5 causes of skin dryness! Solve them and you’ll never have to worry about dry skin again

When you properly moisturize, your skin’s inherent barrier function will work normally and maintain hydration within your skin.

If you’ve been moisturizing but are still having dry skin problems, it probably means that you aren’t actually ‘moisturizing properly.’

In this article, we’ll be introducing what it means to moisturize and the causes of dry skin. By understanding these, you’ll be able to moisturize your skin effectively and solve your skin problems.

This is a must-read for any of you who have dry skin problems and are looking to solve them ASAP!

Moisturizing is about regulating your skin condition and restoring its natural functions

Moisturizing is about maximizing your skin’s natural hydration functions.

It is about regulating your skin condition so that your skin barrier – which is responsible for maintaining hydrating within your skin – is strong and functions normally.

You cannot do this by simply applying lotion or water to your skin. This is not proper moisturizing.

Before we introduce the causes of dry skin and some solutions, we first need to understand how the skin works.

The structure and functions of skin

Our skin has 3 layers:

  1. Epidermis
  2. Dermis
  3. Subcutaneous tissue

Among these layers, the one that is the most important for maintaining skin moisture is the outermost layer of the epidermis, also known as the stratum corneum.

The stratum corneum is made up of cells containing natural moisturizing factors (NMF) and intercellular lipids that connect these cells together.

When NMF-containing cells and intercellular lipids are perfectly aligned, your skin is hydrated.

The stratum corneum is also covered by a sebum film. This sebum film is made up of sweat and sebum, and it protects the skin from external stimuli, as well as your skin’s hydration from evaporating.

sebum film lamellar structure skin barrier labeled diagram

Together, the stratum corneum and the sebum film are known as the skin’s barrier function.

What are the causes of skin dryness?

There are 5 main causes of skin dryness.

  1. Dry air from AC and heaters
  2. UV rays
  3. Disrupted turnover cycle due to irregular sleep and diet
  4. Incorrect skincare
  5. Weakened skin barrier due to aging

Let’s take a look at each of them.

Dry air from AC and heaters

The first cause is dry air from using AC and heaters.

When we use the AC or heater, water in the air is absorbed.

This is why, when we use the AC for a long period of time, the air becomes dry. This makes our skin’s natural water content more easily absorbable too.

By being in an environment where the AC is on for a long time, your skin’s barrier function is weakened.

UV rays

The second cause is damage from UV rays.

The outermost layer of the epidermis, or the stratum corneum, is particularly vulnerable to damage from UV rays.

UV rays damage our skin surface by burning it and taking away our skin’s hydration.

Not to mention, UV rays also damage the sebum film that covers our skin surface, which weakens your skin’s barrier function.

Disrupted turnover cycle due to irregular sleep and diet

The third cause is a disrupted turnover cycle.

The turnover cycle refers to the creation of new skin cells.

skin turnover cycle labeled diagram

Our skin’s barrier function is regulated by a normal turnover cycle.

However, if you have an unbalanced diet, your blood circulation is affected negatively. Good blood circulation is necessary for your body to create new skin cells.

On top of this, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body can’t produce the growth hormones that are necessary to create new skin cells. 

Incorrect skincare

The fourth cause is incorrect skincare.

Actions such as rubbing your skin harshly, using pore masks, and frequently exfoliating will damage your stratum corneum. A damaged stratum corneum cannot retain hydration properly, and your skin becomes dry more easily.

Moreover, if you use a cleanser with strong cleansing and degreasing properties, you skin will become more vulnerable to losing its moisturization.

This is because these types of cleansers wash away the stratum corneum’s NMFs and intercellular lipids, as well as the sebum film – all of which are important for a strong skin barrier.

Weakened skin barrier due to aging

The fifth cause is a weakened skin barrier.

With age, the amount of NMFs and intercellular lipids in your stratum corneum decreases. The amount of sebum your body produces also decreases.

These changes weaken your skin’s barrier function and make your skin more vulnerable to dryness and external stimuli.

Neglecting your skin in this condition is extremely dangerous. 

Solving these 5 causes will not only solve skin dryness but also skin sensitivity?!

That’s right.

If you’ve been struggling with sensitive skin, it may be connected to dry skin,

The causes of skin dryness are similar to the causes of skin sensitivity. This means that the solutions are also the same.

Internal and external causes of sensitive skin

Internal causes of sensitive skin are the following:

  • Irregular sleep cycle
  • Irregular lifestyle habits
  • Irregular diet and eating habits
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Menstruation
  • Hormonal imbalances (such as from pregnancy and menopause)
  • Aging

External causes of sensitive skin are the following:

  • Incorrect skincare
  • Changes in temperature and humidity
  • UV rays
  • Sweat
  • Allergic reactions to house mites, dust, and metal

The key to solving sensitive skin is to revise lifestyle habits

Irregular lifestyle habits can gradually damage your skin condition.

An unbalanced diet or extreme food restrictions result in a lack of essential nutrients, which can affect your body negatively.

A lack of sleep also disrupts your skin’s turnover cycle, and stress harms your immune system.

Not to mention, smoking activates your body’s free radicals which destroys vitamin cells.

Disrupted lifestyle habits and environments weaken your skin barrier and harms your skin’s balance of water and oil. These cause your skin to become sensitive.

In order to solve sensitive skin, it is important to revise these lifestyle habits and environments.

