why is my skin so dry even when i moisturize

why is my skin so dry even when i moisturize

Dry skin, also known as xerosis in the medical community, is characterized by skin that is cracked, rough, scaly, or itchy.

Dry skin is one of the most common skin conditions, therefore it’s inevitable that most people will encounter it at some point in their lives.

In point of fact, a study that was conducted in 2019 in Germany and involved around 50,000 people discovered that 29.4 percent of persons had dry skin. According to the findings of the study, the prevalence of the condition increased with age and appeared to be roughly the same across genders.

In the event that your skin seems dry, you should probably opt for your go-to moisturizer. The issue has been resolved, right?

However, this is not always the case. Moisturizers often do help treat dry skin, sure. However, their usefulness cannot be guaranteed.

Continue reading if you have ever questioned why, despite using moisturizer on a regular basis, your skin still seems to be extremely dry and cracked, as this article will provide several plausible explanations.

Why your skin could still feel dry or tight even after using moisturizer

You use moisturizer, yet your skin is still extremely dry. Why is this? These thirteen arguments can assist you in beginning the process of reducing the number of possible answers.

  1. It does not exfoliate

Dead skin cells have a tendency to pile up on the surface of your skin over time, which can cause it to become dry and scaly in appearance.

The removal of these cells from your skin via exfoliation is one method that may lead to an improvement in the skin’s texture.

  1. Excessive scrubbing

On the surface of your skin is oil, and behind that oil are molecules that are referred to as natural moisturizing ingredients. These contribute to the protection of the natural moisture barrier of your skin. Excessive washing can cause dryness in the skin because it eliminates molecules that keep moisture in the skin.

If after you get out of the shower your skin feels dry, tight, or irritated, this could be a sign that you wash it too much.

Because of COVID-19, excessive hand washing has naturally developed into something of a standard practice, at least for that particular body part. In addition to washing your hands more regularly, you may also use hand sanitizer more frequently, both of which can cause your hands to become more dry.

These suggestions can assist you in maintaining healthy hands and preventing them from becoming dry:

  • If you have the option, use soap instead of hand sanitizer.
  • Always be sure to use soap that is unscented and colorless.
  • Instead of rubbing your hands together, dry them by patting them down.
  • After washing your face, apply a moisturizer that does not include any fragrances or dyes.

3. Being severely dehydrated or undernourished

Water makes up approximately 15 to 20 percent of the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin. When your skin is dehydrated, it loses its ability to retain moisture and suppleness, making it more prone to becoming dry.

According to a recent analysis of previous research, increasing the amount of water you drink each day may marginally improve the moisture and suppleness of your skin.

Consuming a healthy diet that is both well-balanced and rich in the appropriate nutrients can also make a difference.

Skin dryness can also be caused by deficiencies in the key vitamins listed below:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin D
  • zinc
  • iron

4. Cleaning with a harsh product

The use of washing solutions and soaps that are too harsh for your skin could cause it to become irritated or dry out.

Among the components of cleansers that have been hypothesized to contribute to dry skin are:

  • isopropyl alcohols
  • benzyl alcohol
  • sulfates
  • fragrances

Cream cleansers are typically a better alternative for sensitive skin because they are less abrasive than gel or foam cleansers. If your skin has a tendency to feel dry, switching to a cleanser that is in cream form could be beneficial.

5. The components of your moisturizer are no longer as potent as they once were

The majority of moisturizers have a lengthy shelf life. In spite of this, it is always a good idea to check the dates of expiration on the items you purchase, since a moisturizer that has passed its expiration date may not be as effective.

It is possible to add more years to the lifespan of your items by storing them in an area that is shielded from heat sources such as sunny windows.

Always make it a point to steer clear of purchasing things that are missing a lid seal as well.

6. It’s possible that your skin need a different kind of product.

There are a number of different moisturizers that are best suited for certain types of skin. If you have a tendency to have dry skin, you might require a more substantial moisturizer than someone who has oilier skin.

