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What Causes Dry Skin and How Do You Fix it?

girl with dry skin

Published: March 15, 2023

girl with dry skin

Around 30% of the adult population has dry skin, making this often-uncomfortable condition extremely common. With so many different potential factors contributing to dryness, alleviating the issue isn’t easy.

While that may be the case, it can be done, especially if you’re dedicated to giving your skin exactly what it needs to overcome its dry nature. Read on as Bionyx explains the various causes of dry skin, along with the steps that you can take to fix it.

What is Dry Skin?

closeup of dry skin

Simply put, dry skin is skin that’s lacking in natural oils. Everyone’s skin produces sebum to varying degrees, and those with dry skin simply aren’t producing enough.

As a result, this leads to:

  • Skin that physically feels dry and rough when you touch it
  • Flakiness and peeling
  • A scaly appearance
  • Skin that’s easily irritated and often stings or burns
  • A higher prevalence of certain skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis

People often confuse dry skin with dehydrated skin, but the two are very different conditions. While dry skin refers to the lack of natural oils, dehydrated skin alludes to skin that doesn’t contain enough moisture.

With that said, the protective layer on the surface of your skin created by your natural oils plays a significant role in trapping moisture into your skin. Without enough of these oils, water evaporates at a much faster rate, which is why dryness is so often accompanied by dehydration.

What Causes Dry Skin?

So, we’ve established that dry skin lacks sebum, but what actually causes this to happen in the first place? 

Turns out, there are multiple factors that can contribute to dry skin, making it hardly surprising that this is such a prevalent condition:


woman young and old

As the skin ages, it goes through a variety of different changes, one of which is a decline in sebum production. For men, this only starts to happen once they hit the age of around 80, whereas women experience this reduction in sebum soon after menopause.

Seasonal Changes

Warm temperatures and high humidity both stimulate the skin’s sebaceous glands, resulting in an increase in sebum production. This is why many find themselves dealing with excess grease and breakouts in the spring and summer. However, cold temperatures cause the opposite, meaning that sebum production slows right down. As a result, dry skin becomes an even more widespread problem in the winter months.

Frequent Exposure to Chemicals

Certain chemicals can strip your skin of its outer layer, which largely consists of sebum. This is why people who are regularly exposed to chemicals due to their jobs, such as hairdressers, florists, and nurses, often experience dry skin.

Certain Bathing Habits

woman taking hot shower

It’s not just chemicals that strip away the sebum on your skin – hot water does this too. If you’re a fan of long, scorching showers, then chances are that this habit is playing a big role in your dryness. 

Health Conditions and Medications

Dry skin can sometimes be caused by an underlying health issue, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, and malnutrition. Certain medications, including diuretics, antihistamines, and antacids, can also lead to dry skin as a side effect.


hand holding cigarette

It’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health, but many aren’t aware that it can cause dry skin too. The damage that it causes to skin cells accelerates the skin aging process. And, as you know, aging usually leads to dryness.

Dealing With the Dryness

If your dry skin is primarily caused by your lifestyle choices, such as smoking and hot showers, then it goes without saying that tackling the root of the problem is the best way forward, meaning giving up those cigarettes and turning down the water temperature when you’re in the shower. 

That said, chances are that your dry skin is also being caused by things that are out of your control, such as aging or the weather. While you may not be able to do anything about those external factors, giving your skin what it needs to feel moisturized and protected will go a long way in restoring and replenishing your complexion.

Use a Rich Moisturizer Several Times a Day

bionyx day cream

One of the most effective ways to counter the feeling of dry skin is to moisturize. However, don’t assume that a single layer of moisturizer applied in the morning is going to be enough. This may work for people with oily or normal skin since their skin is producing a good amount of sebum to back that moisturizer up, but dry skin needs more of a helping hand, meaning several applications a day.

Look for a moisturizer that contains plenty of emollients and occlusives. Emollients help to lubricate the skin, performing the same functions as sebum would. Occlusives also mimic the role of sebum by forming a seal over the surface of the skin.

Shea butter is an ingredient that offers both emollient and occlusive properties. It also benefits dry skin in a number of other ways, from how it moisturizes with fatty acids to how it soothes the feeling of itchy skin.

Treat your skin to the moisturizing powers of shea butter with the Bionyx Rhodium Essential Day Cream. Not only will it leave your skin feeling soft and supple, but it’s also the perfect shape to slip into your handbag for some on-the-go moisturizing.

