November 02, 2021 6 min read

Is your skin peeling? Do you need a quick solution for making it stop? Lucky for you, there are several different ways to treat peeling skin.

Today, we will discuss common reasons why your skin may be peeling, effective treatment options, and how to prevent it from occurring again.

What Is Dry Skin?

Peeling skin is typically a product of dry skin. Dry skin is actually a skin type, not a skin condition. Having dry skin is characterized by having fewer oil-producing glands in the face. 

Typically, oil-producing glands called sebaceous glands excrete sebum, an oily substance containing fat molecules or lipids that lubricate the skin.

Since those with dry skin have fewer sebaceous glands on the skin, there is naturally less oil produced on their skin. Having less sebum makes the skin less protected against external irritants and unable to retain as much moisture as other skin types. If left untreated, some of the symptoms of dry skin include red patches, a rough complexion, less elasticity, and — as we know — peeling.

Despite dry skin being a skin type, it is possible for individuals with other skin types to experience temporary dryness because of certain conditions like eczema, atopic dermatitis, and psoriasis. 

External environmental factors like the weather may also cause dryness. The wintertime is a notably tough time for skin as the cold air, low humidity levels, and harsh winds take a toll on your skin’s health and increase the likelihood of dryness and peeling.

Along with peeling, your dried-out skin may feel itchy, raw, and tight and may develop a rough texture. It may also become red and develop flaky, dry patches that can result in fine lines and cracking. 

These effects can potentially cause bleeding or scarring if not treated properly. The full effect of your dry skin symptoms will rely on factors specific to you and your situation, such as your age and environment. 

What Is Dehydrated Skin?

It is also worth noting that peeling skin can result from dehydrated skin, which is sometimes confused for dry skin because of its many shared symptoms.

Dehydrated skin is not a skin type the way dry skin is, but rather a condition caused by a water deficiency. A water deficiency affects the skin similarly to how it does the rest of the body.

When you lose more fluids than you consume, your body is incapable of functioning normally, and so when you lack in necessary fluids, your skin does not operate in the way it is meant to and causes its health to decline. This may lead to your skin peeling, cracking, itching, or becoming irritated. 

Similarly to dry skin, dehydration can result from a variety of causes, including the weather, your lifestyle, and your diet. Sharing in causes is another reason why dry skin and dehydrated skin are often confused for one another.

Dry vs Dehydrated

If your skin is peeling and you are determined to distinguish between dry and dehydrated skin, we have a few tips for you to try out.

The first option is to check for specific trouble areas. If you notice that the backs of your hands, arms, or neck have adopted a rough texture, your issue may be with dryness. Typically, the symptoms of dry skin expand beyond the boundary of the skin on your face and signal to your body lacking sufficient natural oil production on the skin. 

If the area below your eyelids appears darker than usual, your issue may not be with dryness but rather dehydration. Dehydrated skin is known to exacerbate the appearance of dark circles below the eyes. 

This area of skin is one of the thinnest on the body and will often reflect various health issues. This includes when your water intake is low, causing the skin around your eyes to appear darker and puffier than usual.

Another viable option for determining whether you have dry or dehydrated skin is attempting the pinch test. After positioning yourself in front of a mirror or your phone’s camera, pinch one of your cheeks and examine how your face responds to the pressure. 

If your face maintains its shape despite being pinched, your peeling skin is likely due to an oil deficiency. If your face does not hold its shape after being pinched and wrinkles, your issue is likely a lack of water, and you have dehydrated skin on your hands.

If you are struggling to identify whether your skin is being affected by dryness or dehydration, we suggest seeking advice from a professional. 

How To Help Heal Peeling Skin

Now that we have discussed peeling skin and its potential causes, we can go over treatment options that can heal your skin, some as quickly as overnight.

Useful Ingredients

Before discussing treatment methods, we want to provide you with ingredients that, when used properly, can help to resolve your peeling skin.

Hyaluronic Acid 

The first is hyaluronic acid is an acid typically used for treating burns and wounds when applied topically. The acid is actually naturally present in your skin but can be found in a number of skin serums. It is known to hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water and is, therefore, ideal for hydrating dehydrated skin.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids

The next are AHAs. AHAs are alpha hydroxy acids which are a class of chemical compounds. Popular examples of AHAs include glycolic acid, citric acid, and lactic acid. These acids are typically used for exfoliation. 

Not only are they capable of removing the top dry, dead layers of skin, but they can also increase the skin’s ability to retain hydration.

Ceramides

Another great ingredient for treating your peeling skin is ceramides. Ceramides are a class of fatty acids called lipids that make up over 50% of the skin’s most outer surface. They are great for preventing a loss of moisture, making them ideal for treating peeling, flaking skin. 

Additionally, they can revive and smooth dry skin cells on the epidermis. 

Omega Fatty Acids For Hydration 

On the topic of fatty acids, omega fatty acids also work as hydrators for peeling skin. Some of the best nutrients for supporting your skin are omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are essential nutrients that help to build and maintain your body’s health. 

The three main omega-3 fatty acids are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). 

Your body does not produce ALA independently and instead obtains it through consuming foods rich in nutrients. Your body can then convert a portion of the ALA into EPA and DHA, in turn increasing your body’s levels of these omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, incorporating more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet can increase your intake and improve your skin’s health.

You can up your omega-3 fatty acid intake by taking dietary supplements like fish oil and krill oil, or you can eat foods rich in omega-3s such as e nuts, seeds, and seafood.

Humidifier

One useful hack for treating your peeling skin, especially when caused by the cold weather and low humidity levels, is to keep a humidifier in your home and workplace. 

During the winter, the air is cold and lacks humidity. The air will attempt to draw out moisture from other sources, including your skin. To prevent your skin from drying out, you can use a humidifier. 

The humidifier will put moisture back into the air, thus improving the quality of your skin. The rate of sebum production in your skin will no longer be at risk of decreasing, and there will be a much smaller chance of your skin becoming dry and itchy. 

Moisturize

One of the simplest ways to treat skin lacking in moisture is to moisturize. By using fragrance-free, healing skincare products like cream, lotion, or moisturizer, you can work to repair your skin barrier. 

For this, we recommend MadeMan’s The Refresher. This moisturizer was designed with simplicity in mind and fitted into every man’s transformational skincare routine. The product is water-based and uses all-natural ingredients

The Refresher uses an antioxidant blend to restore and repair your skin by boosting natural collagen production in addition to battling the signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, redness, and uneven skin texture. 

Sunscreen

Finally, make sure that you are using sunscreen every day, even when it is overcast. Sunscreen is essential for maintaining healthy skin. Photoaging, the premature skin aging caused by repeated unprotected exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun, will typically present as peeling, rough skin texture, wrinkling, and sunspots. 

To avoid attaining these effects, apply either a chemical or mineral sunscreen every morning for your protection. Your sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 30 and be broad-spectrum so that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply throughout the day as you deem necessary.

Conclusion

Peeling skin can be challenging to manage, but thankfully there are several treatment options available. Take your pick at what you believe would best suit your skin’s needs and best fit into your lifestyle, and remember to consult a dermatologist in severe cases.

 

Sources:

Mechanisms and Management of Itch in Dry Skin | PubMed

Skin hydration and hydrating products | PubMed

Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Consumer | NIH

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