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I have dry body skin. I knew the moment I saw scales on my legs while growing up. I felt really insecure and started doing some research on how to get rid of dry flaky skin on body. For me, it was not genetics. No one in my family had scaly legs so it was definitely something I was doing wrong.
I know for sure when you tell someone you have dry skin, they will tell you to drink water. Like as if consuming water will remedy dry skin. Not to say it doesn’t work but it’s insignificant if the underlying causes are still there.
Dry skin is generally due to a lack of oil while dehydrated skin is due to a lack of water. For dry skin type, no matter how much you hydrate, eat a diet rich in fluids like cucumber, and moisturize, your skin still looks dry. That is because the underlying condition is not well treated.
With my personal experience and research, I found the reason why I had dry skin and tips to get rid of dry skin on my body. These tips will definitely help you too on ways to get rid of dry skin on body.
Causes Of Dry Skin On Body
The skin naturally has lipids that moisturize the skin, such as ceramides, free fatty acids and cholesterol. For dry skin types, these natural lipids are low, especially ceramides which contribute to maintaining the skin barrier. This deficiency in natural lipids causes increased water loss through the skin and if it is not replaced, the skin looks dry, flaky, and scaly begging to be moisturized with the right moisturizer.
Causes Of Dry Skin
Any change in weather conditions that causes humidity to be very low worsens dry skin. Most especially during the cold or dry season. The skin would want to compensate for this low humidity in the weather by drawing out water from the dermis to hydrate the skin. This leads to increased epidermal water loss which results in skin dryness and worsens the existing skin condition.
2. Frequent bathing and Cleansing soaps
Frequent bathing or showering, especially with hot water, depletes the skin of its natural lipid leading to epidermal water loss. You may also experience skin dryness after swimming in a chlorinated pool. Aside from bathing with hot water, using bar soap or detergent that is harsh to the skin will strip the skin of its lipids leading to moisture loss. Examples of such soaps are bar soap with a PH ranging from 7 to 12. The continuous use of these soaps will damage the skin barrier function in the long run.
3. Sun Exposure
Frequent exposure to the sun without wearing sunscreens results in skin barrier damage. The radiation from the sun goes deep into the dermis where collagen and elastin are broken down leading to saggy or wrinkled skin. A sun-damaged skin usually appears dry.
How To Get Rid Of Dry Flaky Skin On Body
People with dry skin often have tight sensitive skin, especially after bathing or swimming. The skin starts to look rough, with fine lines or looks dehydrated then itching occurs. The more the itch, the more the skin barrier damages causing more infection to the affected area. Dry skin may be mild, moderate or severe. Severe cases would require a visit to the dermatologist to help the underlying problem. Here is a list that can help get rid of dry skin for people with mild to moderate skin conditions.
Cleansing and Cleansing Bars
The first part of cleansing is during showers or bathing. For people with dry skin, a brief shower of fewer than 10 minutes is required using cold or lukewarm water. Also, it is important to avoid or cautiously use shower gels and washes that include fragrance. Dry skin is known to be sensitive and fragrance will increase more sensitivity which will exacerbate the problem.
In addition to that, if you are the type of person that uses bar soap, use a bar soap that is closer to the skin PH. A lot of people don’t mind the type of bar soap they are using so far it lathers. The truth is bar soaps are important, many bar soaps are too alkaline (PH 9 to 10) and they cause an imbalance of the skin PH which drys out and sensitizes your skin. Unfortunately, a lot of these bar soaps manufacturers do not mention their PH level
These soaps are my top Amazon recommendations because they are known as Syndet bars and not the normal soap bars. These bar cleansers are formulated within the normal skin flora which means they are within the PH of the skin. The PH of the skin is between 4.75 to 5.75. Therefore, the use of a cleansing bar within the skin PH is relevant to prevent skin dryness.
Have you ever tried cleansing milk for your skin? They are simply amazing. Not only do they cleanse the skin, but they are also mild, gently moisturising.
Cleansing milk is great at removing makeup and any specks of dirt off the skin. Also, they moisturize the skin. I have carefully selected products that are free of fragrance such as The Bioderma Sensibio Cleansing Milk, Clinique Take the Day Off, Andalou Naturals and COSRX. However, the only con in this selection is that COSRX contains witch hazel and bergamot oil which may be irritating for dry skin types.
The next step to cleansing is to exfoliate which is to remove dead skin cells. When it comes to dry skin, exfoliation cannot be stressed enough. The skin normally exfoliates every 28 to 30 days. However, for dry skin cells, there is a disturbance in the skin turnover rate. It is either the skin cells that are producing too many dead skin cells or the cell turnover rate is simply too low resulting in the accumulation of dead skin cells on the skin surface. This is where you see scales, roughness, and dryness on the skin layer.
The kind of exfoliants to use for dry skin type are those that contain Lactic acid. Lactic acid is an AHA and it is present in the skin’s natural moisturizing factor. They also help to produce more ceramides to the skin surface. Exfoliation should be done once or twice weekly to avoid over-exfoliation. Check out for the signs of over-exfoliation
After cleansing and exfoliating, applying moisturizers is the next step. Moisturizers help hydrate the skin and increase skin elasticity. Look for moisturizers that contain glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid as well as urea. There are lots of ingredients to look out for but these are the most important for dry skin type
In cases where you have itchy skin, you might want to consider a moisturizer with ceramides and hydrocortisone. A good one is found in
After applying your moisturizer, using a natural oil will serve as a protective film and seal in the moisture. Different kinds of natural oils can be used. Read my post on natural oil for different skin types for more information on what kind of natural oil to apply for dry skin types.
Dry skin is a serious skin condition that requires lots of attention. This kind of skin condition cannot just be treated with any kind of moisturizer, therefore, it is important to know the causes and treatment options.
I hope this post has helped you in knowing how to get rid of dry flaky skin body. Let me know what you think down in the comment box below