15:09 Grooming & Personal CareNatural Living & Health

WTF Causes Dry Skin? How Do You Stop It?

Dry skin is bad. Dry skin needs moisturizing. Rocket science right? Sure, using the right kinds of natural moisturizers every day are going to reward you with skin that’s smooth and healthy. But it’s also important to understand what causes dry skin and why it’s so important to take care of the largest organ in your body. It’s time to take a stand against dry skin, and we’ve got a few simple tips on deck that are going to have you (and your skin) looking and feeling like a champion in no time.

What is dry skin?
Technically speaking, base-level dry skin is called “xerosis” or “xeroderma”, which are just fancy terms for skin that’s dry, tight, flaky/scaly, and, in more serious cases, irritated. It’s super common and can occur at any age and for a variety of reasons like sun damage, environmental factors (cold, dry weather), or using water that’s too hot when you shower. While dry skin is itchy, uncomfortable and looks…*cough*…rough (sorry, had to), it can also be more serious. Dry skin can be more prone to infection and problems than well-hydrated, healthy skin. Serious dry skin and infection risk is no joke, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors or have other underlying medical conditions.

What causes dry skin?
Dry skin starts when the moisture barrier, aka the stratum corneum (That's what she said? No? Ok.) is compromised by one or more of those factors we mentioned earlier. When that moisture barrier is at risk it interrupts the skin cell turnover process (the regular cycle of your body creating new, healthy skin cells) and the upper layer of skin thickens for protection, making it harder for dead skin cells to shed normally. This then blocks the way for the new cells to take their rightful place. From there, a buildup of dead skin happens on the surface, creating the flakes, itchiness and calluses.

Think about it like this, the outer layer of your skin looks like a brick wall. The bricks are skin cells and the mortar in between the bricks are what’s known as lipids, which help maintain the skin’s hydration & prevent moisture loss. When the lipids (mortar) are compromised the brick wall can crack or break resulting in more moisture loss from the skin. Those dry skin-causing factors we mentioned earlier? They can speed up or enhance the compromising of the lipids and cause more or worse drying of the skin.

Bottom line: a healthy moisture barrier = hydrated, moisturized skin. A compromised moisture barrier = dry skin that’s peeling, flaking, or red. Fun fact: this also happens with your scalp and is a major reason why you shouldn’t be washing your hair every day, and should use the right natural shampoo and conditioner.

How to stop dry skin?
There are a bunch of simple steps you can take to help treat and prevent dry skin. First and foremost, one of the biggest and most important steps you can take to keep your skin moisturized and healthy is to use the right type of lotion. In fact, men should be moisturizing every day, and incorporating this small step into your regular routine is a quick, easy way to help prevent dry skin. From there, keep your shower time limited (max 10 min) and use warm water instead of hot, as less-frequent, lower-temp showers are going to strip away less of those natural lipids and oils in your skin that help keep it protected. Just like you would after a workout, staying hydrated is super important as well, so chug it down (sure, there’s water in beer too). Using the right natural soap plays an important role also, and soaps that contain harsh chemicals like sulfates (more on that here) can strip and out and irritate your skin, only making it more prone to dryness. 

Why is lotion so important?
Call us Captain Obvious but, dry skin needs moisturizing, and lotion is the quickest most effective way, plain and simple. Going back to that brick wall example, lotion can help protect and rebuild that brick wall and help keep your moisture barrier intact. Plus, regular lotion use can also help prevent dry skin too, so you’re not just treating it, you’re being proactive as well.

But not all lotions are created equal and men’s needs are different - we’ve got thicker, oilier skin, more body hair, and need to be wary of products that can mimic estrogen (like soybean oil, a common ingredient). Most standard lotions aren’t made with men’s needs in mind, so a one-size-fits-all lotion is not going to be the right move.

How does lotion work?
The right lotion will help your skin retain its natural moisture, maintain softness, and can help to alleviate dryness. More specifically, lotion helps attract and lock moisture into your skin, which promotes hydration as well prompting the production of ceramides, our body's natural waxy molecules that play a major role in the structure and softness of our skin. 

The problem is, many traditional lotion brands use harmful ingredients like petrolatum and parabens, which can actually have the opposite effect on your skin - trapping dead skin cells, clogging pores and potentially causing irritation and harboring bacteria, not to mention disrupting natural hormone production. 

Why natural lotion?
Put simply, Dr. Squatch natural hand and body lotion is packed with the good stuff and none of the bad. We’ve mixed up a manly formula that absorbs easily (no more slippery doorknobs and phones!) and is free from petrolatum and parabens. We fortify ‘em with powerful natural moisturizers like Vitamin E, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter, for long-lasting 24-hour moisture and soft, healthy skin. Plus, you won’t find any over-the-top synthetic scents, just the rugged, naturally-derived Squatch scents you know and love.

Ready to Squatch dry skin once and for all? Get rubbing! Rubbing in lotion that is.

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