Why Is My Skin So Dry Even When I Moisturize?

Recent studies show that 34.5% of the US population suffers from dry skin. This can be concerning because dry skin affects people regardless of age, ethnicity, or geographic location. To combat dry skin, dermatologists recommend moisturizers, but not all products are created equal.

We examine what causes dry skin even after moisturizing and what you can do to relieve dry, itchy, and cracking skin. By avoiding specific cosmetics and using the right kinds of skin care products, you’ll be able to heal and hydrate your skin properly.

Certain Medications May Be Affecting Your Skin

Unfortunately, several medications can cause dry skin or skin irritation. You may experience dry skin side effects from taking medications, such as:

  • Retinoids
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Birth control pills
  • Oral isotretinoin

These medications are tough on your skin, making it excessively dry and in need of a hydrating treatment. Topical medications that are solutions or gels tend to dry the skin more than lotions, ointments, and creams. If you suspect your medication is contributing to dry itchy skin, you may want to consider a hydrating cream to offset the side effects.

Related Link: Frequently Asked Questions

You’re Bathing Too Frequently

Woman Wearing A Cosmetic Mask After Shower

Bathing is important. You’re not going to win friends or influence co-workers if you smell like Stinky Pete. Regular washing is essential to remove dirt and bacteria that can harm your skin. However, over-cleansing can damage your skin by robbing it of natural oils and molecules that protect your skin barrier, making you more susceptible to infection and skin conditions.

Dermatologists acknowledge that many factors, like your skin type, age, and activity level, affect how often you should shower. So how often you shower is a bit subjective. Dermatologists recommend that you cleanse your body every two to three days. People who are more active and sweat more may want to shower daily.

But take care not to overdo it. You may need to cut back if you are showering more than once a day. Also, beware of harsh cleansers that contain:

  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Artificial fragrances
  • Sulfates

This will help your skin restore natural oils and rebuild its skin barrier. You want to maintain a natural, acidic pH of about 4.7, and many over-the-counter cleansers and soaps disrupt your skin’s pH level.

Can Honeydew treat most skin conditions? Learn more about our dermatology services.

You’re Not Drinking Enough Water

An effective way to hydrate your skin is to drink enough water. Studies show that you can improve the hydration of your stratum corneum in your skin by drinking sufficient amounts of water for your body size and age.

So how much water is enough? According to Harvard Medical School, most people need about four to six cups of water each day.

Most people get about 20% of their water and fluids from food, which means they need to drink 80% of the recommended cups for proper hydration. But some people need more or less water than others. You should talk to a dietitian or doctor to determine the right daily amount of water for you.

It Might Be Time To Try a Different Moisturizing Product

If you aren’t on medications and are cleansing and drinking well, it is probably time to break up with your moisturizing product. Not all moisturizing products may be right for your skin type. It’s essential to know your skin type and choose a moisturizer designed to hydrate your skin. For very dry skin, you’ll want to look for products with thicker, high-quality ingredients, such as

  • Petroleum
  • Lactic Acid
  • Shea Butter
  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic Acid

These ingredients are proven to hydrate and rebuild your skin barrier. Two of our favorite over-the-counter products for very dry, sensitive skin are:

  1. Vaseline Petroleum Jelly: It’s a classic for a reason—it works. It seals moisture into your skin, relieving irritated, flaky skin.
  2. Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy: Aquaphor’s Advanced Therapy Ointment has proven ingredients for healing the toughest cracked, dry, or flaky skin. It quickly restores moisture and soothes irritated skin.

Want an easy, cost-effective way to see a dermatologist? Get started with Honeydew’s affordable treatment plans.

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The Moisturizer You’re Using Is Outdated

Has your moisturizer been in your bathroom drawer for a while? It may be outdated. Many moisturizers have an expiration date because they contain active ingredients that can become ineffective over time. Check to make sure your skin care products haven’t expired.

You also want to ensure that you store your moisturizing products in a cool, dry environment away from any heating elements, such as

  • A window
  • Heater
  • Hair dryer or curling iron

Heat can affect the moisturizer’s ingredients, making them less effective.

A Medical Condition Could Be Causing Dry Skin

People with a skin condition like atopic dermatitis or psoriasis can experience dry, flaky skin patches that may need a prescription ointment from their dermatologist. Environmental conditions like the sun and wind can also do a number on your skin. If your skin is particularly dry, you may want to use a more heavy-duty, over-the-counter ointment.

But take care. Many topical OTCs for treating medical conditions contain salicylic acid or a retinol-based ingredient that can damage and dry out your skin. Other prescription topicals that can dry out your skin include:

  • Tretinoin
  • Tazarotene
  • Adapalene

It’s Time To See a Dermatologist if Nothing Is Working

So many factors can dry out your skin. Whether it’s from dehydration, the sun, over-cleansing, skin conditions, or medications, you owe it to yourself to rule out these more common factors. If you are doing everything you can and your skin is still suffering, it may be time to see a dermatologist.

A dermatologist can examine your skin, analyze your health history, and create a treatment plan to help you restore your skin’s moisture. Know this: you’re not alone, and you can find a solution based on the variety of high-quality skin products available today.

Honeydew has licensed dermatologists who can diagnose and prescribe a treatment plan for dry and irritated skin. We use the best-quality products in our treatment plans to ensure the best results.
Related Link: Why Honeydew is a Smart Choice