My skin is afraid. Panicky, even.
This time last year, the unrelenting cold coupled with a bit too much retinol made it peel like a reptile.
It was ugly. Even makeup couldn’t hide it. Foundation made it look A LOT worse.
It was painful, too. I tried to barely touch the area as I slathered on some much-needed moisturizer, but oh boy, did it hurt!
I never want to go through that ever again. And neither should you. That’s why we need to be prepared. If you know what makes your skin peel like crazy, you can avoid it or, at the very least, fix it up quickly. Here’s how:
Skin Peeling Reason #1: Dry Skin
When your skin isn’t well hydrated, your skin cells can’t stick well together and so they start to flake off.
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Your skin has a natural shield that keeps moisture in. If this shield gets damaged, water evaporates and that leads to all sorts of troubles, including peeling.
So, what creates these holes in the shield? Here are a few things to watch out for:
- Freezing cold weather
- Unprotected sun exposure
- Harsh skincare products and treatments
- Too much cleansing
- Too much exfoliating
- Long, hot showers and baths
HOW TO TREAT DRY SKIN
1. Choose a gentle cream cleanser that moisturizes skin too. If it leaves your skin squeaky clean, it’s too harsh.
- CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser ($14.99): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique, Ulta and Walmart
- La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo Cleanser (£8.75): available at Dermstore and Feel Unique
- Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($17.00): available at Dermstore and Paula’s Choice
2. Add a hyaluronic acid serum to your skincare routine. Hyaluronic acid infuses skin with a waterfall of moisture (it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water!), keeping it well-hydrated at all times.
- La Roche Posay Heal B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum (£27.75): available at Feel Unique and Look Fantastic
- Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid (£25.00): available at Beauty Bay and Cult Beauty
- Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster ($34.00): available at Dermstore, Nordstrom, Paula’s Choice and Selfridges
3. Use a rich mosturizer loaded with skin-identical ingredients. I’m talking about ceramides, fatty acids, lecithin and all that other stuff that makes up the skin’s natural protective barrier. When skin is broken, they can easily fill in the holes, bringing it back to health.
- CeraVe Pm Facial Moisturising Lotion ($15.99): available at Asos, Dermstore, Feel Unique and Ulta
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($34.00): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique, Sephora, and Ulta
- Paula’s Choice Clinical Ultra-Rich Moisturiser ($31.00): available at Dermstore, Look Fantastic and Paula’s Choice
Need help creating the best skincare routine for you dry skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Dry Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).
Related: The Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin
Skin Peeling Reason #2: Abuse Of Powerful Anti-Aging Superstars
Anti-aging superstars (retinol, vitamin C and exfoliation) are awesome for the skin. But, they’re so powerful, they can dry out skin too, if you’re not careful!
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Usually, this happens when you get carried away and use these goodies a bit too often. A little dose will give you brighter, younger-looking skin. Too much and you’re disrupting your skin’s protective barrier and dry out your skin in the process.
HOW TO TREAT ABUSE OF POWERFUL ANTI-AGING INGREDIENTS
Cut back to two or three times a week, tops. I know, those wrinkles won’t disappear as quickly. But they’ll be less visible. And you won’t look like a reptile in the meantime. Win win.
Related: 5 Anti-Aging Superstars You Should Add To Your Skincare Routine
Skin Peeling #3: Chemical Peels Or Laser Treatments
Same as above. This stuff does wonders for the skin. They remove entire layers of damaged skin and boost the production of collagen. But that comes at a cost. Peeling.
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
Because these treatments are hella powerful. They can dry out skin and make it peel. If it doesn’t go away within two weeks, you’re probably abusing them and having them done a bit too often.
HOW TO TREAT DRYNESS CAUSED BY CHEMICAL PEELS AND LASER TREATMENTS
1. Listen to your doctor. She gave you instructions, follow them!
2. Use a rich moisturizer. Go back up to the dry skin section to see what and my best picks. I don’t want to bore you again by repeating the same thing here. 🙂
Skin Peeling Reason #4: Sunburn
You’ve spent too much time in the sun without sunscreen and your skin ain’t happy about it.
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN?
UV rays kill off your skin cells. Your body must get rid of them, so it can replace them with brand new ones. Hence the peeling.
HOW TO TREAT SUNBURNS
1. Wear sunscreen every single day, come rain, shine, or snow. UV rays are sneaky. They can penetrate through clouds and even get reflected on snow!
- Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 ($34.00): available at Sephora
- Elta MD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 Plus ($35.00): available at Dermstore and Walmart
- Niod Survival 30 (£25.00): available at Beauty Bay, Cult Beauty, and Feel Unique
2. Soothe the sunburn with some aloe vera gel. It’s an old remedy that always does the trick.
The Bottom Line
Now you’re well-armed against all kinds of peeling, you’ll never have to deal with this annoyance ever again.