allergies. Thanks for recommending the use of humidifiers, will give it it a try! x

  37. Ranal Sewnarain Reply

    Not getting enough sleep can lead to having dry skin as well. Exfoliating regularly can also be another cause of dry and tight skin.

  38. Candice Vincent Reply

    Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin. 

  39. If you struggle with dry skin in general, an air humidifier can be a great addition to your house.

  40. The lipid barrier helps seal in moisture, when this is compromised there are large gaps where moisture escapes and irritants set in. I would love to try out the range as I myself suffer with ichthyosis and very dry skin.

  41. Galaletsang Reply

    After showering, gently pat dry with a soft towel and follow immediately with rich creams and oils to replenish your essential lipid barrier.

    Wasn’t aware of this and now I get why my skin has been drying out on me and looking rusty.

  42. Karin Snyman Reply

    Heater in car! It feels like yout skin has burned in the sun. Not nice!

  43. You should avoid long hot showers as it can make your dry skin even worse.

  44. Riekie Rennie Reply

    Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin.

  45. Thea lennox Reply

    The maximum temperature of shower water should be around 35-36°C .

  46. Not enough sleep can cause dry skin. Make sure you are getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night.

  47. Do not use washcloths and opt for an ultra gentle cleanser without soap fragrance or parabens..

  48. Your skin becomes dry when it is unable to hold moisture in. This can lead to an uncomfortable, tight feeling, and possibly a rough texture

  49. Cornéll Botha Reply

    Your skin becomes dry when it is unable to hold moisture in. This can lead to an uncomfortable, tight feeling, and possibly a rough texture

  50. Ashleighte Fuller Reply

    Your skin becomes dry when it is unable to hold moisture in. This can lead to an uncomfortable, tight feeling and possibly a rough texture.

  51. Lesley Hofmann Reply

    Exfoliate with creams with urea and lactic acid which will hydrate and gently loosen dead skin cells.

  52. Tracy Jacobs Reply

    The maximum temperature of the water that you should shower in should be around 35-36°C .Try to avoid heaters and airconditioners. Rather wrap yourself up warmly.

  53. Air-conditioning and heating units, and even that comforting crackling fire, can all contribute to dry skin.

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