What Makes My Skin So Dry?

Itchy and dry skin can be a simple issue to identify, but the root cause may be less obvious. The culprit is often a lack of moisture, but the question remains – where does this deficiency come from? In reality, dry skin occurs due to an impaired skin barrier and a deficit or dysfunction of healthy fats in the outermost layer of the skin. The uppermost layer typically consists of expired skin cells and natural oils that retain moisture and keep skin supple. Insufficient moisture may result if protective oils are depleted, leading to dry skin.

Generally, dry skin is not a significant issue. It is prevalent among individuals of all ages and can appear on various body parts, such as the hands, face, legs, and stomach. Dryness may cause redness, flakiness, or itchiness, which can be unpleasant, but overall, it does not usually pose a major concern.

Occasionally, severe dryness of the skin can indicate an underlying health condition. If the dryness begins to interfere with your daily routine, causing disruptions to work or sleep or leading to cracked or bleeding skin, seeking medical attention is advised. It is recommended to consult with your primary care physician or a board-certified dermatologist.

Who Develops Excessively Dry Skin?

Dry skin can affect anyone, but certain individuals are more prone to experiencing excessive dryness due to a variety of age-related factors, specific health conditions, and lifestyle choices.

Age-Related Factors

Age plays a significant role in skin health, influencing its moisture levels and vulnerability to dryness.

  • Infants and Children: Young skin is delicate and prone to dryness. Conditions like atopic dermatitis are common in this age group.
  • Older Adults: As people age, their skin naturally becomes drier due to decreased oil production and thinner skin layers, making them more prone to xerosis (dry skin).

Diseases and Health Conditions

Certain diseases and health conditions directly impact the skin’s ability to retain moisture, leading to increased dryness.

  • Diabetes: Individuals with diabetes often experience skin dryness as a complication due to changes in blood glucose levels affecting skin hydration.
  • Kidney Disease: This condition can alter the balance of fluids and nutrients in the body, leading to drier skin.
  • Psoriasis and Eczema: These inflammatory skin diseases are characterized by dry, itchy patches of skin.
  • Thyroid Disorders: Hypothyroidism can reduce the production of oils in the skin, causing dryness.
  • Cancer: Certain cancer treatments can alter skin cells, leading to increased dryness and sensitivity.

Lifestyle and Environmental Factors

Lifestyle choices and environmental conditions play a crucial role in the health and hydration levels of our skin

  • Weather and Climate: Living in areas with low humidity or experiencing extreme weather conditions (hot or cold) can cause the skin to lose moisture.
  • Occupational Hazards: Jobs that require frequent hand washing or exposure to chemicals can lead to dry skin.
  • Bathing Habits: Frequent, long hot showers or baths can strip the skin of its natural oils.
  • Use of Harsh Skin Products: Regular use of products containing alcohol or harsh chemicals can exacerbate skin dryness.
  • Diet and Hydration: Poor diet and inadequate water intake can affect skin health, leading to dryness.
  • Sun Exposure: Prolonged exposure to the sun without protection can dehydrate the skin and damage its surface layer.

Some Common Causes of Dry Skin

When faced with dry skin, your initial reaction may be to slather on moisturizer. Although this provides temporary relief, the root cause of dryness must be addressed for a more long-term solution. Investigating the underlying factors contributing to your skin’s dryness leads to optimal results. Let’s go over some of the most common causes of dry skin to help you determine why your skin is so dry.

Fragrance-Filled Skincare Products

It is advisable to refrain from using skincare products and deodorants that contain fragrance, as it has a knack for aggravating dry skin or inducing an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis. The skin may require multiple exposures to develop a reaction, or it may occur on the very first instance. Examine the ingredient list for the term “fragrance” and opt for “fragrance-free” alternatives. It is better to avoid body lotions and creams that contain an abundance of perfumes, as they can sometimes do more harm than good.

Soaps, Detergents, and Shampoos

To maintain the natural moisture of your skin and scalp, it is crucial to be mindful of the products used in your daily hygiene routine. Soaps, detergents, and shampoos are often designed to eliminate excess oil but can also strip away essential moisture. It is recommended to opt for moisturizing body washes instead of abrasive bar soaps and gentle laundry detergents rather than harsh fabric softeners or detergents. Dermatologists have advised against the use of harsh products for people with dry skin. Choose your personal care and laundry products carefully to protect your skin’s hydration levels.


It turns out that dry skin may be yet another trait inherited from your parents. According to researchers, mutations in genes responsible for producing the protein filaggrin, which aids in forming and hydrating the skin’s barrier, can lead to various skin conditions. Those with these mutations, constituting about 10% of the population, tend to have drier skin and are more prone to developing eczema. If you have a history of dry skin in your family, it is important to adopt a diligent daily moisturizing routine.

Hard Water

If your tap water contains an abundance of minerals, particularly magnesium and calcium, it is referred to as hard water. The presence of these minerals causes dryness by leaving a coating on the skin. You can mitigate this issue by investing in a home filtration system that can either be a whole-house treatment or attached to the faucet. Incorporating skin-care products that contain vitamins A and C into your routine can also be beneficial in counteracting the deposited coating from hard water.

Let Summers Laboratories Help With Your Dry Skin

Dry skin can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant condition, but it does not have to take over your life. By understanding the underlying causes of dryness and adopting a daily moisturizing routine with products that do not contain harsh ingredients or fragrances, you can keep your skin hydrated without sacrificing comfort. 

At Summers Laboratories, we offer our customers a wide variety of skincare solutions specifically designed for those suffering from dry skin. Shop our collection today and start reclaiming smooth soft skin!

Cutemol Emollient Cream – Best Lotion for Dry Skin: 

Experience the ultimate solution for severe dry skin with SummerLab’s Cutemol Emollient Cream – your best ally in combating dryness. This expertly crafted lotion is specifically designed for those who suffer from the most challenging forms of skin dryness.

  • Key Features of Cutemol Emollient Cream:
  1. Infused with natural beeswax, this cream provides an exceptionally rich and nourishing experience, perfectly suited for extremely dry skin.
  2. Unlike regular moisturizers, Cutemol’s unique formulation creates a protective barrier on your skin. This barrier not only manages water loss but also helps maintain your skin’s natural defenses against harsh environmental elements.
  3. The cream offers instant relief from discomfort, and with regular use, it promotes long-term healing of dry, cracked skin.


  • Michael Reed

    Michael Reed is a medical writer at Sumlab, focusing on dermatological studies and treatments. His articles help demystify complex clinical results for a broad audience.

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