7 Signs You Aren't Moisturizing Enough & Your Skin Is Suffering

There are many signs you aren't moisturizing enough besides the obvious — if you've ever called into question your moisturizer OR your moisturizing skills, then you are not alone. Dry skin occurs in all skin types, at all ages, and most of us are quick to point the finger at our moisturizing method or product. While many of us are concerned with over-moisturizing to avoid breakouts, clogged pores, and oily skin, the answer may be a smarter moisturizer instead of skipping out on moisturizing after cleansing.

Since there are many signs of dehydrated skin, I sat down to chat with Alan M. Dattner, MD who provides holistic dermatology in Manhattan and New Rochelle, NY. Alan is the author of Radiant Skin from the Inside Out and dropped a world of knowledge of the subject of dry skin. His working theory is supported by many of his colleagues that moisturizing your bod on the inside is just as important as moisturizing on the outside. Alan believes that having the right components are key to avoiding dry skin: cutting down on inflammation, drinking sufficient fluids, and taking in the right oils are all components to hydrated skin. Basically, just like there are foods and habits we can do to avoid acne, there are also things we can do internally to avoid dry skin.

These common signs indicate you may not be moisturizing enough and could even be on your way to a more serious condition than dry skin — read on and make sure your moisturizing game stays A+ no matter what!

1. You Aren't Moisturizing On Damp Skin

If you already aren't doing this, than you may find dry skin to be an uphill battle. According to Alan, creams have many components to them and often include water, but applying on damp skin can help retain moisture although, using OTC creams has more risk for allergic reactions or skin irritation. If you use oils like myself that do not contain any water at all, you must put them on top of wet skin to seal in the moisture. Alan explains that after cleansing, we've washed off some of our natural humectants, so applying a moisturizing ASAP is super important.

2. You Have A Dull Complexion

Sure, a dull complexion can be a sign of a lot of things, particularly dry skin, but what exactly does it mean when your complexion is dull? According to Alan, when the skin looks dull, the light is being reflected on the very uppermost layers of the skin and you are unable to see the same depth as when those layers are hydrated. Moisturizing regularly will definitely satisfy cravings for glowing skin.

3. Your Makeup Looks Cracked

One of my least fave things about lipstick in the winter is that my lips are already dry and my lipstick becomes caked and cracked, well just like applying lipstick on dry skin, applying concealers or powders on dry skin can give you a cracked look instead of a runway look. According to sources at News Health, cracked makeup is a sign you need you aren't moisturizing enough. Alan agrees by stating "If your makeup looks cracked, I would be suspicious that the skin [underneath] is too dry." This can lead you to be sucking the moisture out in both directions, your skin can dry out from air and absorption of water from the products.

4. Your Skin Feels Tight

Yes, we all know that if your skin feels tight, it's likely dry. Alan compares this sign to that of a pair of leather shoes, if the skin isn't hydrated enough, the surface will become tight and eventually begin to crack. That sounds like a dry skin warning sign you should never ignore! If you think your fave pair of leather shoes looked better before they cracked, imagine how you'd feel about your face.

5. You Suffer From Acne

Typically, we've come to think of acne as a condition specific to those with oily skin, but according to Alan, you can have both dry skin and acne. For some people, drying out the skin actually tightens the pores and makes them less efficient. "There is constriction of the sebaceous material which causes acne and provides hydration of the skin and prevents water loss. If you have oily skin it can still be dry, because there isn't enough oil or humectants," Alan says.  

6. You Have Dark Spots Or Redness

Random dark spots? Redness in the skin? These are both signs you aren't moisturizing enough and according to Alan, it could be leading you down a more serious skin condition. "If your skin is too dry, it can slide over into the spectrum of an eczematous dermatitis, where your skin becomes so dry that it starts to have an inflammatory reaction. Mild forms of eczema exist and in darker skin types, [they can result in] hyperpigmentation. This form of dry skin is low grade eczema; there is a narrow line between low grade eczema and just plain old dry skin. If you irritate your skin from being too dry, you could wind up with eczema which has defects that causes excessive dry skin."

7. Your Skin Becomes Irritated Outdoors

If you find your skin becomes dry when you leave the house, chances are you aren't leaving the house with your skin fully protected. Alan explains that there is a biological protection that our skin has to keep it from drying out. "When you are outside, [there are] various things challenging that [natural] barrier." When we go outside, sweating, the sun, and wind can make our skin more vulnerable than we were in the comfort of our homes and it's even more important to make sure you've moisturized enough to avoid dry, irritated skin.

Your skin problems could be fixed as easily as adding some more moisturizer to your routine, so it's important to evaluate your habits to find the best solution for you — it might be more simple than you think.  

Images: Quinn DombrowskiKayedb, Saluda Programa de Salude/Flickr; Giphy; Bustle

Must Reads