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The Top 4 Causes of Dry Skin & How to Get Your Moisture Back

By HERWriter
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Sponsored By: Bio-Oil®

Recently, I moved from my home state of Arizona (perpetual sunshine and chlorinated swimming pools) to upstate New York (chilly air and oil furnaces), exchanging one severe climate for another. In Arizona, my main concern was sunscreen, and I have used sunscreen religiously— on my face exclusively since I'm vain— beginning in my twenties.

Now in New York, I'm always reaching for lip balm and running out of moisturizer. I take hot showers to warm up, then feel the skin on my body tightening up the rest of the day like itchy shrink wrap.

The outer part of our skin, the epidermis, is comprised of cells, pigment and proteins. The epidermis is on the front line of battle against forces of nature and biology, forces intent on drying us out.

What exactly drains our skin of moisture? Here are four common causes of dry skin.

1. Mother Nature

The greatest single factor in nature affecting skin is the sun, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Just take a sidelong peek at your sun-deprived derriere. Nice complexion there, no? Light-eyed, fair skinned people fare the worst as far as sun-exposure goes.

Sunlight contributes to non-cancerous skin growths and pigment changes, a loss of skin elasticity, and is directly linked to skin cancer. 1 Sun exposure can also dry skin out.

Desert climates with low humidity can dry skin year round. In northern climates, as temperatures drop, humidity levels plummet, taking your skin’s moisture with them. Wind has an exacerbating effect on sunburn and windburn is a condition in its own right, which can cause red-ness and peeling. 5

2. Father Time

As the years progress, we lose muscle tone. Skin thins, and we lose the plump, smooth under layer of fat associated with a youthful, dewy appearance.

Sebaceous glands, which naturally hydrate skin, produce less oil with age. Men don’t experience a decrease until after 80. Women’s oil glands show a drastic decrease in output beginning at menopause. 1 This may explain why people have been asking if my husband is younger than I am since I hit my forties. (He’s two years older.)

3. Steamy Showers and Hot Baths

Bathing cleans skin, but spending too much time under hot water strips skin of its natural oils.

And keep an eye on your drug-store purchases you use to clean up. Harsh soaps and body washes, especially antibacterial, are the worst offenders when it comes to dry skin.

This summer I bought large pump bottles of body gel for all the bathrooms thinking they would make my house smell like lavender fields in France. My house smelled beautiful, but my skin felt like the Sahara. Buyer beware.

4. Your Toasty Hearth and Soaring Thermostat

That cozy, roaring fire is pulling moisture from your indoor air. The cold person in the family always cranking up the thermostat is sucking your skin dry. Note that a colder room not only saves electricity and money, it also induces sleep. 4

In addition to fireplaces and central heating, space heaters and wood burning stoves are all conspiring to commit the same drying sin against your skin.

Provide Your Skin Some Protection

In 1987, scientist Dieter Beier studied how duck feathers repelled water after preening. Ducks have a preen gland which secretes a protective oil. When ducks groom themselves, their beaks disperse this oil making their feathers water resistant and rendering floating easier.

Inspired by the ducks’ naturally protective barrier, Beier created PurCellin Oil™, the key ingredient in Bio-Oil®. Bio-Oil® is an internationally recognized tissue oil formulated with Vitamins A and E and natural, aromatic botanicals.

Plant extracts in the oil reduce inflammation and rehydrate skin. Calendula and Chamomile oils reduce inflammation. Rosemary and lavender calm and soothe skin.

Bio-Oil® provides a protective barrier between you and Mother Nature, your crackling fireplace, gusty thermostat, scratchy wool sweaters and Nor’Easters.

Massaging Bio-Oil® lightly into your skin may help improve skin dryness from the loss of oil glands that accompanies aging as well as the common causes of dry skin. It can restore the glow dimmed by chlorinated water and too much sun.

Light and easily absorbable, Bio-Oil® has a mineral oil base that softens, smooths and moisturizes. PurCellin Oil™ combines with mineral oil as a healing emollient that nurtures and calms skin.

Bio-Oil® is a moisturizing, protective layer between your skin and the world. Now the myriad assaults against your skin will be— you know—like water off a duck’s back.

To learn more about Bio-Oil® and how it can help with dry skin, visit: http://bio-oilusa.com/en-us/application/dehydrated-skin


1) Aging changes in skin. UMM.edu. Retrieved December 10, 2015.

2) Dry Skin. MayoClinic.org. Retrieved December 10, 2015. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/basics/causes/con-20030009

3) Aging changes in the face. NIH.gov. Retrieved December 11, 2015. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004004.htm

4) Can’t Sleep? Adjust the Temperature. WebMd.com. Retrieved December 11, 2015. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/cant-sleep-adjust-the-temperature

5) Cold Temperature Exposure - Home Treatment. WebMd.com. Retrieved December 11, 2015. http://www.webmd.com/first-aid/tc/cold-temperature-exposure-home-treatment

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.