Consult a dermatologist if you have allergies

If your skin condition doesn’t improve after revising your lifestyle habits, there may be other causes such as eczema or allergies.

If this applies to you, professional help is necessary. Consult a dermatologist and seek appropriate medical care.

Skincare to achieve long-lasting moisturization

Choosing and using a cleanser correctly

The first thing to keep in mind is choosing the correct cleanser for your skin, and using it correctly.

There are many types of cleansers, and some of them have very strong cleansing properties that wash away your stratum corneum’s NMFs and intercellular lipids, as well as the sebum film.

It is important to choose a cleanser that is not too strong.

Correct method of cleansing your face

  1. Wash your hands with soap
  2. With clean hands, take an appropriate amount of cleanser
  3. Apply the cleanser on your dry face
  4. Start with your eye makeup and lipstick, allowing the cleanser to absorb the makeup in these areas
  5. Then, move to your chin and cheek area, allowing the cleanser to absorb your face makeup
  6. When absorbing the cleanser into your skin, imagine drawing circles with your finger pads
  7. Once all of your makeup has been absorbed by the cleanser, wash it off with lukewarm water (34~36°C)
  8. Pat your face dry with a clean towel

correct order to cleanse face no makeup

correct order to cleanse face with makeup

When cleansing your face, make sure you aren’t rubbing your skin harshly.

Correct method of face washing

Similar to cleansers, it is important to choose a face wash that doesn’t strip your skin of its NMFs, intercellular lipids, and sebum film.

It is important to choose a face wash that is not too strong.

Correct method of washing your face

  1. Wash your hands with soap
  2. With clean hands, take an appropriate amount of face wash. 
  3. First, apply the face wash on your T-zone and gently let it absorb into your skin
  4. Then, apply the face wash gently on your face line
  5. Lastly, apply the face wash on your eyes and mouth area
  6. Wash it off completely with lukewarm water (34~36°C)
  7. Pat your face dry with a clean towel

areas with high or low sebum production

You don’t have to choose a lotion based on your skin type!

For lotion, you can choose any that you like! Consider its texture, smell, price, brand, and other factors that will help you use it longer.

Lotion is 95%+ water.

The remaining 5% ingredients determines the functions of that unique lotion. However, the biggest difference among lotions is the texture, not its skincare properties. 

That’s why it’s okay to choose a lotion based on your preferences.

Make sure you apply OIL to your skin to achieve long-lasting moisturization

After applying lotion, make sure to apply an oil-based product.

The oil will prevent your skin’s hydration from evaporating by acting as a seal on top of your skin. This will strengthen your skin’s barrier function too.

Even if you have oily skin, it is important to apply an oil-based product after lotion.

Correct method of applying lotion and oil-based products

Correct method of applying lotion

  1. Gradually take a 1.5 cherry-sized amount of lotion on your palm
  2. Warm up the lotion with your hand
  3. Press the lotion on your face as if you’re covering your face with your palm
  4. To prevent uneven application, apply the lotion 2-3 times on your face

In total, you should use a 1.5 cherry-sized amount of lotion.

Keep in mind that you should apply lotion immediately after washing your face.

If you’re using a cotton pad to apply lotion, make sure you’re not damaging your skin surface with the cotton fibers. Make sure you apply the lotion gently, and aren’t rubbing your skin harshly.

Correct method of applying oil-based products

  1. Take a one cherry-sized amount of product
  2. Apply it to 4 areas: between the eyebrows, cheeks, nose, and chin
  3. Gently and lightly spread the product with your finger pads

For your eyes and mouth areas which become easily dry, apply a second layer.

If you accidentally apply too much product, wipe it off with a tissue.

Use an all-in-one gel product

All-in-one gel products are gaining popularity among women who have busy schedules or who want to finish their skincare routine quickly.

Here are some tips to make the most out of your all-in-one gel.

How to choose an all-in-one gel product

When choosing an all-in-one gel product, it is important to consider whether it can properly hydrate your skin and maintain that hydration.

1. Choose one that has a high concentration of moisturizing ingredients

There are many types of moisturizing ingredients, but we recommend ones that have not been reported to cause problems for a long time and are highly safe.

The following moisturizing ingredients have had a consistent reputation for being effective:

  • Amino acids
  • Sodium lactate
  • PCA-Na
  • Sodium hyaluronate
  • Squalene
  • Glycerin
  • Ceramide
  • Jojoba oil    …etc.

2. Choose one that DOESN’T have a cream or serum in the same collection

Despite having the same “all-in-one,” some all-in-one gel products require you to use an additional cream or serum.

In other words, your skincare isn’t complete with an all-in-one gel product. This is actually a tactic used by brands to get more profits. This defeats the whole purpose of an all-in-one product.

It is important to find an all-in-one gel product that truly completes your skincare with that one product.


In order to have a normally-function skin barrier, it is first important to consider why your skin’s moisture was lost.

After finding the causes, it is crucial to revise your lifestyle habits and skincare routine. Make sure to properly conduct basic skincare.

If you’re struggling to find products that suit your skin, we recommend an all-in-one gel product that completes your skincare routine with one product.

Earthcare Asia’s Aquatect Gel is an all-in-one gel product that is formulated with 16 moisturizing ingredients. It has been loved for over 20 years by 24,000+ users!

Curious to learn more about Aquatect Gel, the all-in-one gel product that has been loved by over 24,000 users for over 20 years?


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