Why Dry Skin Happens

Think of your skin as a cake with many layers, wrapped in a sheet of cling wrap to keep the moisture in the cake, so it doesn’t dry out and turn stale. This cling wrap is incredibly important because without it, the cake would probably go stale in a few hours. The very uppermost layer of your skin, called the stratum corneum, acts the same way as cling wrap does, keeping moisture in the lower layers. It’s even roughly the same thickness.

The stratum corneum is composed mainly of natural skin oils, dead skin cells and debris, which all help to retain another component, water. When water is able to evaporate because there’s not enough natural skin oils, it becomes insufficient and the stratum corneum dries out. The lower layers of the skin become parched as well. The result is dry skin.

Dry skin is a common problem for older women, during the colder months and after laser and light based skincare treatments such as laser skin tightening and photofacial rejuvenation. When the skin becomes dry, it shrinks and cracks appear. These cracks allow harmful bacteria to enter the skin, leading to irritation, redness, and infection. That’s why it’s imperative that you moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

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