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Dry skin on the face – causes, treatment and tips

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Dry Skin on Face - causes and treatment

Most people have experienced dry skin on the face at one time or another. It’s an extremely common problem that can affect anyone— even those amongst us who moisturise religiously. From scaly, itchy, redness to rough patches and that uncomfortable feeling of tightness; dry skin on the face can have a big impact on the way we look and feel. 


Though it might be tempting to give up and just accept this complexion woe as being a fact of life, this need not be the case. Because the skin on the face is so sensitive and so exposed to the world around you, it’s a little bit more vulnerable than you may think. 


Let’s look at some of the causes of dry skin on the face as well as what you can do to combat it. 


Causes of dry skin

Though often used interchangeably, there is a difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin. Dry skin is a skin type usually a result of your genetics or the ageing process characterised by an inability to produce enough natural oils to keep the skin properly lubricated and protected. 

Dehydrated skin on the other hand tends to be caused by external factors and is a (if addressed) temporary skin condition resulting from a lack of water. 

If you have dry skin naturally, you may be more vulnerable to experiencing facial dryness, but the fact of the matter is that it can happen to all skin types. When the skin becomes depleted of the natural oils and water it needs to function properly, it becomes damaged and can’t hold on to moisture. Unfortunately, what this means is that until the skin is repaired, it won’t get better. 


Let’s take a look at some of the factors that contribute to the development of dry skin on the face. 


External causes

It probably comes as no surprise that the season can take a toll on your skin. You may have noticed that your skin has a much harder time hanging on to hydration in the winter, but it’s not just the cold, dry winter months that can sap the moisture from your complexion. The key external factors to be aware of when it comes to dry skin on the face are;

—Low humidity

—Extreme temperatures (hot or cold)

—UV exposure 

Not only does your external environment play a huge part in the health of your skin, but there are other things you may be doing that could be contributing, some of them might surprise you. These include;

—Using harsh soaps and cleansers

—Washing your face too often

—Prolonged exposure to hot water




—Certain Medications


Internal causes

As well as the external factors that can lead to dry skin on the face, there are also a few internal factors to keep in mind. These include genetics, age, and hormonal levels. 


How to combat dry skin on the face


Though there are some things you can’t control, like age or genetics; there are plenty of things you can do to minimise the impact. 

Firstly, control the things you can control. Make sure to  drink enough water, avoid smoking and eat a diet rich in nutrients. Secondly, and of crucial importance—moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Incorporating a quality moisturiser into your daily routine is an essential part of healing dry skin anywhere on the body. Taking care to avoid harsh soaps or prolonged exposure to hot water, apply your facial moisturiser to damp skin after cleansing. 

Hint: Make sure to choose a moisturiser well suited to your skin type. If you have naturally dry skin, consider using a heavier cream. Remember to gently exfoliate, taking care not to scrub or rub— this will help your skin to shed the old dead skin cells and absorb the moisture.



By understanding the key causes of dry skin on the face, making a few simple changes and upping your moisturising game; your complexion will be glowing, radiant and beautiful in no time at all.