Dry Skin – What You Need to Know

Our skin is something we should all be taking care of, and while it’s multi-billion-dollar industry, with superstars regularly sharing their routines, knowing your skin is the first place when it comes to good skincare.

If you have dry skin, this can cause you a lot of trouble, which is why we’ve delved into the issue below.

Difference between dry and hydrated skin

While dry skin is a skin type, which can affect anyone and be combated a number of ways, there’s also dehydrated skin.

This can also affect anyone, but both are different, so it’s important to know if you have dry skin or dehydrated skin so you know how to tackle it. The differences are:

Dry Skin

  • Can be flaky
  • Feels rough
  • Looks dry

Dehydrated skin

  • Feels tight
  • Looks dull
  • Feels rough
  • Can be sensitive
  • Shows fine lines
  • Shows accelerated ageing signs

What causes dry skin

While dry skin can happen naturally, just like oily skin, there are a number of other things that can cause your skin to become dry and irritable.

These include:

  • Unbalanced skin pH
  • Cold weather
  • Dry air
  • Washing skin too excessively
  • Exposure to harsh chemical
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Skin conditions – psoriasis/dermatitis etc
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Spending too much time in direct sunlight

While some of these are medical conditions, not all of them are, and there are ways to help combat dry skin. But, knowing your skin is important too.

Skin pH

While you may hear of Ph and instantly think of school science, acidic water and RS Components pH meters, think again, as pH is a huge part of skincare. And, as mentioned above, it can have a huge influence on how dry your skin is.

Standing for ‘potential for hydration’, pH is measured on a 0 – 14 scale, with anything below seven considered acidic, and those above seven being considered alkaline. You may be surprised to learn that the uppermost layers of your skin are naturally acidic, so acidic skincare products are fine, and won’t leave you dry.

However, the average skin pH is around 4.7, with men’s being more acidic than women’s skin. But, you need to make sure you know your pH, because using the wrong pH level can worsen issues like dry skin.

This is why you should look for pH balanced skincare. While most of them are, here’s a list of the common pH ranges for major skincare products:

  • Cleansers: pH 4.5–7
  • Toners: pH 5–7
  • Sunscreens: pH 5–7.5
  • AHA and BHA Exfoliants: pH 3.2–3.9, with any reading between 3 and 4 considered most effective
  • Moisturizers: pH 5–7
  • Serums: pH 4–6
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) products: pH 2.6–3.2
  • Retinol products: pH 3.7–5

How to relieve dry skin

Now that you know the major skincare categories and pH levels, you should be able to make an educated purchase for your skincare. 

However, to help you along, we’ve provided six helpful tips below on how to keep dry skin at bay.

  1. Moisturise daily
  2. Use a gentle cleanser
  3. Exfoliate to remove excess skin
  4. Improve your bathing habits
  5. Use an humidifier
  6. If this fails, see a specialist as you may need medication

And there you have it, a quick guide to dry skin, what causes it and how to care for it.