Seven Reasons Your Skin is Flaking and How to Fix It

Is your skin dry, red and flaking? If you’ve overdone it with certain skin-care products, you might have done more harm that good. Here’s what you need to know. [Source: NewBeauty.com]

What It’s From: A harsh peel, product mixing or overusing alcohol or acid-based skin-care.

How It Happens: Anything that’s too harsh and drying for the skin causes it to become sensitized, which can keep it from functioning optimally. Chemical peels do wonders in terms of exfoliation, but a common side effect of them is peeling and flaking. Overusing ingredients, mostly those that are for acne or anti-aging, like retinol and glycolic and salicylic acids, can cause a similar effect, leading to peeling, flaking and even a mild burning. “The skin often flakes after it has experienced some degree of inflammation, signaling that the inflammation is over,” says Manhattan Beach, CA, dermatologist Ashley Magovern, MD.

How To Fix It: Any time the skin has been abused, is dry and compromised, you need to change what you’re using.

At Home Remedies:

  • Switch to a gentle non-foaming, fragrance-free cleanser. Next, apply a light hydrator (lotion or serum) to provide moisture.
  • Skip drying toners, which can dry out the skin. You want to get the skin to a point where it can ‘breathe’ again, so that it doesn’t become congested and lead to even more problems.

Doctor’s Orders: When all else fails, apply a low-does topical steroid cream to the affected areas for a few days. Make sure that you don’t overuse the cream because it can cause acne and a rebound in redness. Check with your dermatologist or plastic surgeon on this one.