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Dry Skin 101: What Causes Dry and Cracked Skin?

There are a few conditions that are more annoying than dry and cracked skin.

It makes your skin red, itchy, irritated, and it’s a terrible nuisance. But what causes dry skin? Well, the obvious, proximate cause is a lack of moisture.

But there’s often more to it than that. Dry skin isn’t all that uncommon, and anyone who lives in dry climates is very familiar with it. Of course, the onset of winter signals the need to break out the moisturizer, because you can expect extremely dry skin during the cold months.

Common Causes of Dry and Cracked Skin

Yet there are other causes of dry, flaky skin. Some of these might hint at underlying medical conditions. Others could result from some of the health and beauty products you might be using.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common causes of dry skin below.

1. Soap

Soaps and shampoos have a tendency to suck moisture out of your skin. This is because they are generally designed to remove oil. So look for gentle soaps and shampoos that are infused with moisturizers.

2. Fragrance

Believe it or not, products with fragrance can irritate or dry out the skin.

A fragrance is defined as chemicals that produce a certain aroma, and are found in perfumes and deodorants. Check the ingredients of lotions and body oils, and look for ones that say “fragrance-free.”

3. Genetics

Yes, dry skin may be the result of genetics.

If you’re unlucky enough to have the “right” genetic mélange to produce hereditary dry skin, you’ll need to find ways to cope. Find the best moisturizer for dry skin, and use it religiously.

4. Excessive Showering

Now, don’t get us wrong. Showering often and staying clean is a good thing.

But it’s also true that long, hot showers can have the counterintuitive effect of drying out your skin. We know that hot showers are the best kind of showers, particularly in the winter.

So, if you’re addicted to them, be sure to apply a moisturizing lotion as soon as you’re finished.

5. Excessive Hand Washing

In these days of a global pandemic, hand washing is all the rage.

But you must have noticed by now that persistent hand washing tends to produce raw, cracked skin on your fingers. You can ameliorate this problem by washing in lukewarm water rather than hot, use soaps with moisturizers, and blot your hands dry after washing.

If you can’t use a soap with moisturizers, try applying a hand ointment after washing.

6. Hard Water

Hard water is another cause of skin dryness. Water is “hard” when it has concentrations of minerals, and these tend to increase dry skin. So make sure you get your hard water treated.

7. Aging

Getting old isn’t fun. And this is true for your skin, too. With age, our skin produces fewer oils to stave off dryness.

So, as you get older, be sure to apply moisturizing cream every day.

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Dry and cracked skin is thirsty skin. So remember to keep it moisturized, and look out for these common causes of skin dryness.

If you’re looking for beauty and skincare advice, we’ve got you covered. Please check out our site for more great tips.