According to recent research, moisturizing creams that include ceramides may prove to be an excellent treatment for dry skin.

The following are some additional components that may aid in the treatment of dry skin:

  • plant butters and oils
  • salicylic acid
  • urea
  • antioxidants
  • aquaporins
  • glycerin
  • hyaluronic acid
  • salicylates
  • urea

7. Unintended consequences of receiving certain medical treatments and drugs

The side effect of dry skin can be caused by a number of different medications and medical treatments. These are the following:

  • cholesterol-lowering medications *
  • retinoids
  • benzoyl peroxide *
  • diuretics *
  • beta-blockers*
  • hormonal birth control *
  • chemotherapy *
  • radiation therapy *

8. Disorders of the skin

Dry skin patches can be caused by a number of different skin problems, including the following:

  • atopic dermatitis (eczema)
  • allergic contact dermatitis
  • irritant contact dermatitis
  • psoriasis
  • seborrheic dermatitis (dandruff)

Dry skin can be a symptom of a number of different infectious disorders, including scabies, as well as bacterial or fungal infections.

9. A chilly and arid weather pattern

Because cold air may suck moisture away from your skin and warmer air can hold less moisture naturally, cold air can cause your skin to become dry and flaky.

Another factor that may contribute to dry skin is prolonged exposure to the sun.

10. Taking really hot showers or baths or being in chlorinated water for an extended period of time

Taking showers or baths that are much too hot can cause harm to the outermost layer of your skin and remove the naturally occurring oils that help protect it.

If you swim a lot, the chlorine that is typically found in swimming pools could also be a contributing factor in skin dryness. Additionally, chlorine has the capability of removing the skin’s naturally occurring oils.

11. Preexisting conditions of a medical nature

Dry skin may be caused, in part, by certain medical problems. Among other things, thyroid diseases, diabetes, and renal failure are among instances.

Changes in hormone levels can also cause dry skin, such as those that occur after menopause and pregnancy.

12. Genetics and racial distinctions

There are certain people who have a genetic predisposition toward acquiring dry skin more so than others.

For instance, compared to white people, people of color had a greater propensity to report experiencing more symptoms of dry skin, such as scaling, ashiness, and soreness.

According to the findings of several studies, people of African descent may be more prone to experiencing a loss of moisture via their skin than people of European descent. There is some evidence that people of Asian descent are especially prone to having their moisture evaporate through their skin, although specialists have found contradicting results.

13. Aging

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), as you become older, you have a greater risk of developing dry skin (NIA). According to research, xerosis cutis, also known as unusually dry skin, is the most common form of skin illness found in those over the age of 60.

The natural process of aging results in a diminished number of sweat and oil glands, which is a contributing factor in this phenomenon. [Cause and effect]

In addition, menopause and long-term diseases such as diabetes and kidney disease are more common in people of advanced age, which increases their likelihood of having dry skin.

Additionally, as was discussed before, dry skin can also be a negative effect of the use of certain medications. Some of these medications, like blood thinners or prescriptions for heart and blood pressure, are typically prescribed to people who are older than 18 years old.

Symptoms of dry skin

The most obvious symptoms of dry skin might show up on your face or anywhere else on your body, including your hands and feet.

It’s possible that you’ll have any, all, or none of the following symptoms:

  • a sensation of tightness
  • skin that appears harsh or feels rough
  • an ashy appearance, if you have brown or black skin
  • flaking
  • scaling
  • cracks in the skin that may bleed
  • itching
  • wrinkles or lines

How to properly moisturize dry skin in the correct manner

The efficacy of your moisturizer could be affected by the manner in which you put it on your skin. The following advice will assist you in getting the most out of your moisturizing routine.

Apply some moisturizer soon away following a shower.

In order to be effective, moisturizers must first lock moisture into the skin.

Occlusives are a class of ingredients that have the effect of preventing the passage of water. The optimal time to use occlusives is immediately after bathing, when the skin is still damp from the toweling off process.

Find the perfect moisturizer for your skin.

