Visible skincare issues can be difficult to deal with, especially when it is something like skin peeling on the face. Caused by a number of underlying conditions, the right approach to dealing with facial skin peeling is different in each case. This is why it is so important to understand what is causing your facial skin to peel to treat it in a safe way. Facial peeling should not be left untreated as it can lead to further irritation and tempt you to pick on the flakes. Sometimes facial peeling can also be indicative of other, more serious skin issues and should be examined by a dermatologist to determine the probable cause and proper treatment to follow. We have put together a guide to understand why the skin on your face is peeling and how to help deal with it…
- Causes of skin peeling on face
- How to deal with facial skin peeling caused by dryness?
- How to deal with facial skin peeling caused by a sunburn?
- How to deal with skin peeling caused by irritating products?
- How to deal with skin peeling caused by improper exfoliation?
- General tips to help deal with skin peeling on the face
- FAQs about skin peeling on face
Causes of skin peeling on face
While issues like psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, or atopic dermatitis should be left to the professionals to treat, we have a few tips to help deal with other more, milder forms of facial peeling. These tips will help you control the peeling and not rely on makeup to cover up or conceal the flakes. Makeup can exacerbate your facial peeling condition and do a poor job of concealing it, so skin care should be your best bet. Check out these tips below…
How to deal with facial skin peeling caused by dryness?
Dry and dehydrated skin which lacks water and oil can sometimes flake off. This peeling is often accompanied by issues like roughness, cracks, and greying of the skin in darker skin tones, showing up in the affected area. This is especially worse during the colder months when your skin loses a lot of moisture to the harsh air outside. Some essential tips to deal with dry, flaky skin are:
- Use an emollient-like, or thick cream to put moisture back into your skin and maintain the lipid content. Some of the ingredients to look out for are shea or cocoa butter, lactic acid and hyaluronic acid.
- Label check your skincare products to avoid excessively drying ingredients like alcohols and astringents.
- Stay hydrated from the inside out by drinking lots of water and including skin-nourishing supplements into your diet, like primrose oil.
- Use a facial oil at night so that your flaky skin can repair itself while you sleep.
- Use a humidifier to help maintain the moisture levels in your skin on super dry days.
How to deal with facial skin peeling caused by a sunburn?
If you have ever got caught in the sun for too long, you will know how badly it affects your skin. Sunburnt skin is damaged skin, and when it peels, it means your body is trying to get rid of those damaged skin cells. The best approach to deal with facial skin peeling caused by sunburn to not pick at it and use these remedies instead:
- Start off by using a cold compress or a cold shower to bring down the inflammation before dealing with the peeling.
- The best way to treat skin peeling caused by sunburn is fresh aloe vera gel, or any soothing natural moisturiser applied to the area.
- Use colloidal oatmeal to help soothe and calm angry sunburnt skin and inhibit further peeling of the skin.
- Give your skin time to heal itself from the sunburn and stop peeling - this takes about a week during which time you should take extra care to not irritate the area with products or your hands.
How to deal with skin peeling caused by irritating products?
Irritating products can cause skin peeling on your face in two ways - they cause an instant allergic reaction or damage your skin’s natural barrier after long-term use. Every individual will have a different set of irritating ingredients that causes their skin to peel off. For instance, some dry and sensitive skin types find popular chemical exfoliators like AHAs and BHAs (alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids) too overwhelming and this may lead to peeling. If you do notice certain products having this kind of reaction on your skin, stop their use immediately.
If the issue persists, consult a dermatologist who might recommend some topical solutions and the right skincare products for your skin type. A proper consultation will also consist of patch testing your skin for different ingredients so that you do not make the same mistake again.
How to deal with skin peeling caused by improper exfoliation?
Both over and under exfoliation of skin can lead to peeling. Underinflation of skin can lead to a build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin, which when rubbed can cause peeling. This is also the reason your skincare products might pill into grease balls in your hands. Use chemical exfoliators twice a week to get rid of dead skin on the surface gently. Use ingredients like glycolic acid and salicylic acid for skin that is soft, smooth and fresh.
Skin peeling can also be a way of your skin telling you that you're over-exfoliating. Over-exfoliation with harsh and physical scrubs can lead to the destruction of the skin barrier, making it more prone to external damage and peeling. Stop exfoliating for a couple of weeks and switch to mild cleansers to improve the barrier function of your skin. Use ceramides-infused creams and lotions to help speed up the process, post which you can resume chemical exfoliation twice a week.
General tips to help deal with skin peeling on the face
Here are some general skin care tips to keep in mind to avoid peeling -
- Avoid skincare products formulated with artificial fragrances or dyes in order to avoid over-sensitizing your skin.
- Instead of vigorously wiping your face with harsh towels, try to air dry your skin after your shower as much as possible. You can also switch to microfiber towels and gently pat your skin dry.
- Avoid taking really hot showers and switch to lukewarm water instead. Hot water can strip your skin of hydration and essential skin oils, leading to peeling and flaking.
- Honey is considered an excellent home remedy for dry, peeling skin. It is humectant in nature, meaning it can lock in the mixture in your skin and protect it from flaking off.
- Some topical over-the-counter acne creams which contain irritants like benzoyl peroxide and retinoids them can lead to skin peeling. Make sure you are consulting a medical professional before including them in your routine.
FAQs about skin peeling on face
1) When should you see a doctor for skin peeling on the face?
A. There are certain indicators to watch out for with your skin peeling - blistering, accompanied by chills and nausea can indicate the inflammation being much more serious. You should see a doctor at the first sign of your skin peeling taking on a more advanced form rather than subsiding.
2) Can oily skin also cause skin peeling?
A. Even though skin peeling is usually associated with dry skin, excessively oily skin can cause it as well. Seborrheic dermatitis occurs in areas of the face where there are a lot of oil glands. The lesions are often inflamed with yellow crusts peeling off of the skin. Medical intervention is always recommended in the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis of the face.
3) Are there oral medications available for facial skin peeling?
A. Yes, if your skin peeling is the result of an underlying condition, like hypothyroidism, your dermatologist may prescribe oral medications to help deal with it. They can also prescribe corticosteroid creams in order to alleviate the symptoms topically, while the medication takes its course.
Written by Sumona Bose on May 26, 2021
Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!