April 25, 2024

Dry Skin Even After Moisturising? Here Are 6 Reasons Why

Our natural response to having dry, flaky skin is using a moisturiser to combat it; then, after that, we may think that we’ve already solved our skin dryness troubles. However, that might not always be the case. 

Even after being so dedicated to your moisturising routine, it is truly frustrating still to see dryness despite the consistent hydration and moisture you nourish your skin with–which is a pretty common problem. 

Understanding the causes of dry skin, what it looks like, and the core reasons it remains dry even after applying your favourite moisturiser is the first step to finding a more effective, sustainable solution, and we’re here to guide you through it. 

What does dry skin look like?

Dry skin, or “xerosis,” is a condition that can make skin feel and look cracked, itchy, rough, and scaly

This problem happens when the skin does not have enough moisture to retain its softness. Additionally, the location of dry skin in an individual’s body varies, but it can affect different ages. 

Other signs that you have dry skin may include:

  • skin tightness
  • fine lines/cracks
  • dehydrated skin 
  • redness 

What are the causes of dry skin?

Exploring the causes of dry skin means understanding first what happens inside to comprehend how the condition forms fully.

This is how it works: dry skin results from a damaged skin barrier or a deficiency in the crucial healthy fats in the skin’s top layer. Dead cells and natural oils typically comprise this layer, helping trap moisture and retaining the skin’s softness and smoothness. If the natural oils that help your skin retain moisture deplete, the outer layer of cells can lose water, leading to dry skin.

Many triggers push this phenomenon, including heat and the environment, harsh soaps, long and hot showers, ageing, and specific medical treatments

We may see moisturisers as our skin’s lifesaver against the causes of dry skin, but sometimes, they may not work as we expect them to, and several factors prevent them from doing their job correctly. 

‘Why is my skin so dry even when I moisturise?’ Check out these 6 reasons why

1. You might be overwashing your face

We have previously established how the skin’s surface contains oil. Along with these oils are natural moisturising factors (substances made of oils and acids such as amino acids, hyaluronic acids, etc.) assigned to guard the skin’s natural moisture barrier and keep moisture in. 

If you wash your face too much, you are at high risk of removing these moisturising factors, resulting in dry skin. But how often is too often? 

There are no strict parameters for knowing how much is too much. All you can do is listen to your body and identify what your skin can tolerate. However, do note that if your skin feels irritated or tight after washing, that can be a telltale sign that you are indeed overdoing this step.  

2. You may be using a harsh cleanser or body wash

Strong cleansers may be an intuitive option for people tired of dealing with stubborn skin issues like acne, large pores, etc., especially since they may think they can just rely on moisturisers afterwards. However, harsh products can strip the skin’s natural moisture barrier, leading to irritation and dry and dehydrated skin.

Therefore, it is always safe to be kinder to your skin and choose a sulfate-free cleanser for dry skin with a more gentle formula that hydrates while washing away dirt and debris.

causes of dry skin

ZO Skin Health Hydrating Cleanser (Normal to Dry Skin)

For body care, use a dry skin body wash that’s also gentle–not stripping your skin’s essential natural layer of protective barrier lipids and oils. 

Kenkay Dry Skin Body Wash

3. Dead skin cell build-up

One of the causes of dry skin, even after moisturising is the lack of the moisturisers’ capability to reach the layer of the skin where they do their work. What prevents them from doing their jobs? Dead skin cell build-up. 

The skin experiences a lot of contact with environmental stressors daily, causing it to accumulate on the surface over time. 

When you skip exfoliation in your skincare routine, these piled-up dead skin cells stay and tend to be dry and flaky and can prevent moisturisers from penetrating your skin. Remember to exfoliate gently and regularly–a rule of thumb, do not overdo it! Or else you might end up having red and irritated skin. 

4. It may also be the weather

Whether the environment is hot or cold, both can affect skin health and lead to dry skin conditions. Prolonged exposure to the sun can be one of the causes of dry skin, just as dry air and cold weather can. 

Hot weather increases water loss in the body, ultimately leading to dehydration, which results in dry, red, and irritated skin. 

Meanwhile, a cold environment can also cause dehydration. Cold air holds less moisture and can draw moisture away from your skin, causing it to dry out.

5. Are you getting enough fluids? Dehydration can be a reason

It’s about time you added natural hydration to your skincare routine. Your regimen shouldn’t be limited to what you apply topically but also comprise the nutrients and fluids you consume. Maintaining optimal hydration throughout the day is essential for radiant, healthy-feeling skin.

Our skin’s outer layer is 15 to 20% water, and when it becomes dehydrated, it is prone to dryness and loses elasticity. 

Water helps your body in many ways, including your skin health. One hydration tip is to drink 8 ounces of water 8 times a day. Drinking water throughout the day improves hydration, helping to correct skin dryness and restore elastic properties. 

Additionally, deficiency in vitamins A and D, zinc, and iron can contribute to causes of dry skin so ensuring balanced nutrition is helpful for your skin.

6. Listen to your skin; it may need a more suitable moisturising product

Your skin may require a specific moisturiser to thrive. Different skin types have different requirements. Dry skin benefits from thicker creams that lock in moisture, while oily skin might prefer lightweight, oil-free lotions. The key is to be mindful and experiment to find the moisturiser that works best for you.

Ingredients that may help your dry skin struggles may include glycerin, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, plant butter and oils, etc. 

How do I moisturise the right way? 

Different skin different routines, but here are some tips that could maybe work for you: 

  • Moisturise after showering, in the morning, and before bedtime. Moisturisers trap moisture in your skin, so the best time to apply them is after bathing. Additionally, in the morning, you can apply a light moisturiser with SPF protection; before bedtime, a heavier product may be ideal. 
  • Use a toner, a hydrating one. Toners help prepare the skin for a moisturiser application. Get great results by applying it after the cleanser and before serums or moisturisers. 
  • Consider applying a serum. Serums can help enhance the hydrating properties of a moisturiser. A serum for dry skin should typically be applied after cleansing/toning and before moisturising. 
  • Be patient in finding the right moisturiser and routine for your skin’s needs. Find the right product and regimen that best suits your skin type or condition. Whatever you choose, remember to be gentle to your skin. 

There may be several causes of dry skin, from environmental to controlled factors. 

If you wonder why your skin remains dry even after moisturising, consider your skincare routine, the products you use, and your environment. 

Adjust as necessary and prioritise practices that promote healthy, hydrated skin.