Do you have skin that feels tight, rough, itchy, and flaky? You probably have dry skin.
Dry skin is easily identified. It can affect the whole body but is usually more prevalent on the face, hands, and legs. It appears flaky, thin, not very elastic, and fragile to the eye. Its complexion is usually dull and pale with an unhealthy appearance. To the touch, dry skin feels rough, dehydrated, unevenly textured, taut, or even cracked. It can be itchy.
DRY SKIN: CHARACTERISTICS
Normally composed of 95 percent fatty substances that act as a barrier and 5 percent water-soluble molecules that moisturize the skin by retaining water, the hydro-lipid film is a very thin layer that protects the skin from external factors and regulates the passage of substances to and from the outside world.
In dry skin, the hydro-lipid film does not work properly causing either a lack of lipids or a lack of water. When this happens, the skin becomes parched and the characteristics of dry skin begin to appear: fragility, low elasticity, thin skin, roughness, flaking, almost invisible pores and rare blackheads and rashes, dehydration, red spots, itchy feeling, small fine wrinkles around the eyes and lips.
Another characteristic/consequence of dry skin is premature aging. In fact, dry skin tends to have more wrinkles than other skin types, starting at a young age.
DRY SKIN: THE CAUSES
Skin dehydration can depend on several factors that are not always easy to identify. Let's have a look together at the most common causes:
ENVIRONMENT and CLIMATE
External environmental humidity affects the percentage of water in the surface layers of the epidermis. Therefore, after prolonged exposure to UV rays, cold, wind, or air conditioning, you may have noticed your skin tends to dry out gradually.
As you may already know, skin also has its phases of life. It is therefore normal that, with advancing age, the skin naturally tends to dehydrate, which also results in skin thinning, qualitative and quantitative alteration of collagen, and depletion of the hydro-lipid film.
Adequate water intake plays a key role on the appearance and well-being of the skin. To ensure the right level of skin hydration, in addition to water and moisturizing beverages, it is good to incorporate the right amount of unsaturated fatty acids, proteins, vitamins (especially A), and amino acids into one's diet-which ensure the proper functioning of the dermis. Likewise, it is good to avoid foods that are too salty. Salt, in fact, draws water from the surface cells of the skin, which, in this way, becomes dehydrated.
We always say it, and we will never tire of repeating it: the choice of cosmetics for the skincare routine is crucial for the well-being of the skin. Our advice is to prefer and choose products with a dermatologically tested formulation (preferably on sensitive skin) and with active ingredients and principles suited to one's needs. Rich and nourishing formulas are a must to rebalance the moisture level of dry skin.
Some pharmaceuticals, such as diuretics and hormonal contraceptives, can promote skin dehydration and, therefore, the appearance of dry skin.