Dry skin is a fairly common condition that can be caused by a number of different things. Sometimes it’s a factor that is out of control, such as the weather or a genetic condition. Other times, it might be because we’ve left the heating on for a really long time and there’s not much moisture in the air. These are just two very common reasons for why your skin might be feeling dry, but is there a way to really narrow down the cause?

It’s hard to say.

Dry skin affects all of us in some way

There are a number of ways to deal with it, such as hand creams or different shower gels, but everyone’s situation is different and it’s hard to tell what might help your situation and what could exacerbate it. You see, everyone’s skin is different and some products can actually be harmful to your skin. What works for you might be damaging to someone else and vice versa, so it’s really difficult to tell if you’re using a product that is right for you.

But for general dryness of the skin, there are a number of basic things that you should check at home to help you get a better understanding of what your skin is going through. So in this post, let’s take a look at some of the more common reasons for dry skin and what might be causing them.

Fragrances can potentially cause problems with your skin

If you’re using any products on your hands that contain fragrances, then there’s a chance that it could be causing problems with your skin. Any skincare products that are scented or have a fragrance may contain compounds that irritate your skin. If there are any fragrances in the skincare products you use and you notice that they occasionally make your hands dry, itchy, or even red, then you should stop using them as soon as possible.

As an example, some hand creams can cause various types of hand eczema. This would likely be caused by irritants in the cream itself, and it might be exacerbated by an existing dry skin condition. To avoid this, we suggest buying skincare products that do not have any kind of fragrance on them. They may smell a bit funny at first because they’re not asked with some kind of perfume, but they’re a lot better for your skin than fragranced ones. If you’re unsure whether it’s the fragrance or not, then you could try other skincare products. However, the best way to find if your skin is being irritated is to visit a dermatologist.

Your shower or bathing routine might be stripping moisture from your skin

Moisture is important to maintain healthy skin, and a common health mistake is to accidentally strip your skin of any essential oils. For instance, there are many different soaps, washing liquids, and even shampoos that could actively remove moisture from your skin. This is most common with anything that is formulated to remove oil. For example, there are some shampoos that are designed for greasy hair that can do a good job of removing oils from your scalp, but can end up stripping the natural oils of your skin which can dry out your skin.

This is fairly common but can easily be stopped by being more aware of the skincare products that you’re using. It’s vital that you only choose moisturizing body washes, and to avoid things like a harsh bar soap that also has a strong fragrance. Another common occurrence is dry skin on your hands because of overzealous handwashing. If you wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water, then it can quickly dry out your skin and cause issues like flaking and cracking.

Your skin could be dry because of the air

Lastly, we can’t forget that weather can cause your skin to dry out. Dry air doesn’t blend well with your skin, and heat can cause the humidity levels to drop which ultimately causes itchy and dry skin. This is common for people in winter because they’re more likely to turn on their heating systems. If you leave these on for too long, then you might experience your skin cracking or even your lips becoming dry.

It’s a good idea to try and maintain as much moisture in the air in your home when it’s cold outside. You can use a humidifier if it’s particularly bad, but it’s also a good idea to reduce your reliance on heating when possible because it can strip the air of its moisture.