Awakening Wednesday — Types and Causes of Dry Skin

By Rob Hardwicke, Awakening Mineral Skin Care

So what are the types of dry skin and the causes of dry skin?  Dry skin comes in various forms and degrees — from mild dehydration, to dryness that may cause the skin to flake or peel, to dryness so profound that it leads to fissures in the skin — cracks sufficiently deep as to bleed!

Causes & Types of Dry Skin

Causes & Types of Dry Skin

Dry skin is caused by three basic conditions:

1) A lack of oil (“oil-dry” skin)

2) A lack of water (“water-dry” skin)

3) A lack of youth (a nice way of saying “old-dry” skin)

“Oil-dry” skin typically is the result of how your body is wired.  Thanks to your DNA (often also defined as “your mother”), the subaceous glands may be malfunctioning in their duty to keep the skin protected by secreting a mildly acidic, waxy/oily coating called “sebum”.  (On the other hand, it’s the overproduction of sebum, and the consequent clogging & inflaming of pores that can lead to teen acne-angst).

Dehydrated, or “water-dry”, skin can occur even if the sebaceous glands’ microscopic exocrine glands are creating an acceptable level of protective sebum.  But if the skin doesn’t also have a supply of water-moisture, trouble once again sets in.  External water mist is great for keeping the body cool and an oil-enhanced mist (as described below) can be helpful, but to be prfoundly effective, the source of hydration needs to be internal.  No, beer doesn’t count, nor do sugary drinks or iced tea.  The answer is plain oil H2O — water — taken aboard most conveniently through that multi-use body portal, your mouth.

“Mature” (ok, “old”) skin is a much more complicated situation.  The most effective “cure” is to start early on a lifelong quest to protect the skin from a whole host of dangers.  Don’t irradiate your skin with UVA and UVB rays from the great fireball in the sky — use a block or at least a screen.  Don’t inflict your body with oxidants — the most notorious being the products of combustion of any kind.  Most of us are wise enough even as teens not to hang out by the tailpipes of buses, trucks & cars while breathing deeply, or to hover for extended periods over a lighed barbeque’s spareribs.  A small chunk of us is smart enough to avoid ignighted designer plant matter, whether commercial or recreational.  An even small chunk is sufficiently wise to avoid caffeine and/or alcohol — alas, these, too, are unhelpful for the health of skin.  Even if we’ve done a tolerably good job of living our lives, the skin’s regenerative capabilities just peter out over time and less high-quality, protective sebum is produced.

So, what now?

Merely drinking a quart or two of pure water daily will do a lot.  Eating foods high in EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids — or “good” fat) is admirable: EFA foods like salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines — or for those not into fish food — flaxseed oil is great, but it needs to be fresh.

And, of course, there are the fabulous, non-greasy skin care products that we craft in our Awakening Mineral Skin Care lab.

If you’re into “home brewed” help for your skin, go ahead and whop up the “Comfrey Happy Skin Spray” recipe described below.

(Note: A super little spray mister for this recipe is the spritzer that comes free-of-charge accompanying the large refill bottle of Awakening HANDS SANITIZER).

Here’s the recipe for your home-brewed “Comfrey Happy Skin Spray”:

Ingredients you’ll need:

1 cup distilled water

1 teaspoon of dried, chopped comfrey root (or 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped comfrey root)

1/2 cup of aloe vera juice

10 drops of calendula essential oil

10 drops of chamonile essential oil

2 drops of peppermint essential oil

2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil

Action to take:

Bring the water to a boil & add the comfrey root and then reduce the heat to simmer.  The herb will “decoct” (boil down and become concentrated) over 30 minutes of simmering.

Strain out the root parts from the liquid and place the decocted liquid in a small bowl.  Add the aloe vera juice and the oils.  Stir thoroughly.

Place the mixture into one or more little spritzer spray bottles.  Ideally, keep your mixture under refrigeration (or at least in a cool location) when not in use.

Shake well & mist the liquid onto your skin (if it’s your face, remember to close your eyes; ditto, your mouth).

[Comfrey is great for irritated, itchy skin, but so is the natural magnesium we place in every one of the Awakening Mineral Skin Care products that we formulate].


 Awakening Mineral Skin Care and Sea Awakening are boutique formulators of nature-derived, vegan skin care products utilizing concentrated mineral crystals isolated from the Dead Sea, essential oils and botanical extracts.  With only a few exceptions, we call our products by what they do: Awakening HANDS treats hands, Awakening FEET treats feet, Awakening BODY treats bodies, SeaAwakening SCALP Treatment treats scalps — you get the idea.

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