Have you ever dried yourself off after a nice warm shower and forgotten to put on lotion, only to discover later that your skin is super dry, maybe even irritated or flaky? Even after lathering on your super-expensive, high-quality lotion made from tears of the Gods and sap from hundred-year-old trees that promises to hydrate and rejuvenate and completely repair years of damage to your skin… it’s still dry twenty minutes later.

Dry skin can be extremely frustrating and sometimes even painful, especially during the colder months of the year. So what is actually causing this dryness? There are lots of different factors that can lead to dry skin, but here are some of the ones we often see:

Poor liver function: Many people nowadays have an inflamed liver, meaning it’s almost like someone lit a match and threw it in there. An inflamed liver is often a result of extreme reoccurring stress and/or ingestion of commonly allergenic foods (wheat, dairy, corn, soy, and preservatives). However, when we clean the liver a bit and work on reducing stress and removing irritating foods, skin seems to have more moisture to it… and without your favourite Bath and Bodyworks cream! A bonus side effect of cleaner the liver is that legs often get leaner as well!

Lack of B vitamins: B vitamins are depleted by many factors including chronic stress, caffeine, alcohol, refined sugars and starches, and multiple medications like the birth control pill, diuretics, antibiotics, NSAIDs, and more. This is a huge issue because B vitamins are a major part of skin health, and a lack can cause all sorts of issues from eczema and psoriasis to cracks on the corners of mouths and dry patches. For those that can’t handle grains, which are high in B vitamins, look for great products like CanPrev’s Synergy B or Stress Management by Kismet Nutrients. An added bonus of increased B vitamins is that the stomach often gets leaner as well!

Candida/yeast overgrowth: Candida is a form of yeast that everyone has in small amounts in their mouth and intestines. It is typically kept at bay by beneficial bacteria, but various factors such as antibiotics, the birth control pill, stress, excessive refined sugars and starches, and alcohol can all tip the scale in favour of Candida and allow it to overgrow. Candida can cause something called leaky gut in which the intestines become permeable and allow the passage of undigested food particles and bacteria into the bloodstream. If Candida is released into the bloodstream and becomes systemic, it can cause a host of issues including brain fog, bloating, gas, eczema, yeast infections, constipation and/or diarrhea, stiff joints, mood imbalances, and, of course, dry skin! 

Zinc deficiency: Zinc is essential for a variety of functions in the body, including playing a role in growth and development, gene expression, cell division, immunity, wound healing, carbohydrate breakdown, and hormone production. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. A common sign of zinc deficiency is slowed ability to heal wounds, skin infections, and irritated, dry skin. Eating foods that are high in zinc can help correct a deficiency and therefore put you on the path to rehydrated skin—these include grass-fed beef, lamb, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and chicken.

Excessive sugar intake: Yup, sugar! A few years ago when I asked a client why they liked coffee so much, they told me that they loved the energy boost it gave them. So I asked them what was in their coffee and they said 3 milk and 4 sugars! I told them to boil water, add 3 milk and 4 sugars, drink that instead of coffee, and describe the feeling they got. They got the same energy boost as they did with the coffee! Black coffee did nothing for them. In essence, it was the sugar that pushed their adrenal glands and gave them that boost (adrenal glands give you push of energy by secreting adrenalin, also known as epinephrine, a short-term stress hormone). Adrenalin also pulls water out of the body and dehydrates it, causing dry skin and various other issues. So, to make a long story short: reduce sugar intake to increase moisture in your skin.

So just remember: dry skin is not due to a moisturizer deficiency, and it does not mean that you have to go out and spend more and more on the best moisturizers and creams and lotions that you can find, but is most often a deflection of what is going on internally. 

In our assessment process at B Elite, we check 12 different skinfold sites to see if your adrenal glands are working overtime, as well as how your liver is doing. We go through a digestive system intake and determine what foods are hindering you and replace them with foods that will help you. We build your success plan so you can transform your body, including your skin, hair, nails and everything else. Eventually dry skin will be a thing of the past!