It’s possible that using the wrong kind of skin care products for your skin could be contributing to your dry skin. It’s possible that simply removing products from your skincare routine that have the potential to dry up your skin will be enough to make a difference. Alternately, you might consider switching to a cream that is formulated exclusively as skincare for dry skin as an alternative.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association suggests opting for products that include the following ingredients:

  • shea butter
  • petrolatum
  • mineral oil
  • lanolin
  • lactic acid
  • jojoba oil
  • hyaluronic acid
  • glycerin
  • dimethicone

Apply moisturizer first thing in the morning and again before going to bed.

In order to keep the product in contact with your skin for the longest length of time possible, it is recommended that you use a lightweight moisturizer in the morning and a stronger moisturizer before going to bed.

When choosing a moisturizer for daytime use, look for one that offers at least some sun protection, preferably in the form of an SPF rating. Protecting the skin from UV damage can also assist in preventing excessive dryness of the skin.

Apply a moisturizing toner to your face.

Toners are often used to cleanse the skin and get it ready for the application of moisturizer. Certain toners are formulated to address particular skin issues, such as dryness, acne, or damage caused by the sun.

Applying a toner after your cleanser and before to applying serums and moisturizers will often produce the optimum benefits for your skin care routine.

Use a serum


The active chemicals in serums are typically present in extremely concentrated forms, such as hyaluronic acid or vitamin C. In most cases, you should apply them after you have cleansed your skin but before you apply moisturizer.

Instead of lotions, you should use creams.

If you have persistently dry skin, you should consider using dry skin products such as cream or ointment instead of a lotion because creams and ointments are typically more viscous.

Is dry skin the same as dehydrated skin?

Both dry and dehydrated skin refer to different issues, despite the phrases seem very similar.

A lack of oil and other naturally occurring moisturizing substances can cause the skin to become dry and flaky, which is what is meant by the term “dry skin.”

Skin that is dehydrated happens when there is an inadequate amount of water present in the skin.

Your skin’s elasticity can decrease as a result of dehydration, which can also make it more prone to developing wrinkles and fine lines. Additionally, it may increase the likelihood that you may have dry skin.

Potential adverse effects of having dry skin

Peeling and cracking caused by dry skin increases the risk of having an infection and the likelihood that germs will be able to penetrate the skin.

If your dry skin develops an itchy rash and you scratch it, you risk tearing your skin. Tears in the skin can further raise the risk of developing an infection in that area of the body.

Infection can be identified by several symptoms, including yellow crusting, pus or discharge, swelling, redness and various kinds of discoloration, and skin that is warm to the touch.

It is possible for some medical diseases, such as diabetes or kidney illness, to manifest themselves externally as dry skin in some people.

If you suffer from either of these disorders, dry skin may signal a change in your health, such as an increase in your blood glucose levels. Diabetes can also put you at increased risk for catastrophic consequences stemming from skin infections and wounds.

When it’s time to make an appointment with a dermatologist

Dry skin is not typically a significant condition, and it may frequently be improved by making adjustments to one’s lifestyle or applying moisturizer more frequently.

In light of this, you should consult a dermatologist if any of the following apply to you:

  • you notice signs of infection, such as discoloration or swelling, or your skin feels warm to the touch
  • you develop a rash, wounds, or bleeding cracks in your skin
  • you don’t notice any improvement after using moisturizers or other home remedies
  • you develop a rash, wounds, or bleeding cracks in your skin
  • you develop itching that interferes with your ability to sleep or your daily activities

The bare essentials

Having dry skin can be caused by a variety of different things.

If you consistently apply moisturizer to your skin but still have persistent dryness, you may want to examine your moisturizer to determine whether it contains any substances that could potentially strip the skin of its moisture, such as isopropyl alcohol or sulfates. It’s possible that the results you get from using products that contain glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides will be significantly improved.

Dry skin is not typically a major health problem in and of itself. However, in the event that it continues to be an issue or causes discomfort, a dermatologist will be able to provide more individualized counseling and treatment options.