What causes dry skin patches on face?

Why are we looking at what causes dry skin?

What causes dry skin? Before I get into all the details, I decided to do some research on this because I get dry skin myself. I find, especially in the colder months, that both my hands and my face get dry skin.

I wanted to find a remedy for this, so I to begin I started to research what can cause dry skin patches on my face as well as my hands and skin in general.

What is Dry Skin?

Let’s first look at what is dry skin. So, during my research, there is a distinction made between what they call dry skin and dehydrated skin.

Dry Skin

So, from what I read – dry skin is classified as a skin type which is inherited through genetics. This means that dry skin type is a predisposed skin type which is caused by an inadequate production of the skin’s natural oils.

Dry skin characteristics

  • Feels rough
  • Appears dry
  • Can be flaky

Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that is often caused by external elements such as the weather, a poor diet (not eating enough fresh produce) and an unhealthy lifestyle (caffeine being in the list – something I drink too much of). Basically, this condition is caused by a lack or reduced content of water in your skin.

Dehydration is a lack of water so even oily skin types can get dehydrated. One of the other facts I read on dehydrated skin was the following reported fact

The body’s reaction to dehydration is to produce even more oil which can lead to breakouts and blemishes.

Dehydrated skin characteristics

  • Looks dull
  • Feels tight
  • Feels rough
  • Is sensitive
  • Shows fine lines
  • Shows accelerated signs of ageing, such as sagging skin and deep wrinkles

Does it matter which condition you have?

The fact is, whichever of the two you are suffering from, it may not matter to you. In both cases your skin may feel dry and irritable – but the fact is, when it comes to treating the skin, you do need to understand which issue you are dealing with.

How to tell if your skin is dehydrated

I found that there are two easy ways to tell if your skin is dehydrated.

  1. Skin: Use two fingers to pinch up some skin on the back of your hand, then let the skin go. The skin should spring back to its normal position in less than a couple of seconds. If the skin returns to normal more slowly, you may be dehydrated – this is a test I found out about recently from a TV program and I have done this test on myself.
  2. Urine: So, this is probably one of the more commonly known tests of if you are dehydrated. If you’re well-hydrated, your urine will be mostly clear with a tinge of yellow. If its a darker yellow or orange, then this is the “warning” colours to watch for. If you see those colours, start hydrating as you are dehydrated.

Now that you know if you’re dealing with dry or dehydrated skin, we can look at the next stage, how to treat the dry skin patches you’re seeing.

How to care for your skin

How to care for dehydrated skin

Before we talk about how to care for dehydrated skin, let’s just look at some key causes:

  • Sun – The sun can make the skin dehydrated, UVA is the main factor that can affect the skin, it can increase the ageing process, increase oxidants in the skin, increase free radicals in the sells and dehydrate it.
  • Hot water such as hot shows and baths – this is especially true where there’s a lot of hard water. Hard water contains limestone which can remove water from the skin. You can still have a shower every day, but stick to warm water instead of hot and make them shorter showers.
  • Ageing – Ageing is a factor in many skin care issues and dehydrated skin is no different. Basically, as you and your skin get older you make find it more difficult to keep its moisture levels up.
  • Air-conditioning and Central Heating – Air-conditioning and central heating can make your rooms feel more comfortable in the hot or cold weather, they can also affect your skin’s hydration.
  • Wrong skincare – using the wrong products, so things that are too harsh or light, or even using them too infrequently, can contribute to the dehydration of your skin.

So, what should you do if you have dehydrated skin?

The first thing is, that, it’s important to drink plenty of water. Make sure you drink enough water to stay hydrated.

Eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables. make sure you have a well-balanced diet.

Apply moisturizers or serums. Apply a moisturizer or serum that contains fragmented Hyaluronic acid.

What is hyaluronic acid? “Hyaluronic acid is something we all have in our bodies. It’s naturally present in all human beings, and it helps prevent the effects of ageing. In dehydrated skin, it will help retain water in the skin,” Dr Haus explains.

Dr Haus’ top 5 lifestyle recommendations for dehydrated skin:
1. Use sun protection
2. Avoid alcohol
3. Avoid smoking
4. Eat a balanced diet
5. Drink a lot of water

How to care for your dry skin

Treating dry facial skin is a multi-step process that involves changing the way you wash, exfoliate, moisturize and care for your skin every day. You will need to follow a dry skin friendly routine to clear up your dry skin.

  1. Try washing with water only. Sometimes dry skin could be caused by washing your face with harsh cleaners. Harsh cleaners can wash away the oils skin produce which may be making the problem worse.
  2. Consider an oil cleansing method. This is a great method for washing your face at night. An oil cleanser removes dirt, sweat and lots of other things without drying out your skin.
  3. Exfoliate your face a few times a week. As dry skin is a layer of dead skin cells, try removing this later by exfoliating.
  4. Moisturize in the morning. Try not to cover your face at night with a cream, some research seems to indicate that facial cell renewal happens at night (I’m not a scientist so I can only record what I read). So, moisturize in the morning is the best time. Avoid a moisturizer that contains alcohol is best.
  5. Protect your skin. As weather can be a factor with dry skin, try protecting it from the sun or cold.  In the summer wear a hat or sunscreen. In the winter try covering up with a scarf or similar. Try to keep the harsh weather off the skin, especially the dry spots.

If in doubt, see a doctor

These are just some tips I have found and read about when researching dry skin for myself – I suffer from lots of dry skin in a few places.

This research is written down and shared with you – but I must say that I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice I am giving you.

If you’re worried about your skin, I would advise you see a doctor. It may be that you need more specialist attention. That is really my Number 1 Tip.

However, if you do have dry skin and want to try some of the things mention in this post, they may work for you. I have tried some of these and they are working – especially not using harsh soaps on my skin.

In conclusion

So, in this post, I’ve tried to talk about what causes dry skin in relation to the face and the body in general. There are some great tips to try here. The final thing those is to just to say again – if in doubt, seek a doctors advice.


I've spent many years looking, learning and trying all sorts of hair and body health and stying. I wanted to share what I've learned through this page as well as open and create a discussion on techniques that may be better than I use now.

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