Why Does My Skin Get So Dry After Showering?

My 3 simplest answers are: pH, evaporation and detergent-based body washes/soap.

manshower
Photo by Fashionbeans

Skin lives comfortably at a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Typically, water has a pH of 7+ and body washes may be as high as 9. The higher pH washes away oil and debris but will cause drying. Your skin will return to it’s norm of 4.5 to 5.5, eventually, after showering, but it will take some time. In the interim, it will feel dry.

Evaporation is another issue; say the phone rings and you do a quick dry and skip the moisturizer–ouch! The little water droplets left on your skin slowly evaporate and take your natural moisture into the air along with them (here we are dealing with H2O and oxygen). Your skin feels dry because the cellular matrix, similar to a honeycomb, is dry and empty and starts to feel itchy.

Detergents (aka surfactants, SLS) are found in a lot of body washes and soaps. Detergents are able to bind to both oil and water. This accounts for their suds and their ability to remove the dirt from your skin. However, along with dirt they also remove oil.  Over time, this will cause your skin to become less supple and lose it’s ability to prevent water loss. And, if you are showering twice a day, you are doubling these effects and your skin will eventually appear dry and flaky.

The solution, like the cause, is threefold. To regulate pH, use products that are as close to your skin’s pH as possible. To combat the effects of evaporation, simply apply moisturizer to slightly damp skin. Moisturizers come in many forms. S4 has a great Face + Body Toner that you can easily spray all over your back and other hard to reach places. The third part of the solution is to avoid harsh detergents in your skin care products. Look for words in the ingredients like ammonium/sodium/sulfate. The best solution is to use quality products that do not include detergents. S4 skincare uses quality ingredients in the best combinations. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the ingredients puzzle.

Happy showering and stay in touch,

Shelley (S4 Skincare)

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