Dry skin is a skin type and it requires more nourishment when compared to normal, oily or combination skin. However, skin dryness is a problem that can affect any skin type. It is mostly induced by environmental factors and can make your skin feel flaky or stretchy. If you have dealt with or are currently dealing with dry skin on your face, then you would have first-hand knowledge of how it makes your skin appear. It not only looks dull, but the flakiness makes it impossible to put makeup on because it ends up looking patchy.

We understand your ordeal. For some, this problem may be common in winters only, and for some others, this can also be due to an underlying problem. No matter what the reason is behind it, we are here to help you get rid of dry skin on the face. According to celebrity dermatologist and skin expert, Dr. Soma Sarkar, dry skin can be due to physiological and pathological reasons. Physiological factors refer to the genetic make of the skin, so one has to deal with dry skin throughout the year, irrespective of the season. When the problem is pathological, it means dry skin is a result of a clinical condition. Here are a few clinical conditions that may be responsible for dry skin.


1. Cause of dry skin on the face

Cause of dry skin on the face

i) Atopic dermatitis:

An atopic dermatitis is a severe form of eczema that makes the skin red, itchy and irritated. It can sometimes make the skin crack and bleed. This type of dry skin condition appears on areas like the face, elbow and behind the knees.

ii) Pityriasis alba:

A common skin condition identified by red, scaly patches of skin on the face. These patches usually heal by making the patch appear lighter than the individual's natural skin tone.

iii) Seborrheic dermatitis:

Although this condition is more common on the scalp area, it can sometimes develop on the face. It makes the skin on your face dry, scaly and itchy.

iv) Photodermatitis:

Long exposure to sunlight can cause rashes on the skin, this is called photodermatitis. The rash can appear on any part that was exposed to the rays of the sun and make it dry.

v) Psoriasis vulgaris:

A skin condition that causes red, itchy, scaly patches of skin commonly on the knees, elbow and scalp. However, at times, it can also cause dry skin on the face.

vi) Ichthyosis vulgaris:

Another pathological skin condition is ichthyosis vulgaris. It is a skin disorder in which the individual’s skin turns dry and scaly. It occurs when the skin doesn’t shed dead skin cells naturally. The accumulation of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin leads to this condition.

vii) Thyroid irregularities and during menopause:

Dry skin on the face is also common amongst women going through menopause and those with too little thyroid hormone. Females experience dry skin more when compared to males because of the genetic difference in the skin, like the thickness and other anatomical variations.


2. How to treat dry skin on the face?

How to treat dry skin on the face?

Depending on how mild or acute your problem is, dry skin on the face can be treated with a number of different options. The basic road map stays the same, like following a CTM routine and applying sunscreen, but the formulation and ingredients change.


- Be gentle

Be gentle

Dry skin on the face indicates your skin is sensitive, and one wrong move, it will result in red, irritated or itchy skin. To avoid this, make sure you cleanse your face with the help of a mild cleanser that has zero harsh chemicals that can irritate the skin further. One with neutral pH value and agents like lactic acid will prove to be helpful. Also avoid cleansers that are laden with artificial fragrances, as this might cause itching and irritation. If the skin on your face is too dry, wash it only once at night to prevent excessive dryness.


- Choose the right ingredients

Choose the right ingredients

Apart from avoiding certain chemicals and ingredients, it is also important to include products with nourishing ingredients in your skincare routine. Pick a gentle cream-based cleanser, follow it up with a non-alcoholic toner with naturally soothing ingredients like rose water. Pick a cream-based moisturiser that gets absorbed into the skin easily. Some ingredients to look out for while buying moisturisers are ceramides, urea, and it should be oil based, like an emulsion. Sunscreens too are available in different types, opt for a cream-based one with moisturising properties instead of a gel-based one.


- Avoid hot water baths

Avoid hot water baths

Taking a hot water bath may be quite relaxing, especially in winters, but hot water robs moisture from your body and makes it more susceptible to dryness and flaky skin. Take a lukewarm bath and wash your face with lukewarm or cold water to prevent dry skin on the face. Also, restrict your bath time to a little over ten minutes. Staying in the water for too long can dry out your skin.


- Consider skin treatments

Consider skin treatments

Apart from the above, you can also consider getting skin treatments from a dermatologist to get rid of dry skin on the face. Hydra facial is a technique that involves double action, one wand extracts dead skin cells, gunk and other impurities from the skin, while the other infuses skin with soothing and nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Another way to treat dry skin on the face is with the help of meso hydra boosters. As the name suggests, it involves injecting the skin with hydrating boosters to treat dry skin and make it look healthy.


3. Tips to prevent dry skin on the face

Tips to prevent dry skin on the face

i) Avoid harsh cleansers and exfoliators:

Whether it's your facial skin or the skin on your body, treat it gently. Avoid any cleansers with harsh ingredients and exfoliators that contain large particles or beads.

ii) Drink enough water:

Drink enough water and fluids throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside. If your body is dehydrated, no amount of moisturising will help with the dryness.

iii) Avoid artificial scents and dyes:

Choosing skincare products based on their smell and colour will make your dry skin drier due to the presence of artificial scents and dyes. Instead, opt for products that are free from these.

iv) Moisturise at regular intervals:

Moisturising your face and body once in the morning is not enough, especially when you have really dry skin. To curb dry skin on the face, carry a moisturiser in your bag and reapply it from time to time.

v) Visit a dermatologist:

If you have a skin condition that’s causing dry skin, make sure to visit a dermatologist regularly to keep the condition under control.


4. FAQs about dry skin on the face

FAQs about dry skin on the face

1) Why do I suddenly have dry skin on my face?

A. Dry skin could be a result of many factors. Changes in weather and temperature are the most common ones. However, an allergic reaction or use of harsh chemicals can also lead to dry skin on the face. If your skin doesn’t feel better after using moisturisers, then it may be a result of a skin condition that needs to be checked by a dermatologist.

2) Does drinking water help dry skin?

A. If your body is dehydrated, then your skin might feel dry. However, that’s not always the case. If you drink enough water and still feel your skin is dry, then it's time to consider other factors that may be causing it.

3) What to eat to prevent dry skin?

A. Foods rich in natural oils and healthy fats can be quite beneficial for dry skin. Include fatty fish, nuts, avocados, broccoli, tomato, sunflower seed, etc., in your diet to treat dry skin on the face.