Causes of Dry Skin

If you often experience the feeling of "tight" skin, itchiness, scaling or peeling, fine lines, cracks, or ashy-ness, you'll want to read this. 

What is dry skin?

Dry skin can be defined as a loss or lack of water from the outermost layer of skin, and can stem from a multitude of things. Dry skin symptoms can range from mild to severe, and include cracks in the skin, scaling, peeling, the powder-white "ashy-ness", and the feeling of skin tightness. Factors like the time of year, where you live, and your lifestyle habits can affect your individual experiences with dry skin.

Here are 3 causes of dry skin (not limited to):

  • Harsh soaps + detergents: The skin produces its own oil called sebum that it uses to stay lubricated and protected. Most commercial cleansers are designed to strip oil from the skin in order to "clean" it, leaving little to none behind. Completely ridding your skin of its natural oils can cause dryness and leave you feeling tight, white, and reptile-like. Not to mention that most commercial "soaps" are actually detergents. Soaps differ from detergents in that real soap is derived from natural ingredients: a mixture of fats like cosmetic butters and oils (shea butter, mango butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.) with lye and water. Detergents are derived from synthetic man-made ingredients.  As you might assume, synthetic chemicals can also having a drying, damaging effect on the skin and it's moisture barrier. 
    • Excessive washing can also be causes of dry feet and dry hands. 


  • Environment/lack of moisture: As stated before, your living location plays a huge role in your skin's moisture content. The more humid the environment is, the more opportunity your skin has to remain hydrated and healthy due to the presence of water in the air. Remember, dry skin = loss or lack of water. Cold, windy climates like those northern cities and countries are bound to cause dry skin due to the lack of moisture in the air; your skin has nothing to pull water from aside from the water you physically put on it and seal in. If improperly sealing or failing to add water to the skin in colder climates or during the winter, the skin may become cracked, scaly, and extremely rough. 


  • Vitamin D deficiency: If you haven't noticed by now, our exposure to sunlight plays a role in everything. Vitamin D is vital in the synthesis of skin cells, the skin's metabolism, and its overall activity. It triggers the receptors responsible for generating the skin's barrier while also acting as an antioxidant that prevents fine lines and wrinkles. A healthy skin barrier helps lock in moisture and prevents external forces like environmental toxins and pollutants from penetrating. Lack of Vitamin D can cause severe dryness and potentially more intense skin disorders like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. 


 So what does this mean for you?

1. Use gentle cleansers! Opt for actual SOAP with cleansing oils that don't completely strip the skin of its water content. Soaps high in coconut oil tend to be drying, so be mindful of the order of the ingredients on your product labels when shopping for more natural soaps. Ingredients listed first typically comprise the majority of the product, with the amount of each ingredient decreasing as you go down the list.

2. Properly seal moisture in your skin! Winter is NOT the time to be using water-based products like lotions and creams! They evaporate out of the skin in the blink of an eye! Butters are your best friend for this time of year. You can get your hand made, moisturizing body butter right here on! Formulated with moisture-locking ingredients like shea and cocoa butters, these body butters will keep you moisturized all day long. HOWEVER, water is the only thing that can hydrate the skin. Anything else is just a sealant. Hydrate with our Sweet Vanilla Hydration Mist before applying your body butter of choice to properly seal the deal. 

3. GET YOUR SUNLIGHT! Vitamin D is not found in many foods, especially if eating a plant based diet. Oatmeal, plant milks, and mushrooms are a good place to start. Get as much sunlight as you can this winter, even if its through the window. This will help improve your skin's moisture locking barrier and function, thus helping soothe excessive dryness. 

And as always, go for clean, toxin free personal care products! Synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances are a playground for dryness and skin damage! 

Disclaimer: The content presented in this article is purely for informational purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. The content of this article is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical professional, but is for informational purposes only.

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