If your dry skin symptoms continue to persist despite trying multiple solutions and products, the problem might be deeper than what you see on the surface. While it is well known that dry skin is caused due to lack of moisture, several environmental and genetic/hormonal reasons can affect how much moisture your skin ends up retaining.
Environmental factors such as prolonged sun exposure, pollution, and using the wrong products can exacerbate dry skin. But these can also be easily fixed. However, when it comes to genetic causes that impair the functioning of your skin barrier and disrupt the production of lipids and fatty acids in your epidermis, you need to dig deeper and take active measures to restore your skin’s health.
Genetic causes of dry skin
Certain dermatological conditions, gene anomalies and skin types can put you at a higher risk of having dry skin and unfortunately, the symptoms of these can emerge at any point during your life.
For instance, those with an altered version of the FLG gene in their body can have lower levels of filaggrin — a protein that protects the skin against allergens and pollutants — making it more susceptible to dryness. Those with psoriasis have an overactive immune system that results in patches of dry skin.
Similarly, different complexions are at risk of developing dryness due to genetic differences. Those with dark skin have lower levels of ceramide and water content in the skin, while those with lighter skin have lower levels of melanin, making them more prone to sunburns. This means that your skincare routine also needs to be tailored to your specific skin type and condition.
Make these changes to tackle genetic dry skin
- Switch to using products that are backed by clinical studies: The first order of business for anyone with genetic dry skin should be to consult a dermatologist and use products that are specifically formulated for dry skin. For instance, HYA-B5 technology is clinically proven to protect skin barrier for up to 48 hours. It uses four potent ingredients — Hyaluronic Acid, Pro-vitamin B5 and Pentavitin.
Test for allergens and keep them at bay
Certain substances, food items, and ingredients you use in your day-to-day life can aggravate an already existing condition. You can always go for a patch test or an intra-dermal test to test for allergens and then take precautions to remove those from your environment altogether or limit them as much as possible.
Take sun damage very seriously
No matter what your underlying genetic condition is, if you have dry skin, sun exposure can definitely worsen it. Since the skin barrier gets damaged in those with dry skin, prolonged sun exposure can result in much higher transepidermal water loss.
You need to have a clinically-approved sunscreen for dry skin that is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and non-reactive. Always check for any ingredients that you’re allergic to and do a patch test before you use them on your whole body.
Start using a humidifier
Dry skin conditions can worsen in dry weather. Using a humidifier is therefore a great alternative if you’re living in places that don’t have a lot of humidity or moisture content in the air. Think of this as aiding your skin in its attempt to regulate its natural moisture content. Doing this prevents massive transepidermal water loss and helps the skin maintain the moisture in its barrier.
Pay attention to your shower ritual
Do you take frequent and long hot showers? That might be aggravating your dry skin condition. Spending too much time in the shower, especially using hot water, strips your skin of its natural oil and the heat accelerates water loss from the dermis. All of these if left unchecked can exacerbate dry skin conditions.
You want to keep your showers short and use lukewarm to cool water to ensure your body is not losing moisture due to overheating. In addition to this, also make it a point to moisturise right after your shower to retain any additional moisture into the skin.
Start paying attention to your nutrition
Certain food items such as sugar and alcohol can work to dehydrate your skin and thus make dry skin conditions worse. They even impair skin barrier repair, thus making it harder for your skin to heal. On the other hand nutrients such as Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin C, and Selenium can help boost skin health from within by restoring the skin’s natural production of fatty acids and lipids. Ideally, take the help of a nutritionist and dermatologist to understand which food items are absolutely essential for you and then go from there.
The bottom line: Take better care of your skin
While it might not be possible to completely eliminate genetic causes of dry skin, your lifestyle and skincare routine can have a massive impact on the quality of your skin. It is therefore important to maintain a lifestyle that is conducive to your skin condition and use only skincare products that have been clinically proven to work for dry skin, such as hyaluronic and Hymagic ™ 4D technology.