The Dry Skin Condition

Normal healthy skin is coated in a thin layer of natural lipids or fatty substances called sebum. Sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands and helps the skin to retain moisture. This is critical in understanding dry skin conditions, since for most people dry skin is caused when these natural lipids are stripped away, usually by something in the environment. However it can also be caused by medical conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis or hyperthyroidism.

In a comprehensive discussion on dry skin, R. Morgan Griffin lists several dry skin causes.

1) Moisturiser misuse: Not all moisturisers are beneficial for dry skin. Sometimes harsh preservatives used may exacerbate the condition rather than alleviate it;

2) Dry air: This is particularly common during winter, where the term "winter itch" is often coined;

3) Long hot showers/baths: Excessive exposure to water can wash away the natural lipids resulting in dry skin;

4) Soaps: excessive use of harsh soaps or deodorants can wash away our natural skin oils;

5) Itchy clothing: Certain sweaters or shirts may cause itchy skin and should be avoided;

6) Drugs: Certain drugs have the side effect of drying out the skin. Examples include retinoids (acne), high blood pressure or diabetic medication; and

7) Medical conditions: These include eczema, psoriasis, hyperthyroidism and diabetes.

The symptoms of dry skin are succinctly described by dermatologist, Dr Stuart Crisp: red, scaly or itchy patches most common on the face, hands, arms and legs. When the skin becomes cracked, there is some cause for concern. One of the skins primary functions is to act as a barrier against external bacterial invasion. Dermatologists warn that cracked skin is serious because it allows bacteria into the deeper layers of skin where they can cause infection. A break in the skin should always be treated to avoid potential infections.

Natural Skincare and dry skin conditions

As documented elsewhere, it is generally believed that a good-quality, natural product, containing organic-grade ingredients, is optimal for dry skin because it is rich in nutrients, taking care of overall skin health and is far less likely to be harmful to the skin.

As noted by Gordon Hall in “Learn how to get soft facial skin”, one of the major benefits of plant oils like Shea Butter, Olive Oil and Jojoba Wax is that they closely resemble the natural sebum produced by the skin. This means they fulfill the role that sebum normally would in keeping the skin moist. Moreover they are well known humectants (meaning they assist the skin to draw the water it needs from the surrounding environment). A good quality natural plant-oil blend (including for example those mentioned above) has multiple modes of beneficial action: It nourishes the skin, provides antioxidant activity, promotes collagen growth and is a potent moisturiser.

The reNu Organic Skincare dry skin formulation, containing predominantly Shea butter, provides outstanding treatment for all dry skin conditions.