Dry skin

Does your skin often feel tight, so it would be too tight for your face? You are not alone in this. Dry skin is widespread – and it cries out for care and attention. Find out here what causes this and what you can do to feel good in your skin every day again.

  • Dry skin lacks important skin lipids and moisture. As a result, their barrier function is often weakened.

  • Consistent care with moisturizing and moisturizing products is a good countermeasure. Gentle cleansing is particularly important, as water and unsuitable cleansers will further dry out your skin.

Trockene Haut - Ursachen und Pflege
From Head of Cosmetics:

From Head of Cosmetics:

Medically reviewed by:

Medically reviewed by:

Trockene Haut

What does dry skin look like?

If you have dry skin, you may notice that it looks rough, flaky and dull, sometimes even slightly grayish. The skin relief often appears coarser. This means that you can see the fine skin lines, which are not wrinkles, particularly clearly, so that the image is reminiscent of a cobblestone pavement. But small dryness wrinkles are also common, especially around the eyes and mouth.

Or is your skin prone to redness? This can also indicate dry skin. If the skin is extremely dry, unpleasant skin cracks can sometimes form, especially on the heels or corners of the mouth.

How does dry skin develop?

The basic problem with dry skin is the lack of important fats (skin lipids). These normally ensure that our skin forms a robust protective layer on the outside, also known as the skin barrier. The skin barrier is therefore often weakened in dry skin.

What is the skin barrier?

In very simple terms, you can imagine the skin barrier as a kind of wall: The horny cells of your epidermis lie next to and on top of each other like small bricks. They are held together by a mortar-like substance consisting of skin oils and other substances. This also includes various water-binding substances called “natural moisturizing factors”. Some of these substances are secreted by your skin cells, others are produced by your sebaceous glands.

But what happens if there is too little of this greasy binding agent? You guessed it: your skin then becomes leaky and the trapped moisture can evaporate much more easily to the outside. Conversely, substances that do not belong there may penetrate the skin: Chemicals, germs or pollutants of all kinds. This is why dry skin often reacts very
to environmental influences.

Possible reasons for dry skin

Now you may be wondering why your skin produces too little “mortar”. There may be various reasons for this:

Genes: Do your parents or siblings also suffer from dry skin? Then there is probably a genetic predisposition behind it.
Age: With increasing age, the quantity and quality of skin lipids decrease in almost all people. This is why mature skin is particularly prone to dryness.
Environmental factors: For example, cold and dry heating air can promote skin dryness. Excessive UV radiation also exacerbates the problem.
Pre-existing conditions: Skin dryness is a typical symptom of skin diseases such as psoriasis or neurodermatitis (atopic eczema). Other diseases and metabolic disorders such as diabetes mellitus or hypothyroidism can also contribute to dry skin.

What are the differences between dry and dehydrated skin?

Dry and dehydrated – that sounds like one and the same problem. But there is an important difference: while dry skin lacks oils, dehydrated skin is thirsty and needs water.

Dry skin is often dehydrated at the same time because it loses too much moisture due to the weakened skin barrier. But even normal or oily skin can be dehydrated at times – for example, if you have just had a long-haul flight or generally drink too little.

Important: Dehydrated, oily skin is often confused with dry skin, but has completely different care needs! You can find out more in our guide to dehydrated skin.

Risk factors of mature skin: what to look out for in premature skin ageing?

Dry skin is a skin type and not yet a disease. However, very dry skin can cause an unpleasant feeling of tightness. Visually, you may be bothered by the chafed skin on your shins or the small flakes that trickle to the ground.
Skin dryness becomes a medical problem when your skin starts to itch. This is because the almost unavoidable scratching causes tiny injuries and inflammations, which intensify the itching – a vicious circle. In general, the weakened skin barrier increases the risk of allergic reactions, eczema and other skin diseases.

If your skin

  • itches, tingles, hurts or burns
  • reddens
  • forms blisters or pustules
  • conspicuously scaly

you should therefore always have this checked out by a doctor.

Dry skin: the right cleanser

Dry skin is sensitive and doesn’t like it at all when you treat it with fragrant soaps and colorful bubble baths. Now you’ll say: hygiene is a must. True, but we often mean it too well and flush valuable skin oils down the drain along with dirt and sweat. This only weakens the skin barrier all the more.

