Our skin is the largest organ in the body which is exposed to the elements. It’s also the first layer of defense you have against your surroundings. As a multifunctional organ, it provides a protective shield for your body from external factors, including chemicals, pathogens, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and even dehydration (1). Giving it a little TLC will help ensure you get the glowing, radiant skin you're after, no matter the environment.
However, your skin can give important clues regarding your overall health. Dry skin, for instance, can point to various health conditions.
What causes dry skin?
Dehydrated skin can be triggered by plenty of things. Insufficient hydration, hormonal fluctuations, and certain medication can cause the skin to get dehydrated (3). Skin needs adequate hydration and moisture in order for it to remain flexible, elastic and youthful (4).
Here are some other causes of dry skin:
Seasonal changes can cause dehydration to occur, especially during colder seasons. In the winter, the skin can be protected with moisturising products.
Too much heat
Heat from central heating, space heaters, or fireplaces may dry your skin by reducing humidity (18) and stripping out moisture in the air.
Long hot baths
Long hot baths or showers can dry your skin by depleting its natural oils and causing surface level inflammation (18).
Stripping soaps and cosmetics
Some drying, stripping or astringent soaps, shampoos, and detergents dry your skin by removing the natural oils that keep it hydrated and protected (18).
People in their 40s or older are more likely to experience dry skin (18). As people age, oil and sweat glands tend to dry up, and skin becomes thinner (19), making it more prone to drying.
If your occupation requires you to frequently wash your hands, such as hairstyling, or in healthcare, you may experience dry skin (18).
You may experience dry skin as a result of not getting enough vitamin D, vitamin A, niacin, zinc, or iron (10) through your diet.
Soothing balms, sunscreen and ointments will provide a much needed skin barrier from the elements especially when you expect to spend a lot of time outdoors. These can be found in petroleum jellies, moisturising creams and medically recommended sunscreens²⁵. The new normal through these pandemic years has exposed us to the frequent use of hand sanitisers, soaps, cleansers and laundry detergents. This has brought to the fore a whole host of itchy skin issues with products drying out our skin²⁶. Regular skin care routine irrespective of skin condition should start with not using hot water or harsh scrubs, only following pat dry with a towel regimen, application of moisturiser and hyaluronic acid to add moisture to your skin and mandatorily applying fragrance free products (27).
Nutrients to help overcome dry skin and get you glowing
Certain vitamins and nutrients can help in reducing your risk of dry skin. If you don’t get enough of them through your diet, consider taking them in the form of skin supplements:
Zinc supports skin health by supporting collagen formation. It plays an essential role in collagen synthesis and concentration (11). It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help keep skin healthier (20).
Iron supports collagen formation by encouraging more collagen synthesis (12). Iron also helps in the process of wound healing (21).
*Iron should only be taken if prescribed by your doctor.
Astaxanthin supports skin elasticity by supporting the barrier integrity of the skin (13). Astaxanthin also protects the skin from sun damage, and has antioxidant effects (22).
This B group of vitamins supports skin health by protecting the connective tissues in the skin (14). They also improve wound healing.
Vitamin C supports collagen formation by stimulating collagen synthesis (15). It also plays a role in stabilising the collagen molecule structure (23).
Collagen in the form of supplements has been found to support skin integrity by improving moisture, elasticity, and reducing wrinkles (16).
Biotin supports skin health by improving rashes and skin irritation (17, 24). Biotin deficiency is marked by rashes that can be found around the eyes, nose, and mouth (24).
Taking active measures to show your skin some love can help you combat dry skin and get that glow you’re after. Coupling healthy living with the right vitamins and minerals can help you maintain this in the long-run too!
Worried about your skin getting dry? With Vitable Australia’s personalised supplements, you can choose to have a variety of vitamins and minerals that help your skin stay healthy. With our monthly vitamin subscription, you get access to your own set of preferred vitamins and minerals with just a few clicks. The best part is, we even have vitamin delivery services, so you can expect them right at your doorstep.
Find out more about other areas that the above supplements can help you with:
*Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional. Vitamin and/or mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
- Nguyen, Alan & Soulika, Athena. The Dynamics of the Skin’s Immune System. National Institutes for Health. Published April 20 2019 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515324/. Accessed on September 12 2021.
- Hashizume, Hideo. Skin aging and dry skin. National Institutes for Health. Published August 2004 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15492432/. Accessed on September 12 2021.
- Pons-Guiraud, A. Dry skin in dermatology: a complex physiopathology. National Institutes for Health. Published September 2007 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17716284. Accessed on September 12 2021.