At night, turn your attention to the Bionyx Rhodium Night Recovery Cream. It’s a thicker formula that will give your skin the extra moisture that it needs overnight.

Of course, dry skin affects more than just the face. So, give your body the care that it needs with the Bionyx Body Butter. Just like our face creams, shea butter is the star of the show, with this formula being beautifully velvety and buttery in texture.

Use Gentle Cleansers and Exfoliants

rhodium mousse cleanser

Certain skin care products can exacerbate dryness, with cleansers and exfoliants being the biggest culprits. The purpose of these products is to cleanse the skin and remove excess sebum, but they can sometimes take away too much. 

Ideally, you should be using gentle cleansers and exfoliants that get the job done without completely stripping your skin of its protective sebum layer. 

Need some recommendations? 

Let’s start with the Bionyx Rhodium Mousse Cleanser. Mousse cleansers are a great choice for dry skin because the lather that they produce is creamy in nature. Our formula contains gentle cleansing agents, many of which come from coconuts. These efficiently clean dry skin without harshly stripping away its precious sebum. The added amino acids in this cleanser help to fortify and strengthen the feel of the skin, leaving it looking revived post-cleanse.

When it comes to exfoliants, you can’t go wrong with the Bionyx Rhodium Complex Facial Peeling. It’s gentle yet hydrating, ensuring that your skin cells look plump and radiant after every use.

With that said, keep in mind that dry skin doesn’t usually need to be exfoliated more than once a week. Over-exfoliation can make dry skin so much worse, even if you use the best exfoliator in the world. So, make sure that you don’t overdo it.

Apply Vitamins and Minerals Topically

bionyx face serum

As mentioned earlier, malnutrition and certain nutritional deficiencies can cause dry skin. It’s particularly common among those who are lacking in B vitamins, zinc, essential fatty acids, and vitamin C.

It’s important to take a holistic approach to your skin. This means that if your skin problems are due to your body not receiving the right ratio of nutrients, you should fix this by altering your diet to encompass all that your body, including your skin, needs.

However, it can take time for dietary changes to filter through to your skin, especially if other parts of your body are in dire need of those nutrients too. So, in addition to ensuring that your diet is better balanced and varied, consider giving your skin an extra dose of vitamins and minerals through the use of topical products.

Serums are usually the best way to carry these ingredients to your skin cells. Thanks to how lightweight they are, they’re able to soak deeper into the skin than creams can. They can also carry a higher concentration of active ingredients, making them far more potent.

One formula that’s absolutely perfect for people with dry skin is the Alloy Platinum Synergizing Serum from Bionyx. It contains vitamin C and castor oil, with the latter being a great source of essential fatty acids. It’s also infused with peptides and collagen, both of which help to moisturize dry skin. 

Adjust Your Skin Care Routine as the Seasons Change

As we mentioned earlier, the weather can have a huge impact on how dry your skin feels. The colder the temperatures and the harsher the wind, the drier your skin will be.

To keep your skin feeling soft and healthy, your skin care routine should be tailored to the seasons. In the summer months, lighter lotions and hydrating serums may be all that you need.

However, be prepared to ramp things up when the colder weather rolls around. Your skin will need extra assistance in keeping itself moisturized, so thicker creams and ointments should be used instead.

Keep Your Skin Protected From the Sun

woman wearing a sun hat

The sun literally dries the skin out. At the same time, it depletes the skin’s reserves of essential fatty acids, preventing your skin cells from rectifying the issue. The more you expose your skin to the sun, the drier it will get, making sun protection absolutely vital.

Look for a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If your skin is already severely dry or damaged, then you’ll need something a little more powerful than this, such as SPF 50. 

Once you’ve found a sunscreen that you love, make sure that you apply it to your skin each and every day, even during the winter months. The sun’s UV rays attack skin cells year-round, even on cloudy days, so don’t leave your skin vulnerable just because it doesn’t seem hot and sunny outside.

Pay attention to how much sunscreen you’re actually applying too. Most people don’t use enough, meaning that their skin isn’t receiving the amount of protection that they think it is. Experts recommend using around one-third of a teaspoon-full of sunscreen for your face, although you may need a little more to ensure that your neck is thoroughly covered too.


Unfortunately, dry skin isn’t something that you can fix overnight. Sure, there are plenty of amazing moisturizers out there that can definitely have you waking up to skin that feels soft, smooth, and hydrated, but you’ll need to be consistent with your use of these products if you’re hoping to bid farewell to your dryness for good.

Click here to treat yourself to more exquisitely moisturizing skin care products from Bionyx.

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