Expert advice on the factors that contribute to dry skin

Whether you have dry skin or not, always moisturise. Picture: Pexels.

Whether you have dry skin or not, always moisturise. Picture: Pexels.

Published May 7, 2024


Different people have different skin types, which include oily and sensitive.

Others also suffer from dry skin, a condition which is worsened during the colder months.

Environ Skin Care’s Dr Ernst Eiselen explained that dry skin is a common concern, which could be the result of a range of causes.

“Common moisturisers often attempt to temporarily place extra water in the skin or they prevent water evaporation by applying water-repellent sealants.”

He added that it is more effective to assist the skin in building up natural sealants as protective barriers often restrict water loss.

“The application of highly active vitamins A, C and E, combined with other antioxidants and peptides, is the most efficient means to achieve this,” advised Eiselen.

Here are some of the factors which contribute to dry skin include:


The skincare expert explained that dry skin could be a result of an individual being genetically predisposed to having an under-active sebaceous gland.

'’This means that your skin lacks the oil it needs to retain moisture and to build a protective barrier against the environment,“ he said.

Intrinsic ageing:

Ageing is inevitable and as people get older, Eiselen said that their barrier function weakens, which leads to a loss of moisture.


Eiselen warned that certain medications may lead to dryness on the face as well as the body.

Lifestyle factors:

Certain lifestyle choices directly impacts the condition of the skin. This includes overindulging in alcohol, which could lead to dehydrated skin.

UV exposure:

As the skin is damaged by UV exposure from the rays of the sun, it can thicken and become dry.

“That is why an SPF is always recommended,” Eiselen urged.

Extreme environmental changes:

Extreme weather changes, paired with sun exposure, could result in your skin losing moisture.

Exposure to harsh ingredients:

The use of harsh chemicals, such as acetone, could cause dry skin because they are notorious for removing the skin’s natural oils.

Over cleansing:

This practice could strip the top layer of the skin and remove its natural oils.

Excessive exfoliating:

Over-exfoliation could cause the skin to become dry and for this reason, Eiselen advised people to exfoliate only once a month if you want to remove dead skin cells.