You should therefore exercise restraint if you have dry skin. In concrete terms, this means:

  • Not too often: A good basic rule is to wash your face twice a day and shower (at most) once a day. If another shower is unavoidable, simply rinse yourself off briefly with water – this also effectively removes sweat and dust.
  • Not too long: You probably know that a short shower is better than a long bath. Try to limit yourself to 5 minutes in the shower if possible.
  • Not too hot: Similar to butter in the sun, your skin oils melt away under a hot shower. A maximum water temperature of 35° Celsius is ideal.
  • Not too aggressive: Soap and alcohol-free wash lotions or wash bars, also known as syndets, are better tolerated than conventional soaps. They cleanse just as effectively, but have a neutral or slightly acidic pH value and are often enriched with skin-caring and moisturizing additives. Look out for the terms “sensitive” or “hypoallergenic”. You can also recognize suitable products by the fact that they do not smell, are not coloured and do not foam much. Your hair shampoo, which runs down your face and body when you rinse it out, should also meet these criteria.

Dry skin: the right care

When caring for dry skin, it is important not only to provide the skin with moisture and lipids, but also to improve its barrier function. The best way to achieve this is through consistent care with products that meet the special requirements of your skin.

What composition should care products have?

A distinction is made between oil-in-water emulsions and water-in-oil emulsions. The former contain more water, the latter more oil. The basic rule is: the drier your skin is at the moment, the oilier your skin cream or lotion should be. Dry skin therefore often benefits from products based on a water-in-oil emulsion.

For facial care, it has proven effective to apply a moisturizing day cream in the morning and a richer night cream in the evening. This will help you avoid annoying greasy shine on your face during the day.

Caution: In the case of acute inflammation or itching, care products with a higher water content are better, as heat often builds up under oily creams. Generally speaking, pure oils such as olive, almond or argan oil are unsuitable for long-term body care and can even further weaken your skin barrier.

Suitable ingredients for dry skin

Cosmetics manufacturers have developed numerous ingredients to make dry skin velvety soft again. This effect has been scientifically proven for one substance in particular: urea. This is nothing other than urea. Urea occurs naturally in the skin as a so-called “moisturizing factor”, but dry skin often lacks it.

Urea is considered highly effective against dry skin because the substance binds water in the skin very well, strengthens its barrier function and relieves itching. In higher concentrations, urea also softens calluses on the feet very effectively.

Urea works even better in combination with moisturizing substances. The so-called ceramides should be mentioned here in particular. They are also actually a natural component of your skin’s protective barrier. A major advantage is that ceramides are non-comedogenic, i.e. they do not promote skin blemishes or acne.
Other useful ingredients are, for example

  • Dexpanthenol
  • Niacinamide (vitamin B)
  • Polidocanol
  • Glycerine
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Jojoba oil
  • Shea butter

On the other hand, you should avoid fragrances, colorants and preservatives, alcohol and fruit acids.

Further tips & tricks for dry skin care

Finally, we’ll give you a few practical tips along the way:

  • Keep it simple: Stick to a handful of tried-and-tested care products and don’t change them too often. Our skin is a creature of habit and can react with irritation if you put it through too much.
  • Pay attention to the season: In winter, dry skin often needs an extra dose of care. However, do not apply moisturizer to your face before a winter walk, but rather use a cold protection ointment rich in oil.
  • Care according to your needs: You may need different products for different skin areas. A typical example is combination skin on the face, where the cheeks are dry but the forehead and nose tend to be oily.
  • Sun protection: UV radiation also dries out your skin, so always remember to use sun protection. It is also the most effective anti-ageing measure to prevent wrinkles and age spots.

You apply cream and cream, but your skin is still tight or itchy? Then it’s better to get professional help. At GoAesthetic, we will be happy to advise you on how to get your dry skin under control so that you no longer itch.

Any questions about dry skin? Our FAQ section has the answers!

Your moisturizer should contain moisturizing as well as moisturizing and soothing substances. Good ingredients include ceramides, urea, glycerine, niacinamide and dexpanthenol. Prefer products that do not contain fragrances, colorants or preservatives.

First of all, you should avoid anything that dries out your skin further, such as aggressive soaps, hot water or excessive UV radiation. Use mild, soap-free cleansers and care for your skin with products that not only moisturize but also provide your skin with important oils.

More questions? Simply make a personal consultation appointment online.


Last updated: 16.05.2024