6 Ways To Get Rid Of Dry, Peeling Skin Fast
No one likes looking in the mirror and seeing peeling skin. Sometimes, you can predict when you’re about to have a shed session (frigid weather, a new retinol routine, or an overly dry complexion are all major culprits), but other times there’s no rhyme or reason behind the dryness. After all, the average person loses over a hundred pounds of skin during their lifetime, which is perfectly normal—even if it sounds a little gross.
Dr. Sonia Batra, board-certified dermatologist and co-host of The Doctors TV show, shares the best plan of attack for the next time you’re feeling flaky. Check out these six things that’ll help get rid of peeling skin.
1. Exfoliate weekly.
Beyond giving you brighter skin, regular exfoliation also fights off flakes in a major way. “Physical exfoliators, such as gentle scrubs, can help rid the skin of dead cells that can cause flakes,” says Dr Batra. “Chemical exfoliators, such as alpha or beta hydroxy acids, help promote cell turnover and decrease peeling.” Limit yourself to exfoliating one to two times a week since overdoing it can increase irritation (read: even more peeling). And whatever you do, don’t pick flakes off with your fingers or tweezers: This causes cracks in the skin that become doorways for infection.
2. Don’t forget to moisturize.
After you exfoliate, it’s all about hydration. “Once you’ve removed the top layer of dead skin cells, apply moisturizer to create a barrier between your newly exposed skin and the elements,” explains Dr Batra. She recommends using a product that’s infused with ceramides—fats that help your skin form a protective barrier between irritants and aids in retaining moisture. “Petroleum jelly and coconut oil are also good options for treating flaky skin,” she adds. “Coconut oil’s emollient properties help fill the spaces between skin cells, creating a smooth surface, while petroleum jelly creates a protective layer above the skin to help trap moisture and heal dry skin.” If your skin feels extra arid, stash a travel size hydrating facial spray in your bag to spritz on throughout the day.
3. Confirm it’s not a bigger issue.
If you’re faithfully exfoliating and moisturizing, but nothing seems to work, book an appointment with a dermatologist ASAP. Typical flakiness caused by dehydration clears up a day or two after using moisturizer, but if you’re dealing with an underlying medical issue, some at-home remedies can further irritate skin. “Chronic skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can cause skin to peel, so check with a doctor to determine if the flaky skin can be treated with medication,” says Dr Batra. Once you get a proper professional diagnosis, a condition-specific treatment should clear skin up in a few weeks.
4. Change up your shower routine.
When the weather is unbearably cold, it’s tempting to take a long, hot shower to help you forget about the polar vortex outside. Unfortunately, this makes peeling worse: “It causes the skin to dry out and become flaky,” explains Dr Batra. Instead, bathe for a shorter amount of time and use warm, not scalding, water.
5. Invest in a humidifier.
Humidifiers aren’t just for dry, winter months: They’re actually a secret weapon you can use year-round to combat peeling. Similar to heaters, air conditioners also deplete the air of moisture, so Dr. Batra recommends using a humidifier whenever you’re feeling a little on the dry side as a preventative measure. P.S. Check out this list of the best humidifiers to see which ones are worth buying.
6. Switch to fragrance-free, dye-free products.
For persistent peeling, consider a medicine cabinet makeover. According to Dr Batra, scents and colours added to products, like cleansers and moisturizers or even laundry detergent, can irritate the skin. “Using gentle, hypoallergenic products can decrease inflammation and flaking,” she says. Another safe option is a DIY yoghurt treatment since it’s a natural source of lactic acid, which aids in cell-turnover. Just apply cold, plain yoghurt to dry skin for ten minutes before rinsing off with warm water. This will soften and nourish skin while also sloughing away any roughness.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com