- K.A. Engebretsen, S. Kezic, C. Riethmüller, J. Franz, I. Jakasa, A. Hedengran, A. Linneberg, J.D. Johansen, J.P. Thyssen. Changes in filaggrin degradation products and corneocyte surface texture by season. National Institutes for Health. Published May 2018 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29512138. Accessed on September 12 2021.
- Draelos, Zoe Diana. Nutrition and enhancing youthful-appearing skin. National Institutes for Health. Published August 2010 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20620756/. Accessed on September 12 2021.
- Hussein et al. Antihypertensive potential and mechanism of action of astaxanthin: III. Antioxidant and histopathological effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats. National Institutes for Health.
- HealthDirect. "Eczema". HealthDirect. Last reviewed February 2020 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/eczema. Accessed on September 18 2021
- HealthDirect. "Seborrhoeic dermatitis". HealthDirect. Last reviewed August 2020 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/seborrhoeic-dermatitis. Accessed on September 18 2021
- HealthDirect. "Seborrhoeic dermatitis". HealthDirect. Last reviewed March 2021 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/psoriasis. Accessed on September 18 2021
- American Academy of Dermatology Association. "Dry Skin: Who Gets and Causes". American Academy of Dermatology Association. Published (n.d.) on https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/dry-skin-causes. Accessed on September 18 2021
- Seo, H., Cho, Y., et. al., "Zinc may increase bone formation through stimulating cell proliferation, alkaline phosphatase activity and collagen synthesis in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells". National Institutes of Health: US National Library of Medicine. Published October 2016 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981717/. Accessed on September 18 2021.
- Gardi, C., Arezzini, B., et. al., "Effect of free iron on collagen synthesis, cell proliferation and MMP-2 expression in rat hepatic stellate cells". National Library of Medicine: PubMed.gov. Published October 2002 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12234617/. Accessed on September 18 2021.
- Yoon, H., Cho, H., et. al. "Supplementating with dietary astaxanthin combined with collagen hydrolysate improves facial elasticity and decreases matrix metalloproteinase-1 and -12 expression: a comparative study with placebo". National Library of Medicine: PubMed.gov. Published June 2014 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24955642/. Accessed on September 18 2021.
- Rembe, J., et. al., "Effects of Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C on Human Skin Cells: Is the Perceived Effect Measurable?". National Library of Medicine: PubMed.gov. Published May 2018 on https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29672394/. Accessed on September 18 2021.
- Pullar, J., Carr, A., Vissers, M., "The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health". National Institutes of Health: US National Library of Medicine. Published August 2017 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/. Accessed on September 18 2021.
- Healthdirect. “Skin”. Healthdirect. Last reviewed February 2020 on https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/skin. Accessed on September 18 2021.
- Office of Dietary Supplements. "Biotin". National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Published (n.d.) on https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Biotin-HealthProfessional/. Accessed on September 18 2021.
- Mayo Clinic. "Dry skin". Mayo Clinic. Published August 2019 on https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-skin/symptoms-causes/syc-20353885. Accessed on September 29 2021.
- Cleveland Clinic. "Dry Skin". Cleveland Clinic. Last reviewed May 2020 on https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16940-dry-skinitchy-skin. Accessed on September 29 2021.
- Gupta, M., Mahajan, V., et. al., "Zinc Therapy in Dermatology: A Review". National Institutes of Health: US National Library of Medicine. Published 10 July 2014 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120804/. Accessed on September 29 2021.
- Wright, J., Richards, T., Srai, S., "The role of iron in the skin and cutaneous wound healing". National Institutes of Health: US National Library of Medicine. Published on July 2014 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4091310/. Accessed on September 29 2021.
- Vitable. “Astaxanthin”. Vitable. Published (n.d.) on https://research.vitable.com.au/astaxanthin. Accessed on September 29 2021.
- Pullar, J., Carr, A., Vissers, M., "The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health". National Institutes of Health: US National Library of Medicine. Published August 2017 on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/. Accessed on September 29 2021.
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "Biotin - Vitamin B7". Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Published (n.d.) from https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/biotin-vitamin-b7/. Accessed on September 29 2021.
- https://www.cancer.net/blog/2015-07/10-tips-protecting-your-skin-sun. Jul 2015.
- https://www.who.int/patientsafety/information_centre/Last_April_versionHH_Guidelines%5B3%5D.pdf. 2005-2006.
- https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/skin-care-routine-for-dry-skin#causes. Apr 2021.