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Dry Skin and its Effects

Dry skin, also known as xerosis or xeroderma, is very common and can affect any individual, although it is more common in elderly populations. In most cases, it does not pose a serious problem but can sometimes lead to dermatological complications and be difficult to treat.

The skin naturally produces an oil called sebum. When the skin produces too much oil, this can lead to pimples. However, having some sebum on the skin is important for keeping it hydrated and protecting the cells from infection.

Skin that is not creating or replenishing enough sebum can become dry.

Dry skin can be itchy, and it may look flaky and bumpy or have red patches. Dehydrated skin lacks water and appears dull or rough.

Some potential causes of dry or dehydrated skin on the face include:

cold weather

dry air

exposure to harsh chemicals in soaps or other products

washing the skin excessively

unbalanced skin pH

skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis




spending too much time in direct sunlight


Moisturizers, ointments, and creams improve the skin's natural barrier function, which promotes water retention.

Moisturizing overnight can provide extra benefits. A person can apply moisturizer to their face before bed and wash it off with a gentle cleanser in the morning.

Many different moisturizers are available to purchase. It can take some trial and error for a person to find the best one for their skin type.

Gentle, face-friendly moisturizers often contain the following beneficial ingredients:

hyaluronic acid


colloidal oatmeal

Some moisturizers and other skin care products contain drying agents that can make dry skin worse. In general, people should avoid products that contain:


artificial fragrances or colors


petrolatum or petroleum

Some people may prefer to use natural moisturizers to help relieve dry skin on the face. These include:

pure aloe vera gel

coconut oil

shea butter

Coconut oil and shea butter contain natural oils. Some people with normal, oily, or combination skin types may experience breakouts after using these products.

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